First Night, Inc. is a private nonprofit organization dedicated to building community and celebrating diversity through the arts. With 35 years under its belt, the organization has grown into an internationally-renowned festival presenter and more – delivering high-quality arts programs to large diverse audiences, offering vital arts education opportunities to underserved children and teenagers, and providing unique planning and production services to the field.
Boston’s First Night Festival of the Arts, annually showcases the work of 1,000 artists in 200 performances and exhibits at 35 indoor and outdoor venues located throughout the downtown area on New Year’s Eve. This signature Boston event is the oldest and largest of its kind in North America, typically attracting about one million people from throughout the region. The day-long celebration runs from 1 pm to midnight each year on December 31. In addition to the broad range of lively music, dance, theater, visual art, and film programs offered, First Night’s traditional activities include a Family Festival at the Hynes Convention Center, a Grand Procession down Boylston Street, colossal ice sculptures that dot the city’s landscape, and a spectacular fireworks display at midnight.
At the heart of the organization is the First Night Neighborhood Network, a year-round outreach and arts education program conducted in every neighborhood of Boston. Each year, about 1,500 children and teenagers participate in visual and performing arts workshops that culminate with exhibits and performances at the First Night Festival on December 31.
First Night promotes, licenses, and supports the development of First Night festivals in communities across the United States though First Night USA. There are currently more than 70 First Night festivals annually presented in cities and towns nationwide.
First Night Productions plans and produces public festivals for organizations and agencies that are starting, expanding, or revitalizing programs of their own.