The following is a transcript of Mayor Marty Walsh’s opening remarks during the Museum of Fine Art’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Open House on January 20, 2014.
CHAVELYN SANTANA: It is a privilege to host Mayor Martin J. Walsh, who has dedicated himself to a career in the public service. Today, we come together to look ahead to the future of our great city and reflect upon the wisdom of the men and women who have come before us. Before Martin Walsh delivers his remarks, I would like to leave you with a few more words of Dr. King.
“Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace.” It is our honor, on behalf of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and its Teen Arts Council to introduce our new mayor, Marty Walsh. Thank you.
MAYOR MARTY WALSH: Thank you, Chavelyn. That was awesome. Thank you very much. I have to tell you, Chavelyn, this is my third Martin Luther King event this morning that I spoke at, and I had that same quote to say at all three, and somebody beat me to it every single time. So, tonight, before I go to bed, I’ll be practicing it in front of the window.
I want to thank you, Chavelyn. I want to thank you, Ambassador Carrington. I want to thank the Museum of Fine Arts and Citizens Bank Foundation for coming together today and offering a day of free admission for everyone in the city of Boston. It’s a great program to have, and particularly today, in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King. This is the museum’s largest community day for the year, and I’m happy to be part of it, and here in the city of Boston.
I understand that several people are going to be reading their favorite passages from Dr. King and other leaders who have pushed to expand the opportunity of freedom in our country, and I look forward to hearing that. One of the things that I was excited to find out that, when you run for mayor of Boston, and you get elected major of Boston, you serve as a trustee on the board, here at the museum. So I look forward to my first meeting as a trustee of the Museum of Fine Arts. Thanks, Jennifer.
Because during the campaign, we spoke about making sure that we bring back arts to the city of Boston to make sure that arts is such a big part of our city and make sure that we get arts into the schools, we get arts into the neighborhoods. But a part of talking about arts is talking about the history of Boston. And it’s also talking about your history in arts. And it’s fitting today to be standing here, at the Museum of Fine Arts, on a day where Dr. Martin Luther King, in some ways, was an artist in his words and what his words were, and what he was fighting for, for what he dedicated his life to, to making sure that equality and justice for all.
And when you think about, in the ’50s and ’60s, when Dr. King was talking about and fighting for the struggles of people, he wasn’t fighting for them because of the color of their skin, he wasn’t fighting for them for where they came from, he was fighting for equality for all people. And it’s great to be, through the arts here, at the Museum of Fine Arts, to open up the front doors, to allow people the opportunity to go in and experience some culture, and tradition, and history– here, very much. You know, this today, I’ve been at a couple of events. And I just left the Reggie Lewis Track Center, where over 400 volunteers are over there, building beds and making math flashcards and books and sewing quilts and then making 50 beds for 50 young children that don’t have the opportunity for their parents to go out and buy a bed for them. And they’re making today over there, at the Track Center.
And then, I just left the BCA. And City Hall employees are over there painting. Artists have moved out for the day, and City Hall employees are over there painting on one floor. And on the other floor, we have the Painters Union, District Council 35, painting another floor over there, making sure, giving back community service. And that’s important.
Engaging residents has always been an important part of my vision, and particularly my vision for the city of Boston. Whether it’s on the campaign trail, or through the transition, or, now, on the fifth floor of City Hall, I know the community is at the heart of the city, and I’ll keep it at the heart of my administration.
I’m just going to end with this. I want to thank everyone for being here today. Thank you for your opportunity. Thank you for going around. But make sure that today’s a day of service– and a lot of people do service today.
Tomorrow’s Tuesday. Tomorrow’s a day where somebody needs service. It doesn’t have to be on Martin Luther King Day, it can be on Tuesday. It can be on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. So I’d ask all of you, to just to—as you go along with your life, and the new year starts up here and going forward, just try and help somebody or some organization just a little bit, because a little bit can make a huge difference.
I want to thank you very much for the opportunity to say a few words here today, and enjoy the day.