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Arts Council Offers MFA, BSO Discounts

By Neena Kadaba

One of the best kept secrets at MIT is the various subsidies students can take advantage of to help them enjoy the performing arts in the Boston area.

One long-standing program offers free tickets to students with a valid MITID for select performances by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Around 700 free tickets per year are offered through the program according to Susan R. Cohen, director of the Council of the Arts at MIT, which sponsors the program. The BSOprogram began in 1995.

In addition, the Museum of Fine Arts, independent of MIT, is offering a student discount to view a Monet exhibition this fall. While regular admission is $15, students pay only $5. Through another program sponsored by the Council of the Arts, MIT students already can get into the MFA at no cost with their MITID.

"I am delighted that the Council for the Arts at MIT sponsors such programs. I know that we have hundreds of students who attend the BSO as well as the various performing arts events we sponsor during the school year," Cohen said.

Another popular program is the Performing Arts Excursion series, which enables students to attend other performances in the area. Later this year students will have the opportunity to attend a play by August Wilson Jitney, as well as the National Ballet of Senegal.

"Its great to know that MIT sponsors experiences in the arts, as well as sciences. Its not often that students have such a great opportunity. I plan to take advantage of it during my years here," said Jennifer C. Schymick '02.

The Council of the Arts is a mini-foundation' made up of 97 alumni and friends of MIT who make contributions every year to sponsor these sort of programs. The council's stated goal is to enrich student's lives by providing for more cultural experiences.

The council has spent over $1 million on its programs since 1974.

Tickets to the BSO are offered for the performances on Thursday evenings at 8:00, Friday afternoons at 1:30, Wednesday evening open rehearsals at 7:30, and Thursday morning open rehearsals at 10:30. Tickets are available on the day of the concert only, at the BSO box office window. There are usually 50 or more tickets available per show for approximately 10 shows during the academic year.