MFA Boston and Citizens Bank Celebrate Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with Free Open House

MFA Boston and Citizens Bank Celebrate Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with Free Open House

Theo tin Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

BOSTON (January 4, 2019)—On Monday, January 21, 2019, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), in partnership with Citizens Bank, invites the community to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at a free open house. The annual event runs from 10 am to 5 pm, offering an array of programming throughout the day for all ages. At 12 pm, Matthew Teitelbaum, the MFA’s Ann and Graham Gund Director, will welcome Boston’s Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Jerry Sargent, president of Citizens Bank, Massachusetts, and offer remarks commemorating the life and work of Dr. King. Mayor Walsh and Teitelbaum will then be joined by the leadership of King Boston, as they announce the winners of a city-wide student essay contest for middle and high school students. Contest winners, inspired by the legacy of Dr. King and Coretta Scott King, will have the opportunity to publicly read an excerpt from their essay at the Museum. 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 and contribute to an interactive art installation presented by the MFA Teen Arts Council exploring the values of unity and liberation. Visitors can check for updates on all of the day’s activities on the MFA’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as share their own photos using #MLKDay and #mfaBoston.

Citizens Bank has sponsored the MFA’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Open House for 17 consecutive years, allowing the Museum to welcome more than 110,000 attendees for free since 2003.

“Every year we look forward to partnering with the MFA to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King,” said Jerry Sargent, president, Citizens Bank, Massachusetts. “We are inspired by his mission and are excited to welcome members of the Boston community to join us for a great day of arts and culture.”

Musical acts taking place throughout the day include a performance by Boston City Singers, a nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive music instruction to over 500 youth in the inner-city annually. Concerts by Castle of Our Skins will celebrate creativity and culture through music in pieces featuring string quartets by celebrated African-American composers. Additionally, youth string quartets from Project STEP (String Training Education Program) will perform classical compositions in the MFA’s Shapiro Family Courtyard. Project STEP’s mission addresses the imbalance of racial and ethnic minorities represented in classical music by providing musically talented children with comprehensive music and string instrument instruction through mentoring and performance opportunities.

An annual tradition, the Community Arts Initiative Partner Spotlight—on view in the Shapiro Family Courtyard—will present artworks created by students from the 10 community organizations that partner with the MFA, including five Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston located in Blue Hill, Charlestown, Chelsea, Roxbury and South Boston; Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester; West End House Boys & Girls Club of Allston-Brighton; United South End Settlement House (USES); Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC); and Vine Street Community Center. Gallery tours throughout the Art of the Americas Wing will be led by Museum-trained guides and available in English, Spanish and American Sign Language (ASL). Additionally, 15-minute Spotlight Talks will highlight John, 1st Baron Byron (2013) by Kehinde Wiley, Iago’s Mirror (2009) by Fred Wilson, a secretary desk (1841) by Thomas Day and a storage jar (1857) by Dave the Potter.

Throughout the day in an art-making activity, families can engage with the work of Allan Rohan Crite, one of the most influential African American artists of the 20th century. Visitors are invited to look closely at his painting Tire Jumping in Front of My Window (1936–47) and create their own drawing—at the MFA, everyone is an artist!

Also on view during the Open House are the exhibitions Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico and Cecilia Vicuña: Disappeared Quipu, which feature interpretation in English and Spanish. Additionally, visitors can see the exhibitions Ansel Adams in Our Time, Boston Made: Arts and Crafts Jewelry and Metalwork, Jack Bush: Radiant Abstraction, The Art of Influence: Propaganda Postcards from the Era of World Wars, Candice Breitz: Love Story, Exhibition Lab: Sargent and Fashion and Collecting Stories: Native American Art.

The 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration is one of five free Open Houses held annually at the MFA, along with Lunar New Year (Saturday, February 9), Memorial Day Open House (Monday, May 27), Highland Street Foundation’s Free Fun Friday (summer date TBD) and Fall Open House (Monday, October 14).

Open House programming is made possible in part by The Lowell Institute.

Community Arts Initiative is generously supported by the Linde Family Foundation.

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, Robert E. Schiesske, the Dean Welfare Trust, the William E. Schrafft and Bertha E. Schrafft Charitable Trust, the Adelaide Breed Bayrd Foundation, the Endowment for the Teen Arts Council, and the Paul and Edith Babson Foundation. With special thanks to Richard and Priscilla Hunt for their generous support. Sponsored by John Hancock.

About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.

Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $158.6 billion in assets as of September 30, 2018. 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 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 2,900 ATMs and approximately 1,150 branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Consumer Banking products and services include a full range of banking, lending, savings, wealth management and small business offerings. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers corporate, institutional and not-for-profit clients a full range of wholesale banking products and services, including lending and deposits, capital markets, treasury services, foreign exchange and interest rate products and asset finance. More information is available at or visit us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

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 or follow the MFA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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