Photo by Kristyn Ulanday
The ICA offers a range of programs, services, and materials to enhance the experience of individuals and groups of all ages. Check out tips for visiting in the video above, browse through on-site and online resources below, and email the Education Department with any additional questions.
Before you come
Teacher resource sheets
Developed in response to conversations held with educators in the Boston area, ICA Teacher Resource Sheets provide K–12 educators with information on exhibitions, links to resources, and bibliographies with thematic connections.
ICA-produced documentary videos allow visitors to hear directly from artists and see them at work in their studios. See them, among other video offerings, on our Video + Audio page.
School + Teacher programs
Bank of America Art Lab school workshops
ICA Art Lab Tour workshops engage K–12 student groups in art-making activities designed to complement the exhibitions on view and/or relate to themes addressed by artists with work on view. Teachers and group leaders are given lesson information ahead of the visits along with suggestions for better preparing their students for the ICA visit—such as links to videos and teacher resource guides—in order for students to have a rich and extended experience with contemporary art.
A multidisciplinary arts engagement program for grades 7–12, WallTalk encourages close observation, open discussion, and individual connections to contemporary art through writing, visual art, and spoken word. Working closely with teaching artists and writers, students participate in multiple museum and classroom visits over the course of a school year in which they observe, question, interpret, and respond creatively and critically to the art of our time.
The WallTalk Reading Jam brings together participants from multiple schools, creating an opportunity to share their spoken-word work with their peers. The event provides students a public forum and live audience to exercise their public speaking and presentation abilities.
Boston Public Schools (BPS) credit-bearing initiative
The ICA partners with Boston Public Schools (BPS) in their arts-credit-bearing initiative, a district-wide program that offers students opportunities to earn their required arts credit in order to graduate high school, at area nonprofit arts institutions. Partnering with five assigned BPS high schools, the ICA provides teens with semester-long and year-long opportunities to gain arts experience and simultaneously fulfill their arts requirement.
Poss Family Mediatheque
The Poss Family Mediatheque is the ICA’s resource room with a view. Touch-screen computers offer video and other digital resources on art and artists, behind-the-scenes studio visits and artistic processes, and opportunities to hear the artist’s voice. Interactive installations in the upper level invite visitors to respond to, consider, and engage with ideas in ICA exhibitions, and include tactile materials, writing prompts, and the like.
ICA Mobile Guide
Try our FREE Mobile Guide, your companion to discovering contemporary art in and out of our galleries—no download necessary! All you need is an Internet connection via your mobile device (or borrow a device from our Holly and David Bruce Visitor Center). To begin, go to icaboston.org/go. From the main menu, select from multiple tours featuring insider info from artists and curators, video clips that take you behind the scenes, insights about our building from the architects, neighborhood tips, and more.
The ICA offers self-guided and guided tours, with optional workshops in the Bank of America Art Lab.
Members of the ICA’s Education Department, in-gallery Visitor Assistants (VAs) are responsible not only for the safety of the artwork and the enforcement of museum policies, but also for enhancing the visitor’s experience. VAs, the majority of whom hold degrees in art, art history, or arts management, empower visitors to interpret art on view, provide visitors with additional context on art and arts, and introduce close-looking techniques in the galleries. Since Visitor Assistants are given the opportunity to spend several months with the exhibitions on view, they share their unique perspectives every Friday during Pop-Up Talks—15-minute interactive public conversations with visitors.
The Education Department works closely with ICA curators on all gallery texts—labels, panels, exhibition introductions, etc.—to maximize accessibility.