Previously scheduled programs at the ICA Watershed, including new commission by Firelei Báez, postponed to summer 2021

(Boston, MA – May 29, 2020) Jill Medvedow, the Ellen Matilda Poss Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA), announced today that the museum will continue to use the Watershed, its seasonal space in East Boston, as a food distribution site through September 3, 2020. In partnership with community organizations in East Boston and the museum’s caterer, The Catered Affair, over 2,000 boxes of much-needed fresh produce and dairy will be delivered to East Boston families by the end of the summer. The Watershed’s previously scheduled programming, including a new site-specific installation by artist Firelei Báez, will be postponed until 2021. 

With the cooperation of Firelei Báez, our East Boston partners, ICA staff and generous donors, we are redirecting resources of the ICA and the Watershed in particular to address a direct need within the community,” said Medvedow. “Art projects are included in each box of food to provide families with new and creative activities to do at home during this challenging time. While disappointing that we will not open the Watershed this summer as planned, this is the safest way for the museum to stay connected and serve our audiences at this time.

The food donation initiative is a collaboration between the ICA and several East Boston organizations: East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC); East Boston Social Centers; Maverick Landing Community Services; Eastie Farm; Orient Heights Housing Development; and Crossroads Family Center. East Boston has experienced one of the highest rates of COVID-19 in the city of Boston. The ICA was alerted to the need for fresh produce and healthy food through conversations with its community partners in East Boston. The museum reached out to its caterer, The Catered Affair, who offered to donate their labor in creating fresh food boxes for distribution. 

The Watershed was scheduled to open the 2020 season with a new commission by acclaimed artist Firelei Báez; the exhibition will now be on view in 2021. In her largest installation to date, Báez will reimagine the Watershed’s gallery space as the site of an ancient ruin, as though the sea had receded from the floor to reveal the archeology of human history in the Caribbean. An interactive art project by artist Stephen Hamilton, previously scheduled for the Watershed’s Harbor Room, will also take place in 2021.

About the Watershed

On July 4, 2018, the ICA opened to the public its new ICA Watershed, expanding artistic and educational programming on both sides of Boston Harbor—the Seaport and East Boston. Located in the Boston Harbor Shipyard and Marina, the ICA Watershed transformed a 15,000-square-foot, formerly condemned space into a vast and welcoming space to see and experience large-scale art. Admission to the Watershed—central to the museum’s vision for art and civic life—is free for all. The Watershed opened its inaugural year with an immersive installation by Diana Thater and its second year, 2019, with the U.S. premiere of John Akomfrah’s Purple.

About the ICA

Since its founding in 1936, the ICA has shared the pleasures of reflection, inspiration, imagination, and provocation that contemporary art offers with its audiences. A museum at the intersection of contemporary art and civic life, the ICA has advanced a bold vision for amplifying the artist’s voice and augmenting art’s role as educator, incubator, and convener for social engagement. Its innovative exhibitions, performances, and educational programs provide access to contemporary art, artists, and the creative process, inviting audiences of all ages and backgrounds to participate in the excitement of new art and ideas. The ICA is located at 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA, 02210. The Watershed is located at 256 Marginal Street, East Boston, MA 02128. For more information, call 617-478-3100 or visit our website at Follow the ICA at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.