Reena Saini Kallat, Woven Chronicle, 2011–2016. Electrical wires, speakers, circuit boards, and fittings; single-channel audio (10:00 minutes), approx. 11 x 38 feet (335.3 x 1158.2 cm). Installation view, When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, 2019. Courtesy the artist and Nature Morte, New Delhi. Photo by Mel Taing © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY
Schedule includes a community-based project by Boston-based artist Anthony Romero; a deep dive into art and poetry featuring writers from Mass Poetry; and Suitcase Stories Unpacked, an ICA Forum presented in partnership with the International Institute of New England
(Boston, MA—October 18, 2019) On October 23, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) opens When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art, a significant and timely exhibition that explores how contemporary artists are responding to the migration, immigration, and displacement of peoples today, in works ranging from personal accounts to poetic meditations. A robust schedule of exhibition-related programming—including artist and curator talks, performance events, community gatherings, film screenings, and family programs—accompany the ICA’s presentation of When Home Won’t Let You Stay. See icaboston.org for more information.
The ICA invited Boston-based artist, organizer, and educator Anthony Romero to create …first in thought, then in action, a project that expands ideas, questions, and provocations beyond the museum’s walls. Romero has developed the project over the past year, with a focus on East Boston, organizing a series of listening sessions and community gatherings to collect local histories of activism, migration, and displacement from East Boston perspectives. At the ICA, he premieres a new sculpture and sound piece as well as a corresponding series of public talks, conversations, and performances with local organizers and community members that touch on gentrification, housing, and displacement.
…first in thought, then in action: Stable Ground: Anti-Displacement Lab with NuLawLab of Northeastern University School of Law
Thu, Nov 14, 6–7:30 PM
Sat, Jan 11, 2–3:30 PM
Throughout Boston, property (re)development is transforming neighborhoods, contributing to displacement of long-term residents, and exacerbating housing insecurity. Additionally, a lack of transparency around planning and development processes means that few area residents are able to participate effectively in the public development review process run by the Boston Planning & Development Agency. This interactive and entertaining training aims to provide local residents with the knowledge, resources, and skills to ensure that their voices are heard in formal neighborhood and city planning. Come to a learning session and help build a civic education strategy for Boston at the same time.
…first in thought, then in action: Teens Perform
Sun, Dec 1, 2–3 PM
Join us for an afternoon of musical performances by East Boston Teens. The event is produced by ICA teens in collaboration with ZUMIX, an East Boston-based nonprofit organization dedicated to building community through music and creative technology.
…first in thought, then in action: East Boston Perspectives on Immigration
Thu, Dec 19, 6–7:30 PM
Often referred to as Boston’s “Ellis Island,” East Boston has long been home to immigrant communities who are crucial to the development of the social, economic, and cultural life of the neighborhood. The intersecting histories of migration and community-building will be the subject of a dialogue between Matt Cameron, Co-Director and Public Policy Advisor of Golden Stairs Immigration Center, which provides life-changing legal services to vulnerable non-citizens, and Patricia Montes, Executive Director of Centro Presente, which is dedicated to immigrant rights, community organizing, and basic services for the Latin American immigrant community of Massachusetts.
…first in thought, then in action: East Boston in Focus with Lydia Edwards
Thu, Jan 16, 7–8:30 PM
Join us for an in-depth look at some of the challenges and opportunities faced by East Boston residents and their representatives, including the creation of living-wage jobs, concerns about transportation, and the need for expanded civic and recreational spaces, health care facilities, and schools. Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards is joined by local community organizers for a discussion of the impacts of housing uncertainty and redevelopment in East Boston. Speakers include Gloribell Mota, Co-Director and Lead Coordinator for Neighbors United for a Better East Boston, an organization focused on advocating for inclusive democratic processes and just public policies to create a vibrant economy and environment for all East Boston, as well as organizers from City Life / Vida Urbano, a grassroots community organization committed to fighting for racial, social, and economic justice and gender equality by building working class power.
…first in thought, then in action: Performance and Celebration with Anthony Romero and collaborators
Sun, Jan 26, 2–4 PM
Artist and organizer Anthony Romero and project collaborators join Ruth Erickson, ICA Mannion Family Curator, for a culminating performance and discussion of …first in thought, then in action, a community engagement and performance project commissioned as part of the exhibition When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art. Together they will celebrate the resiliency of those facing and resisting various forms of displacement. Followed by a reception open to the public.
A Wall Is a Wall: Short Film Program
Sun, Nov 10, 2 PM
Sun, Dec 1, 3 PM
Mon, Jan 20, 11 AM
A short film program presented in conjunction with When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art. The selection presents abstract meditations on, and sobering documentation of, border walls and the lived experiences of those who journey from one side to another. Featuring films by Josh Begley, Skye Fitzgerald, Ann Marie Fleming, Caroline Monnet, Michelle Angela Ortiz, Fabio Palmieri, and Eavvon O’Neal / Downtown Boys. Note: on Monday, January 20, the films will play on a loop from 11 AM to 4 PM. Runtime 92 minutes. FREE with museum admission.
The Artist’s Voice: Michelle Ortiz
Thu, Oct 24, 7 PM
Artist Michelle Angela Ortiz’s Familias Separadas project amplifies the voices of families affected by separation and detention through large-scale public art works. Over the years, Ortiz has utilized cinema screens, building walls, and even a street in front of an ICE agency office to share stories of individuals who are often dehumanized within existing narratives on immigration. Ortiz shares her experiences as both an artist and activist living in today’s contentious and divisive state where immigration is a focal point in political rhetoric. Eva Respini, the ICA’s Barbara Lee Chief Curator and co-organizer of When Home Won’t Let You Stay, moderates this discussion. This program is organized in conjunction with When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art where Ortiz’s work is included.
Thu, Oct 24, 5:30–8:30 PM
Thu, Dec 5, 5:30–8:30 PM
Throughout Massachusetts, numerous non-profit organizations dedicate their efforts to assist people who have recently migrated to this region. Come learn directly from organizations and individuals who are on the ground working with immigrants, migrants and refugees and whose understanding of evolving government policies can increase your own understanding on US immigration issues.
Deep Dive: Art & Poetry
Sat, Oct 26, 10:30 AM–12:30 PM
Sun, Nov 10, 10:30 AM–12:30 PM
Sun, Dec 8, 10:30 AM–12:30 PM
Writers from Mass Poetry including Jamele Adams, Martha Collins, and Enzo Silon Surin provide basic tools and exercises to get you started composing your own poetry and seeing the art on view at the ICA through a new lens. This drop-in activity will focus on art in the exhibition When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art. Open to all ages and abilities, all materials provided. Note: the October 26 program is geared to family audiences.
ASL Tour: When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art
Sun, Oct 27, 2:30 PM
Discover our feature exhibition in this interactive tour led by an ICA tour guide and interpreted in American Sign Language.
ICA Forum: Suitcase Stories Unpacked
Thu, Nov 7, 7 PM
The ICA partners with the International Institute of New England (IINE) to present their Suitcase Stories program, featuring both foreign- and U.S.-born local residents sharing inspiring stories of refugee and immigrant life in conjunction with the exhibition When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art. Enjoy a live performance by three storytellers followed by a talk back about Suitcase Stories and the importance of amplifying immigrant and refugee voices.
Gallery Talk: Luz Zambrano on Aliza Nisenbaum
Sun, Nov 10, 2 PM
Aliza Nisenbaum’s paintings in the exhibition When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art depict the daily life of a family of undocumented immigrants. Join local community organizer, Luz Zambrano, who helps provide resources for refugees as she shares her insights into these works exploring home and belonging. Zambrano is the Co-Director for the Center to Support Immigrant Organizing in Boston.
Gallery Talk: Oliver De La Paz on Reena Saini Kallat
Sun, Dec 8, 2 PM
Join poet Oliver De La Paz as he shares his insights on Reena Saini Kallat’s Woven Chronicle, on view in the exhibition When Home Won’t Let you Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art. Kallat’s work uses electric wire and a modified map to plot just some of the many paths in the history of human migration. Oliver De La Paz is the author of five collections of poetry and the English Department at College of the Holy Cross Creative Writing, Program Coordinator.
Curator Tour: Ruth Erickson on When Home Won’t Let You Stay
Thu, Dec 12, 6 PM
Join Ruth Erickson, Mannion Family Curator, as she explores diverse artistic responses to the subject of migration in a tour titled “Belonging and Belongings,” presented in conjunction with When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art. The discussion will touch upon works by Rineke Dijkstra, Camilo Ontiveros, Richard Misrach, Carlos Motta, and Yinka Shonibare.
Curator Tour: Eva Respini on When Home Won’t Let You Stay
Thu, Jan 16, 6 PM
Join Eva Respini, Barbara Lee Chief Curator, as she explores diverse artistic responses to the subject of migration presented in conjunction with When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art. The discussion will touch upon theme of water as a site for migration and its relationship to our site on the harbor.
ICA Play Date: Home Is Where…
Sat, Oct 26
Activities: 10:30 AM–4 PM
Kids rule the ICA the last Saturday of every month, when the museum fills up with fun, creative, and even zany activities for kids and adults to do together. Experience the new exhibition When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art and engage in creative activities inspired by the theme of home. We will be collaborating with Mass Poetry and poet Jamele Adams will perform and lead a family-focused workshop.
ICA Play Date: Tell Me a Story
Sat, Nov 30
Activities: 10:30 AM–4 PM
Kids rule the ICA the last Saturday of every month, when the museum fills up with fun, creative, and even zany activities for kids and adults to do together. Inspired by the stories told in When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art, we invite people of all ages to connect with themselves and each other through making and creating.
ICA Play Date: We Belong
Sat, Jan 25
Activities: 10:30 AM–4 PM
Kids rule the ICA the last Saturday of every month, when the museum fills up with fun, creative, and even zany activities for kids and adults to do together. Say goodbye to our exhibition When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art during its final weekend and join Boston-based social justice project Wee the People, as they explore stories of migration, home, loss, and belonging through storytelling and making. This workshop will feature an interactive story time, kids’ open mic, and culture-specific activities.
Fall Teen Night
Fri, Oct 25, 6–9 PM
Join the ICA Teen Arts Council—15 students from Boston-area high schools—for an unforgettable Teen Night! Organized by teens for teens, the evening features teen-led art tours, art-making activities, and youth performances. FREE for teens.
Support for When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art is generously provided by Paul and Catherine Buttenwieser, Steve Corkin and Dan Maddalena, Alan and Vivien Hassenfeld, Kristen and Kent Lucken, the Poss Family Foundation, and Mark and Marie Schwartz.
Anthony Romero’s …first in thought, then action is supported, in part, by Robert Nagle, a Live Arts Boston grant from the Boston Foundation, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.
Play Dates are sponsored by Vivien and Alan Hassenfeld and the Hassenfeld Family Foundation.
Tours and workshops are supported, in part, by The Willow Tree Fund and the Raymond T. & Ann T. Mancini Family Foundation.
Lead support for Teen Programs provided by Wagner Foundation.
Teen Programs are made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Award Number MA-10-19-0390-19.
The ICA’s Teen Arts Council and Teen Nights are generously sponsored by Vertex and MFS Investment Management and are made possible, in part, through the Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative, funded by the Walton Family Foundation and the Ford Foundation.
Additional support is provided by the Surdna Foundation; Rowland Foundation, Inc.; The Corkin Family; the William E. Schrafft and Bertha E. Schrafft Charitable Trust; The Willow Tree Fund; the Robert Lehman Foundation; the Deborah Munroe Noonan Memorial Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee; the Plymouth Rock Foundation; the Jean Gaulin Foundation; and the Thomas Anthony Pappas Charitable Foundation, Inc.