Day of Free Admission at the MFA Includes Performance Art, Guided Tours and Art Making

BOSTON, MA (December 30, 2014)—On Monday, January 19, 2015, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day with free admission and a variety of programs for all ages, sponsored by Citizens Bank. The annual Open House runs from 10 am to 4:45 pm, and offers gallery tours, story hour, art making and performances.  Additionally, visitors will be among the first to see the new photography exhibition, Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott, and can take advantage of the final opportunity to visit Goya: Order and Disorder. The Community Arts Initiative Partner Spotlight features student artwork commemorating Dr. King’s legacy, and a special performance art piece explores artist Helina Metaferia’s first-generation, Ethiopian-American experience through wearable sculpture and installation. In addition, two live performances by local musicians and the MFA’s Teen Arts Council are planned for the morning and afternoon. 

“Citizens Bank shares our commitment to strengthening our community through the arts,” said Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director at the MFA. “Their generous support allows us to offer free admission as well as many wonderful activities that engage families with the collection and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

For over a decade, Citizens Bank has celebrated MLK Day by generously supporting free admission to the MFA for all visitors. Since 2003, nearly 80,000 visitors have enjoyed special MLK Day programming and exhibitions. This year, Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott—which opens January 17—presents groundbreaking photographs by the celebrated African-American photographer. The images depict the realities of life under segregation in 1950––showcasing a rarely seen view of everyday lives of African-American citizens in the years before the Civil Rights movement began in earnest. Also on view is a special Community Arts Initiative Partner Spotlight in the Shapiro Family Courtyard, highlighting works of art created especially for the MLK Day Open House by students from the MFA’s ten Community Arts Initiative partners. Through the Community Arts Initiative, the MFA has fostered long-standing partnerships with Boston non-profit organizations to introduce youth to the Museum’s collections and the art-making process during out-of-school time, while also helping them understand the important role art can play in their lives.

“As Citizens Bank continues our commitment to strengthening the communities where our colleagues live and work, we remain inspired by the mission and values Dr. King set in motion for all our Nation’s citizens,” said Jerry Sargent, President of Citizens Bank, Massachusetts. “It is our pleasure to continue a 12-year-old tradition of partnering with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy with this annual open house.”

The MFA’s 2015 Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration is one of four Open Houses held at the MFA annually, along with Lunar New Year (Saturday, February 21), Memorial Day Open House (Monday, May 25) and Fall Open House (Monday, October 12).


Free unless otherwise noted


Freedom Summer Film Preview and Q&A

11 am, Alfond Auditorium

Space is limited; first come first served.

A preview of this 2014 feature-length film documents 10 memorable weeks in 1964 when more than 700 student volunteers from the North joined activists for a massive effort that would do what had been impossible: force the media and the country to take notice of the shocking violence and massive injustice taking place in Mississippi. Introduction and post-screening Q&A with Maisha Moses, Executive Director of The Young People’s Project and daughter of civil rights activist Bob Moses—the local secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) who was responsible for the Freedom Summer plan.

Performance Art: Helina Metaferia presents Ancestral Honoring

10:30 am and 3:30 pm, Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art

This work explores the artist’s first-generation, Ethiopian-American body through migratory narratives. Using wearable sculpture and installation, Metaferia visually re-articulates her biographical family history and their immigration. By redefining notions of African/American identity, she hopes to break misconceptions and introduce alternative perspectives.

Music and Spoken Word: “The Migration Series”

11:30 am and 2 pm, Remis Auditorium

Space is limited; first come first served.

Trio Ardente presents “The Migration Series,” a piece written by Robert Bradshaw revolving around the work of artist Jacob Lawrence. Musical movements are paired with excerpts from Langston Hughes’ poem One Way Ticket, spoken by the Museum’s Teen Arts Council members.

Story Hour

11 am–Noon, Art of Africa Gallery

Families can drop-in to enjoy stories about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., friendship and teamwork. Great for toddlers, visitors can stay for one story or the whole hour.    


Puzzle “Peaces”

10 am-4pm, Education Center in Druker Family Pavilion

Kids will be inspired by peaceful landscape paintings around the Museum as they paint their own serene scene on a puzzle piece to add to a collaborative mural.

A Leader Wears Many Hats

10 am-4pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard 

>A scavenger hunt explores the many headdresses Ancient Egyptians leaders would have worn, and is followed by the opportunity to construct a wearable headdress.

Friendship Sculpture

10 am-4pm, Gallery 259

Crommelynck Gate by Jim Dine, a sculpture celebrating the artist’s friendship with Aldo Crommelynck, serves as inspiration to create a sculpture for a special friend.

Dream Catchers

11 am–3 pm, Education Center in Druker Family Pavilion

Inspired by the famed civil rights leader, members of the MFA’s Teen Arts Council create dream catchers with visitors to commemorate Dr. King’s legacy and contribute to a colorful and diverse wall of hands representing the dreams of MLK.


Family Tours

Every 15 minutes from 10:30 am–Noon, meet at the Sharf Visitor Center

ASL interpretation at 10:30 and 11:15

Exploration of the MFA’s encyclopedic collection with a 30-minute kid-friendly tour.

Highlight Tours: African American Artists

Every 30 minutes from 11 am–3 pm, meet at the Sharf Visitor Center 

ASL interpretation at Noon; ASL Tour (no spoken English) at 2 pm

A selection of works by African American artists is explored on a 30-minute tour for adults led by Museum-trained guides.

Spanish-language Tours

Noon and 2:30 pm, meet at the Sharf Visitor Center

A one-hour tour for adults led by Museum-trained guides, featuring masterpieces from the collection.

Spotlight Talks: Gordon Parks

12:30, 1, and 1:30 pm, Robert and Jane Burke Gallery

ASL Interpretation at 1 pm

A 10-minute talk in the exhibition Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott with Karen Haas, Lane Curator of Photographs.

MFA Guide

Available at all ticket desks, Sharf Visitor Center, and the Ann and Graham Gund Gallery

Members $5; nonmembers $6; kids 17 and under $4. Free for visitors who are Deaf or blind.

The mobile MFA Guide explores the Museum’s collections, including an African American artists tour and a Kids’ mobile tour introducing young visitors age 6 to 10 to the Art of the Americas and Contemporary collections.

Access Table

10 am-4pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard 

The MFA’s Access table offers information about the MFA Guide’s accessibility features, available assistive listening devices and tactile materials, and much more


Community Arts Initiative Partner Spotlight

10 am–4:45 pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard

Students from the MFA’s ten Community Arts Initiative partners commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through collaborative works of art made for the MLK Day Open House.

Opening Weekend: Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott

Robert and Jane Burke Gallery

January 17–September 13, 2015

Last Chance: Goya: Order and Disorder

Ann and Graham Gund Gallery—Art of the Americas Wing

Final Day: January 19, 2015

The Community Arts Initiative is generously supported by the Linde Family Foundation.

Teen Arts Council is funded by the Yawkey Foundations, the Pamela D. and Robert W. Adams Fund, the Dorothy B. and Owen W. Robbins Teen Arts Council Fund, the Dean Welfare Trust, the William E. Schrafft and Bertha E. Schrafft Charitable Trust, the Endowment for the Teen Arts Council, and the Paul and Edith Babson Foundation. With special thanks to Richard and Priscilla Hunt for their generous support.Sponsored by John Hancock.

Spotlight Talks supported by The Wallace Foundation.

Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott is sponsored by Northern Trust. This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in partnership with The Gordon Parks Foundation. Presented with support from the Dr. Lawrence H. and Roberta Cohn Exhibition Fund.

Performance Art at the MFA is supported by Lorraine Bressler.

MFA Guide: Art of the Americas content is made possible through the generous support of the John W. Henry Family Foundation. MFA Guide: Art of Ancient Greece and Rome content is made possible through the generous support of The Barrington Foundation, Inc. MFA Guide: Musical Instruments content is generously provided by the MFA Visiting Committee for Musical Instruments and the David L. Fishman Fund.

Bank of America Access Program is generously supported by Bank of American with additional support from The Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation; The Lowell Institute; Maida S. Abrams Fund for Increasing Access and Educational Opportunities for People with Disabilities.

Goya: Order and Disorder is sponsored by Santander Bank, N.A. through the Fundación Banco Santander in Madrid. Media sponsor is WCVB-TV Boston. Generous support for this exhibition provided by Highland Street Foundation and the Thompson Family Foundation. Additional support from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, with the special collaboration of the Museo Nacional del Prado. Under the patronage of His Excellency Ramón Gil Casares, Ambassador of Spain to the United States. Generous support for this publication was provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Publications Fund, with additional support from Isabelle and Scott Black.  

About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.

Citizens Financial Group Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $131.3 billion in assets as of September 30, 2014. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, the company offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. Consumer Banking helps its retail customers “bank better” with mobile and online banking, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,200 ATMs and approximately 1,200 Citizens Bank and Charter One branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Citizens also provides mortgage lending, auto lending, student lending and commercial banking services in selective markets nationwide. Citizens Commercial Banking offers corporate, institutional and not-for-profit clients a full range of wholesale banking products and services including lending and deposits, capital markets, treasury services, foreign exchange and interest hedging, leasing and asset finance, specialty finance and trade finance.

Citizens operates via subsidiaries Citizens Bank, N.A., and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. Additional information about Citizens and its full line of products and services can be found at

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), is recognized for the quality and scope of its collection, which includes an estimated 500,000 objects. The Museum has more than 140 galleries displaying its encyclopedic collection, which includes Art of the Americas; Art of Europe; Contemporary Art; Art of Asia, Oceania, and Africa; Art of the Ancient World; Prints, Drawings, and Photographs; Textile and Fashion Arts; and Musical Instruments. Open seven days a week, the MFA’s hours are Saturday through Tuesday, 10 am–4:45 pm; and Wednesday through Friday, 10 am–9:45 pm Admission (which includes one repeat visit within 10 days) is $25 for adults and $23 for seniors and students age 18 and older, and includes entry to all galleries and special exhibitions. Admission is free for University Members and youths age 17 and younger on weekdays after 3 pm, weekends, and Boston Public Schools holidays; otherwise $10. Wednesday nights after 4 pm admission is by voluntary contribution (suggested donation $25). MFA Members are always admitted for free. The Museum’s mobile MFA Guide is available at ticket desks and the Sharf Visitor Center for $5, members; $6, non-members; and $4, youths. The Museum is closed on New Year’s Day, Patriots’ Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. For more information, visit or call 617.267.9300. The MFA is located on the Avenue of the Arts at 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.