Newly Established Position Will be Critical in Delivering on MFA Promise to be a Museum that Belongs to All of Boston
BOSTON (September 3, 2020)—The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), has announced that Rosa Rodriguez-Williams has been appointed as the MFA’s first-ever Senior Director of Belonging and Inclusion. The newly established position will play a critical role in delivering on the MFA’s promise to be a Museum for all of Boston. In her role, Rodriguez-Williams will empower others within the MFA to prioritize inclusion as a key practice in their own work, creating an internal culture that places a priority on visitor experience.
“Rosa’s deep experience and passion for equity and inclusion will be invaluable as we continue our important work in ensuring a true sense of belonging at the MFA,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director. “She will be integral in reimagining how we welcome and engage historically underrepresented audiences, truly reflecting the communities we serve. This is one of the most important issues for museums in the 21st century, and I look forward to working alongside her to achieve our goal of becoming open and accessible."
Rodriguez-Williams will begin at the Museum on September 9 and will report to Makeeba McCreary, Patti and Jonathan Kraft Chief of Learning and Community Engagement (LCE). The Museum’s LCE Division is instrumental in making the MFA a center of cultural activity, understanding and connections. She will be a key voice in providing staff the tools needed to place the MFA on a path that leads to audience engagement, inclusion and belonging.
“This moment in time in our country reinforces the powerful opportunity that the MFA has to heal, learn and celebrate the many stories within our collection,” said McCreary. “Visitors will know the MFA as a place where the critical conversations of the day can take place in the presence of, inspired by, and provoked by the world’s greatest art.”
For more than a decade, Rodriguez-Williams served as the Director of the Latinx Student Cultural Center at Northeastern University, promoting recruitment, retention and development of Latinx and Latin American students. As a member of the University’s Cultural Life Team, Rodriguez-Williams contributed to creating an inclusive community, in particular for individuals with marginalized identities, first generation, and undocumented/DACAmented students. She facilitated dialogues and workshops about power, privilege and implicit bias.
“I am both honored and excited to be joining the MFA, and to be part of an institution that acknowledges its struggle with inclusion,” said Rodriguez-Williams. “The MFA is rising up to the present moment with a desire to reimagine and reinvent itself with the goal of achieving an inclusive experience that represents the beauty of the diversity represented in every neighborhood in this city. Places like the MFA belong to all of us. To those who haven’t believed this in the past, join me in believing it for today and the future.”
Born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Rodriguez-Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a master’s degree in social work from Boston College Graduate School of Social Work.