MFA Boston and 7uice Foundation Launch Partnership to Empower Leaders of Tomorrow

Collaboration Includes Teen Programs, Panel Discussion Inspired by The Obama Portraits Tour and Curation of MFA Late Nites

BOSTON (September 27, 2022)— The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), and The 7uice Foundation announced today a new partnership that draws on a shared mission of offering access and powerful educational experiences. Founded in 2019 by Boston Celtics player and social justice activist Jaylen Brown, The 7uice Foundation is committed to partnering with other organizations, institutions and funders to interrupt the detrimental effects of human apathy and create a more equitable and sustainable society through a new generation of leaders. Together, the MFA and The 7uice Foundation will present a series of initiatives throughout the fall that explore the concept of leadership, elevate creative voices from across the city, and celebrate new possibilities discovered through art. 

“Jaylen has demonstrated true leadership through his work with The 7uice Foundation. We have been inspired by the impact he has made in Boston,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, the MFA’s Ann and Graham Gund Director. “We look forward to joining together in the year ahead to create meaningful experiences that bring people together throughout, and help make our city stronger.”

“The commitment that Matthew and his staff have to ensure that more Brown and Black communities have exposure to the arts through their amazing museum is inspiring,” said Brown. “People often focus only on the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics of STEAM programming. I am honored to work with the MFA to also focus on the ‘A’ and highlight all the ways that the arts can inspire not only creativity but thought-provoking conversation and leadership.”

The partnership will kick off with events related to The Obama Portraits Tour, on view at the MFA through October 30, which brings Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald’s iconic portraits of former President Barack and Mrs. Michelle Obama to Boston for the first time. Inspired by the exhibition, the Museum and 7uice will co-host two programs exploring the meaning of leadership and the future of Boston:

  • On October 3 at 6:30 pm, Brown will serve as a panelist for a free public forum at the MFA. “The City Talks: Leading from Anywhere” will also feature Christa Brown, founder of the Free Soil Arts Collective, and Frank Farrow, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office for Black Male Advancement and My Brother’s Keeper Boston. Jeneé Osterheldt, culture columnist for The Boston Globe and creator of the series A Beautiful Resistance, will moderate the discussion.

    The event is part of the MFA’s series of free conversations based around cultural, social and political themes that are explored within current exhibitions and impact the City of Boston. Established in 2016, The City Talks engage activists, artists, entrepreneurs and other thought leaders in dialogue—and invite the audience as an active participant in the program.

  • On October 21, from 8 pm to midnight, MFA Late Nites—the Museum’s popular after-hours event, back for the first time since 2019—will invite Bostonians to celebrate local talent. Featured artists include NEEMZ, SeeFour, Jamele Adams, Shallow Pools and Porsha Olayiwola, who will curate  “Little Sound / Little Song,” a lineup of performances pairing vocalists and poets.

A significant aspect of the partnership will focus on engaging and bringing together teen participants from both organizations. Developed with the MIT Media Lab, 7uice’s Bridge Program provides mentorship for youth and high school students of color who are interested in pursuing STEAM careers. For the past 16 years, the Museum has provided professional development and leadership opportunities for high school and college students through its Teen Arts Council, and more recently, STEAM Team, Curatorial Study Hall and the MFA Pathways internship program—all paid opportunities.

This fall, these programs will join forces as the MFA and 7uice host a series of workshops in which teens will explore the role of art in restorative justice; tour the Museum’s state-of-the-art Conservation Center; and delve deeper into Portraits of Leadership, an exhibition of community-sourced artwork organized by students from the Curatorial Study Hall and presented in conjunction with The Obama Portraits Tour.

With more than 2,600 artworks on display submitted by people near and far, Portraits of Leadership encourages artists of all ages and backgrounds to feel a sense of belonging at the MFA. In a video accompanying the exhibition, Brown appears alongside fellow Bostonians such as Mayor Michelle Wu, lending his perspective to the question, “What does leadership mean to you?” Together, these elements—the iconic Obama paintings, the community's Portraits of Leadership, video responses and accompanying City Talks—work to form a larger portrait of the many types of leadership in our community today.


“The City Talks: Leading from Anywhere” is supported by The Boston Foundation, Bank of America and The 7uice Foundation.

Teen Arts Council is funded by the Pamela D. and Robert W. Adams Fund, the Dorothy B. and Owen W. Robbins Teen Arts Council Fund, the Endowment for the Teen Arts Council, Robert E. Schiesske, the William E. Schrafft and Bertha E. Schrafft Charitable Trust and the Paul and Edith Babson Foundation. Sponsored by John Hancock.

The MFA STEAM Team is generously supported by Joyce Linde.

Curatorial Study Hall is supported by Converse. 

The MFA Pathways Internship Program is made possible with generous support from Barbara and Amos Hostetter, Carlotte and Samuel Berk, The Lunder Foundation in honor of Barbara and Theodore Alfond, the Eric & Jane Nord Family Fund, and the Nancy S. Druker Memorial Fund. Additional support is provided by the Black Arts and Artists Curators Circle. 

About the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The MFA brings many worlds together through art. Showcasing masterpieces from ancient to modern, our renowned collection of nearly 500,000 works tells a multifaceted story of the human experience—a story that holds unique meaning for everyone. From Boston locals to international travelers, visitors from across the globe come to experience the MFA. Through both art and audience, the Museum brings together diverse perspectives—revealing connections, exploring differences, creating a community where all belong. Plan your visit at


Karen Frascona