The MFA Will Co-Present 11 Celebrations with Community Partners Throughout the Year
BOSTON (August 13, 2019)—The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), is expanding its popular series of free community celebrations and partnerships, offering more opportunities for visitors to enjoy music, dance and an array of performances and presentations by artists and thought leaders. New this year, the MFA will host Latinx Heritage Night in partnership with Amplify Latinx on the evening of Wednesday, September 18, and will mark Indigenous Peoples’ Day with a free day on Monday, October 14. The MFA’s 11 annual community celebrations are each unique, offering a range of activities and events that represent the art, history and global influences found throughout Greater Boston.
In 2020, the MFA will mark its 150th anniversary with a yearlong celebration focused on enhancing the power of art and artists, honoring the past and reimagining the future. As part of the celebration, the MFA has increased opportunities for visitors to enjoy the Museum, including:
- Free one-year, first-time memberships for visitors who attend any community celebration during 2020
- Five free days: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Lunar New Year Celebration, Memorial Day, Free Fun Friday and Indigenous Peoples' Day
- Five Wednesday evening celebrations, when Museum admission is by voluntary contribution: Latinx Heritage Night, ASL Night, Diwali, Hanukkah, Nowruz 2020 and Juneteenth
“The MFA’s series of free community celebrations are an open invitation to our neighbors in Boston and throughout New England to join friends and family and make the Museum their own,” said Makeeba McCreary, Patti and Jonathan Kraft Chief of Learning and Community Engagement at the MFA. “We are taking the invitation one step further with free Museum memberships during these events, to honor the rich histories and celebrate the diversity of our community with our visitors every day of the year.”
In total, the MFA welcomed 50,000 visitors during community celebrations in FY2019.
For over 20 years, the MFA has co-created a wide-ranging series of free community celebrations with valued local partners, artists and performers—highlighting external perspectives and community voices. A highlight of the year’s calendar is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which will mark the opening of a new exhibition of 20th-century art by artists of color from the Americas, curated by paid Boston teen fellows from Becoming a Man (BAM) and The BASE along with the MFA’s Teen Arts Council (TAC), STEAM Team and two participants from the Bloomberg Arts Internship program Boston program managed by EdVestors.
See below for details on each community celebration at the MFA.
Latinx Heritage Night **NEW**
Wednesday, September 18, 2019; 5–10 pm
Presented in partnership with Amplify Latinx, the MFA’s first-ever Latinx Heritage Night will recognize the enduring Latinx cultural contributions in Boston and beyond. Visitors can enjoy live music, a dance performance, a fashion show/designer meet-up and photography exhibition, with the evening’s performers presenting in both English and Spanish. Tours of the galleries will explore works of art from North, Central and South America from all time periods, which can be found throughout the Art of the Americas Wing. The Museum’s diverse holdings of art of the Americas rank among the most significant in the nation and feature masterpieces ranging from gold of the Ancient Americas, Maya ceramics, as well as more recent acquisitions of colonial Latin American art and 20th-century artists such as Frida Kahlo. Latinx Heritage Night is supported by Leigh Braude-Borowski and Marek Borowski, Lorraine Bressler and Family, Darwin Cordoba, Gamaliel Herrera, Andrea and Antonio Porres, and Jim and Rachel Solomon.
Wednesday, September 25, 2019; 5–10 pm
Presented in partnership with DEAF, Inc and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, the MFA’s third-annual ASL Night celebrates Deaf culture, highlighting the art, language and culture of the community. Coinciding with Deaf Awareness Month, the program includes tours, dance, talks, performances and art-making activities, all in ASL led by Deaf tour guides, artists, and performers and translated into spoken English. Throughout the year, a selection of gallery tours, performances and demonstrations are presented in American Sign Language (ASL) or are sign-language interpreted at the MFA. Sponsored by MFS Investment Management. Access initiatives at the MFA are supported by the Bank of America Access Program. With additional support from the Maida S. Abrams Fund for Increasing Access and Educational Opportunities for People with Disabilities.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day **NEW**
Monday, October 14, 2019; 10 am–5 pm
The MFA is re-launching its annual Fall Open House as its first annual celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The holiday re-imagines Columbus Day as a day to honor the original inhabitants of the Americas. Part of the Fenway Alliance’s 18th annual Opening Our Doors Day, Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognizes and celebrates the heritage of Native Americans and the histories of their nations and communities. Visitors can tour the galleries exploring the Museum’s growing collection representing a broad diversity of indigenous cultural traditions across the U.S. and Canada, enjoy music and dance, and drop in on a variety of engaging family art-making activities. Indigenous Peoples Day is sponsored by Ameriprise Financial. Additional programming support is provided by The Lowell Institute.
Wednesday, October 30, 2019; 5–10 pm
Diwali at the MFA celebrates an ancient Festival of Lights observed around the world by many cultures and religions. On Diwali, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains light a diya (oil lamp) with family and friends, celebrating the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil. The MFA’s eighth-annual celebration includes music, dance, art making and tours of the Museum’s collection of South Asian art. The event, in part, is co-produced with SubDrift Boston. Sponsored by Chase.
Wednesday, December 18, 2019; 4–10 pm
In partnership with the Jewish Arts Collaborative (JArts) and Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston (CJP), the MFA’s sixth-annual Hanukkah celebration offers musical performances, art making, family-friendly activities and tours of MFA’s collection of Judaica. Every year a one-of-a-kind Hanukkah menorah is created by a local artists as part of a community candle-lighting. Sponsored by Chase.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Monday, January 20, 2020; 10 am–5 pm
For 18 consecutive years, Citizens Bank has sponsored the MFA’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Open House. This year, the day will mark the opening of a special exhibition featuring 20th-century art by artists of color from the Americas that was curated by Boston teens, including paid fellows from Becoming a Man (BAM), The BASE, the MFA’s Teen Arts Council (TAC), STEAM Team and two participants from the Bloomberg Arts Internship program Boston program managed by EdVestors. In addition to hearing musical performances and joining gallery tours highlighting works by artists of color, attendees can view art created by students from the MFA’s 10 Community Arts Initiative partners. In partnership with Citizens Bank. Additional programming support is provided by The Lowell Institute.
Lunar New Year
Saturday, February 1, 2020; 10 am–5 pm
Visitors can ring in the Year of the Rat as they explore Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese traditions at the MFA. The sixth-annual Lunar New Year celebration offers art activities, demonstrations and performances throughout the day. Presented in partnership with Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC), the Korean Cultural Society of Boston and the Vietnamese American Community of Massachusetts, activities include a festive Lion Dance, art making and Saebae and martial arts demonstrations. Among the finest in the world, the MFA’s collection of Asian art covers the creative achievements of more than half of the world’s population over the course of five millennia. Sponsored by Chase. Programming support is provided by The Lowell Institute.
Wednesday, March 18, 2020; 4–10 pm
Nowruz is an ancient celebration that takes place on the vernal equinox, signaling the beginning of spring. Since 2012, visitors have celebrated the Persian New Year at the MFA by learning about Nowruz traditions, exploring Persian works of art, enjoying dance performances and viewing an impressive Haft Seen display. Visitors will also have a chance to explore the MFA’s newly reinstalled and reinterpreted Arts of Islamic Cultures Gallery, which includes a large selection of works made in Iran. Presented with support from Azi Djazani, Mahmood Malihi, and Azita Bina and Elmar Seibel.
Monday, May 25, 2020; 10 am–5 pm
The MFA offers free admission, art-making activities and more every Memorial Day. Additionally, military families—active duty and veterans— receive free access and discounted membership year-round. Memorial Day is generously supported by MFA Associates/MFA Senior Associates. Supporting Sponsor is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Programming support is provided by The Lowell Institute. Military Access Program is sponsored by MFS Investment Management.
Wednesday, June 17, 2020; 5–10 pm
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Presented in partnership with The Urban Labs, The MFA’s eighth-annual celebration includes thoughtful discussion, powerful art and engaging activities featuring artists from Boston's local creative community.
Highland Street Foundation Free Fun Friday
Summer 2020; 10 am–10 pm
As a proud participant in Highland Street Foundation’s annual Free Fun Fridays program since 2008, the MFA has offered free admission for one Friday during the summer. Details about Free Fun Fridays in 2020 will be confirmed in partnership with Highland Street Foundation.
About the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Education, access and community programs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), connect visitors from Boston’s neighborhoods, New England and around the world with art. The MFA welcomes more than one million visitors annually, serving many through its learning and community engagement programs. Opportunities for free and discounted admission for students, teachers, children, EBT card holders and military personnel and veterans can be found at mfa.org/visit, including free access for college students through the MFA’s University Membership and Pozen Community College Access program. Visitors can also learn about access programming for visitors with disabilities online, which includes free entry for personal care attendants. Additionally, the MFA Citizens program offers free one-year family memberships to newly naturalized U.S. citizens living in Massachusetts. The Museum is free for all after 4 pm every Wednesday and offers 11 free community celebrations annually. Each year, the Museum welcomes approximately 55,000 students and teachers—kindergarten through high school—for school group visits. Additional educational programming includes gallery talks, lectures, artist demonstrations, studio art classes and art-making workshops for hospital patients. In 2020, the MFA is marking its 150th anniversary with a yearlong celebration of generosity, community and inclusion through a series of special events and initiatives.