Visitors can experience the art of summer at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) this season with an exciting line-up of exhibitions, performances, outdoor art, and events. Tickets for events and programs are on sale to members on Tuesday, May 9; and Thursday, May 11 for non-members. Visit for complete schedule and details.


JULY 6 – AUGUST 31 | 6-8:30 PM
On ICA Free Thursday nights, visitors can enjoy outdoor concerts on the waterfront as part of Harborwalk Sounds, a collaboration between the ICA and Berklee College of Music. These popular evenings include free admission to the galleries, free concerts by some of Berklee College of Music’s best bands, and summer-inspired food and drink.

Kickstart the weekend every Friday at the ICA. From July through Labor Day, every Friday offers waterfront music, dancing, and the best vibes in the city.  The museum’s popular First Fridays program (June 2, July 7, Aug 4) is rounded out with DJ nights featuring artists such as Devendra Banhart, Spinderella, and Baio (of Vampire Weekend).

The first Friday of every month from 5 to 10 PM is an evening of art, music, fun activities, specialty cocktails, and dancing all night. FREE for members. $15 for nonmember advance purchases / $20 day-of.

  • JUNE 2 | HOT HOT HOT: A preview of Boston Caribbean Fashion Week, a harborside cocktail, Island Creek Oysters, and an al fresco dance party with DJ Mikey D.
  • JULY 7 | SUMMER POP: The magnetic Ed Balloon, a Boston-based musician who splits R&B and rap with a heavy dose of glam-pop, plus a few ice-cold brews.
  • AUG 4 | WHITE HOT VOL 4: A harborside dance party, oysters on the half shell, and a refreshing cocktail to match white outfits.

FRIDAYS JULY 14–AUG 25*| 6:30–10 PM
$5 ICA members/$15 general admission unless otherwise noted
Big-name DJ dance parties, vibrant art installations, and the perfect waterfront setting.
*except August 4, a First Friday


Simone Dinnerstein + Pam Tanowitz Open Rehearsal
JULY 15 | 2-5 PM, free with museum admission
This summer, Dinnerstein, Tanowitz, and seven dancers will occupy the ICA’s Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater for a weeklong Summer Stages Dance @ the ICA/Boston residency, before returning to the ICA to perform New Work for Goldberg Variations in December.

Skeleton Architecture, The Future of Our Worlds
JULY 23 | 3 PM, free with museum admission; tickets available onsite on day of performance
Skeleton Architecture will reconvene at the ICA this summer in conjunction with Summer Stages Dance @ the ICA/Boston, with 24 leading black performing artists from Boston and New York. Representing different generations and dance genres, the artists will gather for a weeklong investigation of the collaborative process, creative strategies, and improvisational practices that will culminate in an informal performance.


Family Play Dates are the last Saturday of every month with themes and activities varying each month. In July, Play Dates cross the harbor for a day of fun in East Boston.

Making Bridges Together
SAT, JUNE 24 | 10 AM – 4 PM
Try contemporary art sleuthing skills in the galleries with the help of visiting assistants: how does the art on view connect to your lives? Design and construct small-scale bridges with the help of onsite architects and engineers as a guide, then “test” how the bridges bear weight. Don’t miss a family performance at 1:30 pm.

**Special East Boston Play Date
Creating Wonderful Worlds
SAT, JULY 29 | 10 AM – 4 PM
Visitors enjoy time at the ICA’s waterfront location, then celebrate the museum’s pending expansion to East Boston. BYO picnic and cruise across Boston Harbor for adventures in East Boston’s Piers Park from noon to 3 PM, including a family concert and sailboat rides.

ICA Seaside Adventures
SAT, AUG 26 | 10 AM – 4 PM
Gallery Games and family Pop-Up Talks, paint scenes of the sea en plein air, and enjoy a concert by the Farewells at 1:30 pm. To soak up the waning summer, bring a picnic, relax on the ICA grandstand overlooking Boston Harbor, and try outdoor family yoga and sketching activities for all ages.

AUG 16 | 6–9 PM, Hosted by the Teen Arts Council, free for teens
Organized by teens for teens, the evening features teen-led art tours, art making activities, and youth performances in the coolest theater in Boston, the Barbara Lee Family Theater. See for more details on activities.

AUG 18 | 10 AM–9 PM
The seventh annual Free Fun Fridays program sponsored by the Highland Street Foundation allows the ICA to open its doors at no cost to visitors all day long, with activities for all ages. For a complete schedule of participating institutions, visit


Dana Schutz
JULY 26 – NOV 26, 2017
Dana Schutz, a concise survey of the artist’s recent work, comprises 16 paintings, several at monumental scale, and five charcoal drawings, including two new ones. Schutz’s enormous new painting, Big Wave (2016), acquired by the ICA in December, is on view for the first time in the United States. Additionally, one new painting will premiere in this exhibition.

2017 James and Audrey Foster Prize
The James and Audrey Foster Prize is key to the ICA’s efforts to nurture and recognize Boston-area artists of exceptional promise. First established in 1999, the James and Audrey Foster Prize (formerly the ICA Artist Prize) expanded its format when the museum opened its new facility in 2006. James and Audrey Foster, passionate collectors and supporters of contemporary art, endowed the prize, ensuring the ICA’s ability to sustain and grow the program for years to come. 

Nari Ward: Sun Splashed
Nari Ward: Sun Splashed is the largest survey of the artist’s work to date. Emerging alongside a notable group of black artists in New York City in the 1990s, Nari Ward (b. 1963 in St. Andrew Parish, Jamaica) actively engages with local sites—their histories, communities, and economies—to create spectacular, ambitiously scaled artworks out of unlikely materials. He derives inspiration from his immediate environment, incorporating found objects gathered in and around urban neighborhoods and embracing varied cultural references.

Steve McQueen: Ashes
THROUGH FEB 25, 2018
The ICA/Boston is pleased to present the U.S. debut of Ashes (2002–2015), a video installation by the artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen (b. London, UK, 1969). A standout from the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015, Ashes presents footage on two sides of a freestanding screen. One side, originally shot on soft, grainy Super 8 film, shows a young, carefree fisherman named Ashes balancing playfully on a pitching boat against a horizon of blue sky and water. The other side shows a second projection, shot in 16mm film that chronicles Ashes’s unexpected fate. Never seen together, yet linked by a shared soundtrack, the videos conjure an easy vitality and a vivid description of place against the darker forces of society and fate.

ICA Summer is presented in partnership with Converse

New Work for Goldberg Variations was commissioned by Duke Performances/Duke University and Peak Performances/Montclair State University, co-commissioned by Opening Nights Performing Arts/Florida State University and Summer Stages Dance at the Institute for Contemporary Art/Boston, and received creative development support from the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC) at Florida State University, The Yard at Martha’s Vineyard, the NYU Center for Ballet and the Arts, and New York City Center.

New Work for Goldberg Variations was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. General Operating support for Pam Tanowitz Dance was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

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New Work for Goldberg Variations is part of Summer Stages Dance @ the ICA/Boston and is made possible, in part, with the support of Jane Karol and Howard Cooper, David Parker, The Aliad Fund, George and Ann Colony, and Stephanie McCormick-Goodhart.

the future of our worlds is part of Summer Stages Dance @ the ICA/Boston and is made possible, in part, with the support of Jane Karol and Howard Cooper, David Parker, The Aliad Fund, George and Ann Colony, Stephanie McCormick-Goodhart, Sharon Watson Beck, and Chayla M. Freeman.

Play Dates
are sponsored by Vivien and Alan Hassenfeld and the Hassenfeld Family Foundation, and Holly and David Bruce.

The ICA’s Teen Arts Council and Teen Nights are generously sponsored by MFS Investment Management and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

ICA Teen Programs are sponsored by UNIQLO.

Teen Programs are made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Award Number MA-10-16-0305-16.

Additional support is provided by the Deborah Munroe Noonan Memorial Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee; the Thomas Anthony Pappas Charitable Foundation, Inc.; the Mabel Louise Riley Foundation; the Rowland Foundation, Inc.; the William E. Schrafft and Bertha E. Schrafft Charitable Trust; the Surdna Foundation; and The Willow Tree Fund.

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Free Fun Friday is sponsored by the Highland Street Foundation.

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Support for ICA First Fridays is provided by  

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Support for Dana Schutz is generously provided by James and Audrey Foster, Barbara Lee, Ted Pappendick and Erica Gervais Pappendick, and David and Leslie Puth.

Steve McQueen’s Ashes is a gift of Tristin and Martin Mannion.

The 2017 James and Audrey Foster Prize exhibition and the Foster Talks are generously endowed by James and Audrey Foster.

The 2017 James and Audrey Foster Prize exhibition is supported by

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Organization of Nari Ward: Sun Splashed and its presentation at the Pérez Art Museum Miami has been made possible by Citi and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, with additional support from the Funding Arts Network and Gander and White.