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.

2023 Pre-Orientation Dates to Know

  • Thursday, June 1:
    • Deadline to sign up for the Taste, Tech & Teamwork Pre-Orientation
  • Saturday, June 10:
    • Deadline to sign up for the Organizations for Change Pre-Orientation
  • Friday, June 30:
    • Last day to sign up for other Pre-Orientation programs
    • Availability is limited; sign up as soon as possible to reserve your spot
  • Friday, Aug. 11:
    • 7 – 11 a.m. Move-in for Pre-O participants
    • 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Pre-O participants and their parents and families are invited to join us for lunch in Bostwick
    • Pre-O programs begin after move-in
  • Tuesday, Aug. 15:
    • Last day of Pre-O programs
  • Wednesday, Aug. 16:
    • New Student Orientation begins for all first-year Bucknell students

Note: Dates and times are tentative and subject to change.

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

Contact Details

Division of Student Affairs


211 Langone Center