US: Honor students complain of racial incidents at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts - - PressFrom - US
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USHonor students complain of racial incidents at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts

04:30  25 may  2019
04:30  25 may  2019 Source:   cnn.com

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The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston , Massachusetts, is the fifth largest museum in the United States. It contains more than 450,000 works of art

The MFA is one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world; the collection encompasses nearly 450,000 works of art . We welcome more than one million visitors each year to experience art from ancient Egyptian to contemporary, special exhibitions, and innovative educational programs.

Honor students complain of racial incidents at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts© Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe/Getty Images The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston conducted an investigation after the students reported the incidents.

"No food, no drink, no watermelon." That's what one staffer at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts allegedly told a group of black students on a field trip to the arts institution.

About 30 seventh-grade honor students from the Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy were visiting the museum last week as a reward for high academic achievement, but left feeling they were the target of harassment and racial insults.

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Typically field trips are an opportunity for students to explore the world beyond the schoolyard, but unfortunately, nearly two dozen 7th grade students at Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy Charter Public School in Dorchester, Mass., had their visit to Boston ’ s Museum of Fine Arts ruined by racist

The Museum of Fine Arts found itself under siege Thursday as educators, politicians, and civil-rights activists assailed the renowned institution over reports that minority students from a Dorchester middle school were subjected to racial insults and close security during a field trip.

"It's sad that although our students are well behaved and our teachers are well educated, that we are still seen as less than and as criminals," Marvelyne Lamy, a seventh grade English teacher at the school, wrote on Facebook about the visit.

The museum has apologized in an open letter, saying the incident does not reflect "who we are or want to be." It said the employee who greeted the group recalled saying, "no food, no drink and no water bottles," but that there is no way to confirm what was said.

The institution has also concluded an internal investigation and is taking steps to address issues that arose from the incident.

"These young people left the museum feeling disrespected, harassed and targeted because of the color of their skin, and that is unacceptable," museum Director Matthew Teitelbaum said in a statement Friday. "This is a fundamental problem that we will address as an institution, both with immediate steps and long-term commitments. I am deeply saddened that we've taken something away from these students that they will never get back."

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Boston City Councilor at Large Michelle Wu tweeted Thursday that the experience that the students and teachers described was “unacceptable.” “ Boston & our institutions need to be the wider classroom for all our kids,” Wu said in the tweet. “I look forward to seeing policy changes to ensure all feel safe

Accusations of racism at Boston ' s Museum of Fine Arts have prompted a larger conversation about how elite cultural institutions can be uncomfortable The middle schoolers also reported hearing disparaging remarks from other museum visitors. In her Facebook post, Lamy said that one student

Students of color subject to harassment and insults

The Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy is a tuition-free public charter school in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. The school says approximately 99% of the school's 216 students and 94% of staff are people of color.

Lamy says her students were visiting some exhibits to enhance what they had learned in their history class, but that says her students were treated differently than white students who were also visiting the museum. A staffer allegedly made the "no food, no drink, no watermelon" remark during an overview of what to expect in the museum.

After conducting an internal investigation that involved "reviewing extensive video footage, conducting in-depth interviews with staff and visitors, and collaborating with the school," the Boston arts institution said the employee who greeted the group recalled saying "no food, no drink and no water bottles" were allowed in the galleries.

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Museums of Boston is a group of over forty museums in the Greater Boston area. Find one museum to visit, or plan a full day’ s adventure! Museums of Boston is a collaborative organization of Greater Boston area museums dedicated to promoting the wide range of Museum of Fine Arts .

Boston ' s Museum of Fine Art took full responsibility for the incident and said they 'deeply regret The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has issued a public apology after a middle school teacher took to social media to claim her students had been subjected to racial abuse during a field trip last week.

"There is no way to definitively confirm or deny what was said or heard in the galleries," the museum said Friday. "Regardless, the MFA is committed to providing additional training for all frontline staff on how to engage with incoming school groups about policies and guidelines."

Lamy also wrote that her students were followed relentlessly by museum security, accosted for touching displays that white students touched and were subject to several racist statements.

The museum, which houses nearly 500,000 works of art and dates to 1870, said it identified other visitors who made racist comments to the students and have revoked their memberships and banned them from museum grounds. The visitors will also be served with a no-trespass cease-and-desist notification, the museum said.

After reviewing surveillance video, the museum also determined that 13 security guards patrolled the exhibits visited by the students.

"During this time, guards went on and off break and occasionally overlapped as they moved from one area or another. Based on surveillance footage, it is understandable that, because of this movement, the students felt followed. That was not our intention," the museum said.

Black students on a field trip said they were told ‘no food, no drink, no watermelon.’ Now the museum is apologizing.

Black students on a field trip said they were told ‘no food, no drink, no watermelon.’ Now the museum is apologizing. Accusations of racism at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts have prompted a larger conversation about how elite cultural institutions can be uncomfortable spaces for people of color. “The most important data is the fact that we had children leave this museum and adults feeling disrespected because of the color of their skin. That is fundamentally not okay,” Makeeba McCreary, the MFA’s chief of learning and community engagement, told the Boston Globe. “I also know this is not a once-in-a-moment occurrence.

Photo: Museum of Fine Arts , Boston . Monet’ s canvas exemplifies a trend known as Japonisme, in which European aesthetes became infatuated Stand Against Yellow-Face complains that the activity has no edifying component. “There is no education from curators or staff on the painting itself, nor the

The Nagoya/ Boston Museum of Fine Arts (N/BMFA) (名古屋ボストン美術館 Nagoya Bosuton Bijutsukan) was an art museum located in Nagoya, Japan. It was the sister museum of the Museum of Fine Arts , Boston (the MFA) and was established in partnership with the Foundation for the Arts

The museum is working on training all staff

The art museum is now looking to move forward with mandatory training for all staff on unconscious bias, conflict resolution and sexual harassment, and it said it plans to launch an employee survey to solicit feedback about the workplace. Officials at the museum have also remained in contact with leadership at the Davis Leadership Academy.

"We did get a chance to speak with the museum director today with the hopes of having a meeting later to go over the findings of the report," Christopher Coblyn, the school's interim executive director, told CNN on Friday.

Coblyn said members of the school community also got the opportunity to meet with museum officials Thursday to read impact statements and ask questions. More meetings are expected in the future, but he said it has already brought the school community together.

"We prepare our students to face incidences like this. And we prepare them to face it with confidence and their heads held high and to find strength in the community," Coblyn said.

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