Interlochen Arts Academy to celebrate student performances and artwork with virtual Festival

The beloved end-of-year showcase of student work will take place online May 20-22 with solo and ensemble performances, films, readings, theatrical presentations, visual artwork, and more.

This year, friends of Interlochen around the world can enjoy Interlochen Arts Academy's end-of-year showcase of student artwork and performances virtually. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Arts Academy's beloved “Festival” tradition will take place online May 20-22, 2020.

As in previous years, Festival will showcase student work from across the Academy's arts disciplines: creative writing, dance, film and new media, interdisciplinary arts, music, theatre arts, and visual arts. The three-day program will feature solo and ensemble performances recorded by students from their homes around the world as well as excerpts from on-campus performances recorded earlier in the year and selections from the Arts Academy's March 2020 performances in Miami. There will also be a few surprise performances honoring the Class of 2020.

This year’s virtual format resulted in innovative alternatives to live performance. Theatre students involved in Jaclyn Backhaus' Men on Boats and Nicholas Dante and James Kirkwood Jr.'s musical A Chorus Line will present documentary films about the rehearsal process. William Shakespeare's As You Like It will be presented as an audio drama. And the Film and New Media division’s traditional thesis showcase will be presented via a live Zoom "watch party."

Each day of Festival will begin with a special welcome message from an alumni host. Josh Lederman (IAC 00-01, IAA 02-03), national political reporter for NBC News, will open Festival as the host of the Wednesday, May 20, program. Grammy Award-nominated actor, singer, and author Alexandra Silber (IAC 95-99, IAA 99-01) will host the second day of Festival, and New York Philharmonic Principal Clarinetist Anthony McGill (IAC 91, 93, IAA 94-96) will introduce the final program on May 22.

The Arts Academy's Honors Convocation and Commencement will take place virtually on May 22 and May 23 respectively. "While we know that online ceremonies cannot replace the joy of celebrating in person with family, friends, and teachers, we still want to honor the artistic and academic accomplishments our students achieved this year," said Provost Camille Colatosti. "Although we are in the midst of unprecedented times, we are and continue to be amazed by the passion, creativity, and tenacity of our students and want to ensure that their hard work does not go unrecognized. Please join me in congratulating all our students—and especially the Class of 2020!"

Festival kicks off at 9 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 20. (Videos will remain available for viewing online.) To watch Festival 2020, visit

About Interlochen Arts Academy
Interlochen Arts Academy is the nation's premier fine arts boarding high school, where emerging artists from around the world transform passion and potential into purpose. Guided by distinguished artists, students pursue pre-professional training in music, dance, theatre, visual arts, creative writing, and film alongside a robust academic curriculum, preparing them to excel in the arts and beyond. Nestled in scenic northwest Michigan, the Academy has been a leader in arts education since 1962 and has produced 46 Presidential Scholars in the Arts, more than any other high school in the country. To learn more, visit Follow Interlochen on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube at @interlochenarts.

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