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Indigenous Peoples’ Day at the MFA

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Venue:Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA)
Dates:Monday, October 9, 2023 - Monday, October 9, 2023
Hours:10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Ages:Toddlers, Kids, Teens, Adults
Cost:Free see below
Category:Arts & Culture

indigenous peoples day at the mfa photoEnjoy free admission all day and special events at MFA Boston’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebration.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), is offering free admission to Massachusetts residents in celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which honors the heritage of Native Americans and Indigenous peoples and the histories of their many nations and communities.

Free admission will include access to the special exhibition Fashioned by Sargent, gallery tours, engaging art-making activities and more.

All events and activities—taking place from 10 am to 5 pm—are free:

Events and Activities:

Resource Fair | 10 am–4 pm
Local partners the North American Indian Center of Boston (NAICOB), United American Indians of New England, Indigenous Peoples’ Day Massachusetts and Italian Americans for Indigenous Peoples’ Day share information about their work and organizations.

Drop-In Art Making: Pottery | 10 am–4 pm
Learn how to create your own pottery, inspired by the many traditions of pottery making in Native North America. This activity was created in consultation with Mashpee Wampanoag artist Haley Peters.

Free Guided Tours | 11 am, Noon and 1 pm
Experience the Museum on a free, 60-minute guided tour. Led by knowledgeable guides, look closely at artwork across the MFA’s collections. Learn more about old favorites and discover something new! No registration is required. Participants of all ages and experiences are welcome.

Remarks and Land Acknowledgment | 11 am
Hear from Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director; Marina Tyquiengco (CHamoru), Ellyn McColgan Associate Curator of Native American Art and Jenny Oliver (Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag), Head of Dance Performance at Tufts University, as they welcome you to Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Performance by Hawk Henries | 11:30 am and 2 pm
Hawk Henries is an artist, composer and flute musician of the Chaubunagungamaug band of Nipmuc. He expertly crafts Eastern Woodlands flutes through ancestral and contemporary techniques. Through music, discussion and a note of humor, his transformative performances create contemplative spaces for unity and meaningful reflection on how we have the capacity to make change in the world.

Art-Making Demo by Haley Peters | Noon and 3 pm
Haley Peters (Mashpee Wampanoag) utilizes traditional techniques of pinching and coiling clay to create forms that reference historic Eastern Woodland vessels. Inspired by how historical vessels were made, they often find joy in exaggerating and pushing these forms and methods to extremes.

Community Perspective: Penobscot Powder Horn | 12:30 pm
Alexandra Moleski (Penobscot) highlights a Penobscot powder horn on view in the Native North American Art Gallery. Alexandra graduated from Simmons University with a bachelor’s in public history and has a personal connection to Indigenous history. She is currently security operations project manager of the Protective Services department at the MFA.

Community Perspective: Diné Belongings and Stories | 1 pm
Shandiin Brown (Diné), Rhode Island School of Design Henry Luce Curatorial Fellow for Native American Art, highlights Diné belongings and stories in “A Little Bit of the Southwest.” Brown is a curator, creative and citizen of the Navajo Nation from Arizona and a graduate of Dartmouth College.

Community Perspective: Guinaiya and Care | 2:30 pm
Marina Tyquiengco (CHamoru), Ellyn McColgan Associate Curator of Native American Art, highlights and addresses the many forms of guinaiya (love) and care featured in CHamoru artist Gisela Charfauros McDaniel’s Tiningo’ si Sirena.

Screening of Hot Water Over Raised Fists: A Closer Look at Belonging | 1:30 and 2:30 pm
Drawing on the legacy of resilience among Black Indigenous people and the artists’ desire to heal, mend and deepen their connection to each other as Black Native women who belong to these lands, this choreographed film responds to the questions of belonging raised in the narratives written and voiced by the artists. Filmmakers Jenny Oliver and sadada jackson weave a complex tapestry that expresses their identities, relationship to place and relationship to each other. Hot Water Over Raised Fists: A Closer Look at Belonging (14 mins., 2021) lays out the way they and their ancestors have lived in relationship to land that favors connection and belonging over unabated expansion and settlement.

Enjoy music and dance, drop in on a variety of engaging family art-making activities, and more. Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognizes and honors the heritage of Native Americans and Indigenous peoples and the histories of their many nations and communities.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day at the MFA is part of the Fenway Alliance's Opening Our Doors Festival, a celebration of the Fenway Cultural District.

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Free Admission



465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA map
Phone: (617) 267-9300

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