Gallatin gears up for April’s annual arts festival

Artistic Director Kristin Horton – courtesy of NYU

The Gallatin School of Individualized Study will host its annual arts festival from April 7 to April 11. The festival, which is free and open to the public, will feature student work in visual and performing arts, celebrating the unique artistry and interdisciplinary studies of Gallatin students. A wide range of performances will take place throughout the week in the Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts.

Originating in 1992, the festival began as a collaborative effort between professor Lauren Raiken and graduate student Barry Spanier. Kristin Horton, the festival’s artistic director, said Spanier developed the festival as part of his master’s thesis under Raiken’s guidance. The festival has since become the largest public event sponsored by Gallatin.

“The Gallatin Arts Festival provides hands-on opportunities for students to gain knowledge of the process required to produce a multidisciplinary arts festival,” Horton said. “It is a learning experience emphasizing the development of ideas and collaborative innovation.”

The Student Leadership Team allows for student involvement in the festival’s development and production. The team works under the guidance of members of the arts faculty and student affairs. It is primarily composed of students with an interest in curating, producing, designing and marketing, as well as engaging the community.

“When I came to Gallatin, it was important to me that students play a lead role in the making of the festival,” Horton said. “The Student Leadership Team is the heart and soul of the festival and plays an important role in the solicitation and selection of work, in addition to supporting the artists throughout their development process.”

For Gallatin sophomore Katherine Romans, a performing arts producer on the Student Leadership Team, the festival played a part in the decision to attend NYU.

“Before I even came to Gallatin, I had learned about the festival online and it had really solidified my decision to apply,” she said. “It is a festival that really celebrates all that Gallatin is.”

Romans will also be a presenting artist at this year’s festival.

Gallatin senior Elizabeth Pollack will be performing a component of her senior project, “Scapegrace Prince,” at the festival. Her project is a study of Shakespeare’s “Henry IV, Part 1” and focuses on the character of Hal. This year will be Pollack’s first performance at the festival.

“I wrote a piece that specifically targeted styles and performances tropes that scare me or make me nervous in some way,” Pollack said. “The show itself does make me vulnerable because it makes a fair amount of my personal self very public.”

The festival will kick off in the Gallatin Galleries on April 7 at 6:30 p.m.

Julieanne McShane is a staff writer. Email her at [email protected]

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, March 31 print edition. Julianne McShane is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected]