MFA Boston and Citizens Celebrate Juneteenth with Free Open House

Eleventh annual event offers free admission all day for Massachusetts residents

BOSTON (May 23, 2023)—On Monday, June 19, 2023, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), and longstanding partner Citizens invite the community to enjoy a free open house honoring Juneteenth, the oldest nationally recognized commemoration of the ending of slavery in the U.S. Drop-in activities include art making; music, dance and poetry performances; and a City Talks discussion about the legacy and future of Juneteenth. Running from 10 am to 5 pm, the event offers free admission including access to Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence for Massachusetts residents—tickets will be available in person on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We are honored to host our 11th-annual Juneteenth event celebrating the contributions of Black artists, scholars and creative voices,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director. “It is truly inspiring to have thousands of visitors spend the day with us to experience the Museum and participate in such meaningful programming. We’re grateful to Citizens for their longstanding partnership and to all the artists who make the open house possible.”

“It’s a pleasure for Citizens to support unique platforms that celebrate and amplify Black voices,” said Lisa Murray, president, Massachusetts, Citizens. “Our partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, for this year’s Juneteenth event showcases our commitment and ongoing pledge to building a more diverse and sustainable future for all.”

Juneteenth is one of four annual open houses where admission is free to all Massachusetts residents: Memorial Day (May 29, 2023), Juneteenth (June 19, 2023), Indigenous Peoples’ Day (October 9, 2023), and Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 15, 2024). The MFA has hosted a celebration marking Juneteenth since 2013.

Exhibitions on View

The open house runs from 10 am to 5 pm, inviting visitors to explore more than a dozen exhibitions on view, including Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina and Touching Roots: Black Ancestral Legacies in the Americas. On view through July 9, Hear Me Now honors the work and legacy of the enslaved men, women and children who crafted stoneware storage vessels in Old Edgefield for roughly 50 years before emancipation. In the MFA’s Art of the Americas Wing, Touching Roots traces narratives of Blackness across the Atlantic world—with a special focus on those from or working in New England, like Allan Rohan Crite, Ifé Franklin and Stephen Hamilton.

Events and Activities

Drop-In Art Making: Pottery

10 am–4 pm, Huntington Avenue Lawn (rain location: Druker Studios, Linde Family Wing)

Using air-dry clay, attendees can create a decorative pot or bowl inspired by Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina.

Sponsored by the Arbella Insurance Foundation.

Resource Fair

10 am–4 pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard

Visitors can drop by to meet representatives from Big Sister Boston, the MFA, and more to learn about the resources and programs they offer.

Just Joy: Story Time

11 am–4 pm (story time every 15 minutes), Riley Seminar Room

Visitors are invited to drop by to meet the owner of Lit for Black Kids, an online bookstore and literary advocacy organization, and participate in literary experiences all day. Visitors can see the Just Joy installation, enjoy story time and pick up limited-quantity Lit swag.


2:15 and 3:30 pm, Edward H. Linde Gallery (Gallery 168)

Poet and artist Golden presents a call-and-response performance that maps Black un-American lineage, responding to the exhibition Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina. Golden will use the work of the enslaved potters and poets featured in the exhibition, conversations with their own family in Maryland and Virginia, as well as photographic self-portraits as portals to consider Black life.

Abilities Dance

1:30 and 2:30 pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard

Abilities Dance, a local dance company that promotes intersectional disability rights in the greater Boston area and beyond, presents two performances featuring music by Andrew Choe.

The City Talks: The Legacy and Future of Juneteenth

1:30 and 2:30 pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard

Visitors can join Boston-based students, thinkers and programs leaders for a youth-focused discussion centered on the legacy and future activism of Juneteenth.


  • Luz Juliana Marquez, ZUMIX participant
  • Akilah Villers-Jean, MFA Teen Arts Council member
  • Nia Nolan, Artist for Humanity Teen Artist
  • Moderated by Corey DePina, Program Director of Zumix and Teaching Artist

Collective Resistance, Memory, and Freedom

3:30 pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard

Composer and producer Walter Robinson shares live concert excerpts from his prize-winning gospel folk opera Look What a Wonder about the life of Denmark Vesey, who was born into slavery in the 18th century and became a community leader and activist.

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

About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.

Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $222.3 billion in assets as of March 31, 2023. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. Citizens helps its customers reach their potential by listening to them and by understanding their needs in order to offer tailored advice, ideas and solutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens provides an integrated experience that includes mobile and online banking, a full-service customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,400 ATMs and more than 1,100 branches in 14 states and the District of Columbia. Consumer Banking products and services include a full range of banking, lending, savings, wealth management and small business offerings. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers a broad complement of financial products and solutions, including lending and leasing, deposit and treasury management services, foreign exchange, interest rate and commodity risk management solutions, as well as loan syndication, corporate finance, merger and acquisition, and debt and equity capital markets capabilities. More information is available at or visit us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.


Sarah Drumm