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First Night’s mission is to broaden and deepen the public’s appreciation of the visual and performing arts through an innovative, diverse and high quality New Year’s Eve program which offers the community a shared cultural experience that is accessible and affordable to all.
First Night is a celebration of the New Year. It marks the passage of time from the old year to the new each December 31 st. Since it is a time-specific festival, the event needs to incorporate rituals and thematic elements unique and appropriate to this passage.
First Night is an invention of artists and it is their trust in the power of the arts to bring about communal harmony that distinguishes this particular celebration from other civic events. The arts play an important role in First Night because of their capacity to transform, to inspire, to educate and to entertain. They transcend boundaries of race, age, gender and social status.
At First Night the arts take front and center stage in the life of the city. In preparation of the event, the artists involve members of the community in innovative projects and pageantry, as well as create works that invite public participation and interaction for the festival.
First Night provides a platform for musicians, poets, storytellers, dancers, actors, puppeteers and visual and media artists to showcase the city’s cultural landscape. This is the time to bring the rich variety of arts to all the people in the community.
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