MFA Boston to Celebrate Juneteenth with Free Outdoor Activities, "Summer of Soul" Screening and Virtual Panel

Museum Admission Free for All in Honor of Juneteenth

BOSTON (May 21, 2021)—On June 19, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), is hosting a day of outdoor programs to celebrate Juneteenth—the oldest nationally recognized commemoration of the ending of slavery in the U.S.—and honor the contributions of Black artists, scholars and creative voices to the City of Boston. Drop-in activities will include art making, Spotlight Talks focused on artwork by the MFA’s artist-in-residence Rob Stull and musical performances curated by BAMS Fest, hosted by D.Ruff and featuring The Confirmation Band, Kasia Lavon, Aleecya Foreman and SeeFour. In the evening, the MFA will host a free outdoor screening of Summer of Soul, presented in partnership with the Roxbury International Film Festival, before the film’s wide release in theaters and on Hulu on July 2. Outdoor activities will be open to all, and free timed-entry tickets for Museum admission—including special exhibition tickets to see Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation and Monet and Boston: Legacy Illuminated—will be available to reserve online starting at 10 am on June 15.

Juneteenth is sponsored by Chase. Additional programming support is provided by The Lowell Institute. Sunset Cinema is sponsored by Chase. The Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Film Program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is funded by the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation.

“Our first in-person celebration in over a year will offer an incredible opportunity for Bostonians to gather together as a community," said Makeeba McCreary, Patti and Jonathan Kraft Chief of Learning and Community Engagement. "We’re grateful to be able to mark Juneteenth with BAMS Fest and the Roxbury International Film Festival, and look forward to working toward a brighter future for our city.”

Additionally, on June 16 at 6 pm, the MFA will host "Disruption by Design: A New Path to Liberation," a virtual conversation with BIPOC leaders. Panelists include Bithiah Carter, president of New England Blacks In Philanthropy; D’Wayne Edwards, founder of PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy; Betty Francisco, CEO of Boston Impact Initiative; Makeeba McCreary, Patti and Jonathan Kraft Chief of Learning and Community Engagement at the MFA; and Victor “Marka27” Quiñonez, artist and co-founder of Street Theory. The panelists will discuss the need for disruption in their industries, their personal stories of seeking and achieving liberation in their careers, the impact they hope to make with their own positive disruption, and what liberation looks like on individual and collective levels.

The free outdoor screening of Summer of Soul—a stunning documentary from director Questlove featuring unearthed footage from the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival—is part of the 23rd annual Roxbury International Film Festival (June 17–26) which takes place virtually on and in person this year. ROXFILM is the largest festival in New England dedicated to celebrating films by, for and about people of color. Free snacks during the outdoor screening will be provided by Chase.

“The MFA is at the forefront of recognizing critical cultural moments and Chase is honored to support the organization and its programming celebrating Juneteenth,” said Sabrina Correia, VP, Community Manager at Chase. "Chase is a proud sponsor of the MFA and has invested in their cultural, artistic and community programming since 2019. As Chase expands in Massachusetts, the MFA is a terrific partner whose work aligns with the firm’s values and efforts to support the community. We are committed to strengthening the economic foundation of the Black community by hiring Black talent, developing Black leadership and investing in Black businesses and households to improve the financial health of Black communities around the world, including right here in Boston.”

On June 19, the Museum will also provide transportation between the MFA, the National Center for Afro-American Artists and the Blair Lot in Nubian Square, where free activities and performances will take place as part of the premiere of Ifé Franklin’s film The Slave Narrative of Willie Mae.

Juneteenth dates back to June 19, 1865, when news of the Civil War’s end reached Galveston, Texas—nearly two and a half years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. The MFA has hosted a community celebration marking the holiday since 2013.

About the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Founded on February 4, 1870, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), stands on the historic homelands of the Massachusett people, a site which has long served as a place of meeting and exchange among different nations. The Museum opened its doors to the public on July 4, 1876—the nation’s centennial—at its original location in Copley Square. Over the next several decades, the MFA’s collection and visitation grew exponentially, and in 1909, the Museum moved to its current home on Huntington Avenue. Today, the MFA houses a global collection encompassing nearly 500,000 works of art, from ancient to contemporary.

The Museum is located at 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. For more information, call 617.267.9300, visit or follow the MFA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Karen Frascona