Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Launches MFA Citizens, a Program to Welcome New U.S. Citizens with Complimentary Family Memberships

BOSTON (June 28, 2017)—Starting July 1, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), will welcome newly naturalized U.S. citizens living in Massachusetts with complimentary one-year family memberships through a new program called MFA Citizens—the first of its kind in the country. This initiative enables the Museum to become a place for new Americans to gather, make connections within their community and create bridges across cultures—making the MFA and its collection part of their American experience. Launched in conjunction with MFA 2020, a Strategic Plan that articulates a shared voice and vision for the future, MFA Citizens helps the Museum achieve important institutional goals of diversifying audiences and adding fresh perspectives, personal narratives and new voices to programs. Engaging new citizens is part of the MFA’s ongoing efforts to build a more inclusive community of visitors, volunteers, staff and supporters, fostering the next generation of museum-goers and professionals that reflects the region’s changing demographics. Inviting new citizens to the MFA today creates opportunities for a more diverse group of Bostonians to become the docents, interns, curators and Museum leaders of tomorrow. MFA Citizens is generously supported by Larry and Atsuko Fish. The MFA is pleased to collaborate with the largest naturalization program in New England: Project Citizenship, as well as the Mayor’s Office for Immigration Advancement and Boston Public Library.

“Art has the power to connect us all, no matter where we come from,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director. “The evolution of the Museum as a civic gathering space—a place for exchange of ideas and intersection of cultures—is critical to the exploration of a diverse America and the creation of a shared American experience in the Commonwealth. In that spirit, I look forward to welcoming new citizens to the MFA, inviting them to explore our global collection and participate in our programs.”

New citizens can sign up for the program by showing a copy or photo of their naturalization certificates at any MFA ticket desk within one year of their ceremony. In addition to free admission to the MFA for one year for two adults and unlimited children (ages 17 and under), discounts on programs, shopping, parking and dining, and invitations to member events, the MFA Citizens membership includes a special in-person welcome packet in a custom-designed tote bag. Included in the packet are a welcome message from the Director and information about upcoming exhibitions and programs—available in Spanish, Chinese, Haitian Creole and Portuguese, the most common non-English languages spoken at home in Boston. On-site signage in these languages will also be placed at the MFA’s Huntington, Fenway, and Schools and Groups entrances to encourage enrollment.

“Atsuko and I are proud to support this innovative program, which we hope will strengthen the bonds between the MFA and the many diverse communities it serves,” said Larry Fish. “We’re pleased to help the Museum expand its audiences by making it easier for new citizens and their families to visit and share their experiences through the lens of art.”

The Museum will work with Project Citizenship, the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement and Boston Public Library to raise awareness of the MFA Citizens program among the approximately 25,000 immigrants who are expected to go through the naturalization process across the Commonwealth within the next year. Project Citizenship is a nonprofit agency that provides free, high-quality services to legal permanent residents to help them become U.S. citizens, offering workshops, eligibility screenings, application assistance and legal referrals.

“Project Citizenship is proud to collaborate with the MFA to introduce fine art to Boston’s newest American citizens. Each year, we assist more than 1,500 immigrants in achieving their American dream. We are so fortunate to have the fabulous art housed at the MFA as a new resource and asset for our clients,” said Veronica Serrato, Executive Director, Project Citizenship. “MFA membership is the newest on a long list of benefits of U.S. citizenship.”

The Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement aims to strengthen the ability of immigrants and Boston’s diverse cultural and linguistic communities to fully participate in the economic, civic, social and cultural life of the City of Boston.

“The Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement (MOIA) is excited to join the MFA in this initiative to diversify Boston’s art community,” said Alejandra St. Guillen, Director of the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement. “At MOIA, we are dedicated to ensuring the active participation of Boston’s immigrants in all aspects of our city. Partnering with MFA Citizens reaffirms Mayor Walsh’s commitment to fostering an inclusive and welcoming city for Boston’s immigrant communities.”

In addition to hosting ESL classes and conversation groups, Boston Public Library’s Central Library in Copley Square and 24 neighborhood branches house Immigrant Information Corners, which provide information about resources and services available to help advance the well-being of the city’s immigrant residents.

“Boston Public Library provides welcoming spaces, resources and programming, to any immigrant or new resident in our city to help them engage with their communities and learn valuable skills at no cost—free to all,” said Boston Public Library President David Leonard. “We are the on-ramp to civil engagement and are proud to partner with the MFA Citizens program and look forward to sharing the MFA’s broad offerings with all our new U.S. residents.”

MFA Citizens is among more than 50 initiatives incorporated within MFA 2020, a Strategic Plan that will be realized through five pillars: Collaborate Generously, Invite Boldly, Welcome Warmly, Engage Deeply and Collect Purposefully. By expanding partnerships and evolving as a center for convening, the Museum has created a roadmap that charts a path forward—becoming an institution that is of the moment and of the community.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), is recognized for the quality and scope of its collection, representing all cultures and time periods. 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; Art of Africa and Oceania; Art of the Ancient World; Prints and Drawings; Photography; Textile and Fashion Arts; and Musical Instruments. Open seven days a week, the MFA’s hours are Saturday through Tuesday, 10 am–5 pm; and Wednesday through Friday, 10 am–10 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. Wednesday nights after 4 pm admission is by voluntary contribution (suggested donation $25), while five Open Houses offer the opportunity to visit the Museum 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. The MFA is located on the Avenue of the Arts at 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. For more information, call 617.267.9300, visit mfa.org or follow the MFA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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