Arts First

Arts First is a five-day Pre-Orientation program that introduces first-year students to the rich possibilities Bucknell offers for students interested in the arts.

You'll journey through the creative process and learn about the life of the arts at Bucknell, including academic programs in art, creative writing, dance, film/media, music, and theatre, as well as performances, exhibits, readings and film series through the professional centers and leadership opportunities. Along the way, you'll explore the deep connections, understanding and insights that only the arts can inspire.

What You’ll Do

Students in Arts First work with faculty and staff on a multimedia art project that leads to a culminating performance exhibit or event on the final day of the program. Evening showcases give participants the opportunity to show off their artistic talent through dance, stand-up comedy, poetry readings, dramatic skits and music in a wide array of styles. Arts faculty lead students in mini-workshops in a range of artistic genres, and professional arts staff introduce the work of the University's arts centers through tours and hands-on activities.

In addition, Arts First includes late-night entertainment, team-building activities and more than a few chances to make lifetime memories. First-year participants often return to the program as mentors. If you love the arts, you'll love Arts First.

Who It’s For

We welcome all first-year and transfer students who are ready to start building their Bucknell community. We will explore the arts for enrichment and connections to one another and as a platform for future careers — no arts experience is required.




Mark “Hutch” Hutchinson, program director,
Kelly Knox, program director,

Music Note

Unleash your creative side

Pre-Orientation Move-In Day Schedule

Friday, Aug. 16

7–11 a.m.

Arrival and Check-in
Outside Sojka Pavillion
Students will receive their room key and BUID and check in with their Pre-O program leaders. After check-in, head to your residence hall to unpack your belongings and settle in.

Representatives from a variety of campus offices will be present to answer your questions. Meet staff from Bertrand Library, Bucknell Nutrition, Bucknell Student Health, Campus Activities & Programs, GenFirst!, Global & Off-Campus Education, the Teaching & Learning Center and more.

11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.Lunch
Bostwick Marketplace, Elaine Langone Center
All Pre-Orientation participants, their families and friends are invited to lunch as guests of the University (no charge). Pick up your lunch tickets at Pre-O check-in.
12:30 p.m.

Program Meetings
Meeting locations will be posted in June
Parents and families are invited to join their student and attend these meetings. Program leaders will share details about program schedules and expectations and will be available to answer questions

2 p.m.Students: Programs Begin
2 p.m.Families: University Welcome
Weis Center Concert Hall
University officials welcome and advise family members on the first year at Bucknell. Light refreshments will be served before the welcome; parents and families are invited to stay after to mingle.

More details about the move-in day schedule will be shared in early 2024.

Contact Details