BOSTON (July 18, 2019)—The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), has announced a new partnership with Becoming a Man (BAM) and The BASE to host four paid Boston teen scholars at the Museum. The Boston teens will curate an exhibition featuring Modern art by American artists of color with the MFA’s Teen Arts Council (TAC), STEAM Team and two participants from the Bloomberg Arts Internship Boston program managed by EdVestors. The exhibition will open on January 20—the MFA’s free Martin Luther King Jr. Community Day—and will be a centerpiece of celebrations marking the MFA’s 150th anniversary in 2020.
The young scholars will be mentored by Layla Bermeo, the MFA’s Kristin and Roger Servison Associate Curator of Paintings, Art of the Americas, and partner with curators and colleagues across the Museum as they participate in a series of workshops that build curatorial skills, such as research, label writing and gallery design. These skills will enable the interns to develop the themes of the exhibition, select and study the works of art, and collaborate on the design, interpretation and programming. These new teen programs have been developed by the MFA’s division of Learning and Community Engagement—established in early 2019 and led by Makeeba McCreary, the Patti and Jonathan Kraft Chief of Learning and Community Engagement—which aims to boldly combine art and ideas with a commitment to welcoming new and diverse audiences.
“I cannot think of two better organizations to partner with that express shared values of respect and trust. Together, we will celebrate visitors and employees from all backgrounds and create new opportunities for learning and community engagement,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director of the MFA. “Diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to the MFA and this program is another exciting example of our values and our work.”
The MFA partnership with BAM and The BASE will offer four paid jobs to young Bostonians. Overseen by McCreary, the program will create the opportunity for two men and two women of color to develop skills in collaborative curatorial work and be exposed to the processes, challenges and decisions involved in organizing exhibitions. BAM’s model is the creation of a safe space in which boys are free to explore the challenges in their lives. By teaching young people to “think about their thinking,” BAM participants develop a future orientation, and the skills necessary to resolve conflicts, express themselves positively, practice integrity in their daily interactions, and set ambitious goals for their futures.
“The MFA has made significant progress towards their commitment of becoming a more welcoming institution, as evidenced by hiring Makeeba McCreary as the Chief of Learning and Community Engagement earlier this year,” said Shawn Brown, Executive Director, BAM Boston. “Now, they continue to expand upon this work by committing time, energy and resources towards ensuring opportunities for Boston’s young people. BAM prioritizes building relationships with community organizations, and this meaningful employment will be a powerful opportunity for our scholars this summer.”
The BASE model plays a key role in shifting the national mindset and re-imagining pathways to success for urban youth. The BASE combines exceptional baseball and softball training and competition with academic and career resources to empower student-athletes to achieve their full potential both on and off the field.
“The BASE is extremely excited to be a part of this extraordinary opportunity with the Museum of Fine Arts,” said Robert Lewis Jr., Founder and President of The BASE. “This partnership program will provide our two student athletes with experience and access to a future career in the fine arts.”
The MFA’s division of Learning and Community Engagement leads innovative learning and engagement opportunities for a variety of audiences—creating reciprocal relationships between the MFA and visitors, students, partners and the community at large. Since 2006, the Teen Arts Council (TAC) has been the MFA’s leadership development program and paid job opportunity for Boston-area teens. The TAC offers participants the opportunity to engage with art, culture and history; develop workplace and team building skills; and learn about a range of professional options and career paths. The MFA’s STEAM Team is a paid fellowship for Boston teens that builds upon the STEAM education platform (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math). Introduced in July 2017, this pioneering pre-college program offers a unique opportunity for teens to interact with staff mentors, professionals across the Museum who are experts in each of the STEAM disciplines. New this summer, the MFA will also host two participants from the Bloomberg Arts Internship program.
“The MFA is committed to lead efforts toward diversity in museum employment. We believe this work begins with a teen program which provides paid opportunities for young people from our communities to experience the wide range of career possibilities in the arts,” said McCreary. “We believe that the program design and resourcing we are developing with BAM and The BASE are necessary to diversify audiences and staff in the museum world today. The MFA should reflect the racial, ethnic and socio-economic talent of Boston, and these partnerships are one more way we can work toward that goal.”
More details on the exhibition will be announced later this fall.
The MFA STEAM Team is generously supported by Joyce Linde.
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, the Paul and Edith Babson Foundation, and the MFA’s Gallery Instructor Associates. Sponsored by John Hancock.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Day at the MFA is sponsored by Citizens Bank.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), is recognized for the quality and scope of its collection, representing all cultures and time periods. The Museum has more than 140 galleries displaying its encyclopedic collection, which includes Art of the Americas; Art of Europe; Contemporary Art; Art of Asia; Art of Africa and Oceania; Art of Ancient Greece and Rome; Art of Ancient Egypt, Nubia and the Near East; Prints and Drawings; Photography; Textile and Fashion Arts; and Musical Instruments. Open seven days a week, the MFA’s hours are Saturday through Tuesday, 10 am–5 pm; and Wednesday through Friday, 10 am–10 pm. Admission (which includes one repeat visit within 10 days) is $25 for adults and $23 for seniors and students age 18 and older, and includes entry to all galleries and special exhibitions. Admission is free for University Members and youths age 17 and younger. Wednesday nights after 4 pm admission is by voluntary contribution (suggested donation $25), while five Open Houses offer the opportunity to visit the Museum for free. The Museum’s mobile MFA Guide is available at ticket desks and the Sharf Visitor Center for $5, members; $6, non-members; and $4, youths. The Museum is closed on New Year’s Day, Patriots’ Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The MFA is located on the Avenue of the Arts at 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. For more information, call 617.267.9300, visit mfa.org or follow the MFA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.