Come together to celebrate creativity, community, and freedom at the MFA’s fifth annual Juneteenth event.

The MFA’s celebration of Juneteenth is presented in partnership with Epicenter Community.

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. This commemoration dates back to June 19, 1865, when news of the end of the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation’s declaration “that all persons held as slaves are, and henceforward shall be free” reached Galveston, Texas—nearly two-and-a-half years after Lincoln issued the proclamation. Today, this holiday is observed around the country with celebrations including parades, cook-outs, performances, community engagement, and more.

At the MFA, explore the galleries on a tour or talk exploring the Museum’s collection of art by African American artists, focusing on the exhibition featuring two prominent artists in “Wilson/Cortor”; join local visual artists, poets, and musicians for one-of-a-kind demonstrations and performances; and catch a screening from this year’s Roxbury International Film Festival—the largest New England film festival dedicated to celebrating films by, for, and about people of color.

Bring your voice to a City Talk entitled “Revolution”—a panel discussion with Boston-area thinkers, institutions, entrepreneurs, activists, city officials, and artists—tackling the question, “What does Revolution mean to/within our communities of color?” And don’t miss the opportunity to watch playwright, director, and saxophonist Jeff Robinson perform his one-man play Live Bird about jazz legend Charlie “Bird” Parker.

Special Events

Welcome and Commemorative Remarks
6:30 pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard

Performance by U-Meleni Mhlaba-Adebo
6:50 pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard

Dance: OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center
7–7:30 pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard

Live Painting and Music featuring Soraia Melicio, MFALME KENYATTA, and Ashley Tishana
7–9:30 pm, Calderwood Courtyard

Dance: Sinhá Capoeira
8–8:15 pm and 8:30–8:45 pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard

Open Mic featuring Ashley-Rose Salomon, Anson Frazier aka Anson Raps, Oompa & Makeda
7:30–9:30 pm, Gallery 158

Theater: Live Bird
7:30–8:30 pm, Alfond Auditorium

Free ticket required. Limited availability: first come, first served. Tickets available at Alfond Auditorium ticket desk starting 30 minutes before show times.

Assistive Listening System

Drawing in the Galleries with guest artist Frandy Suero Garcia
6–9 pm, Gallery 268

Roxbury International Film Festival Screenings

Film: Paris Noir
5 pm, Remis Auditorium

Film: When Voices Rise
8 pm, Remis Auditorium

Free film ticket required. Limited availability: first come, first served. Film tickets available at Remis Auditorium Box Office starting 30 minutes before show times.

Assistive Listening System

Tours and Talks

The City Talks: Revolution
7–8:30 pm, Gallery 168

Assistive Listening System

Spotlight Talks: “I must tell you what I saw”
5, 5:30, and 6 pm, Gallery 260

Assistive Listening System

Highlight Tours: African American Artists
5:45, 7:15, and 8 pm, Meet at Sharf Visitor Center

Assistive Listening System

Additional Information


The MFA is committed to accessibility for all visitors. All Museum entrances are wheelchair accessible. For information, visit Access, e-mail, or call 617-267-9300 or 617-369-3188 (TTY). 


Tickets are required for free Museum admission, available at all ticket desks.

Audio description    Audio description
Sign Language Interpretation    ASL interpretation
Blind or Low Vision    Blind or low vision access
Assistive Listening System    Assistive listening device
Wheelchair Accessibility    All programs are wheelchair accessible.