Latino Community Outreach Programs

FAM’s Bilingual Museum Initiative

In 2013, FAM embarked on an effort to become a fully bilingual (English/Spanish) museum to better serve the region’s growing population of Latino and Latino immigrant families. The Bilingual Museum Initiative is an important part of FAM’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan. This project is also a collaboration with the United Neighbors of Fitchburg (UNF), a non-profit that works with local immigrant communities to develop leaders and fight for social change through youth development programs, adult education, community organizing and direct services.

This Bilingual Museum Initiative stems from FAM’s goal to become one of this country’s best community museums. In Fitchburg, 39% of the current population is Latino (primarily from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Uruguay), and 55% of children enrolled in the Fitchburg Public Schools come from homes where Spanish is the primary language. This demographic is growing, and far exceeds both Massachusetts and national percentages for Latino population. The Fitchburg Art Museum intends to serve everyone in Fitchburg, and has embarked on the Bilingual Museum Initiative to provide cultural and educational enrichment to all.

The Bilingual Museum Initiative has to date achieved the following: bilingual interior and exterior signage, bilingual gallery texts and artwork labels in almost all of FAM’s 20,000 square feet of public exhibition space, bilingual free access on-line exhibition catalogues, a bilingual receptionist, the hiring of 4 bilingual professional museum staff, a Spanish language Facebook page, bilingual recorded telephone information, bilingual docents who give Spanish language exhibition tours, and a free admission programs for residents of Fitchburg’s Ward 4B. This Ward is FAM’s immediate neighborhood, with a population of 50%+ Latino families.

Latino Art, Exhibitions, and Programs at FAM

FAM’s Strategic Plan calls for collecting artworks by Latino artists in New England, and the museum also creates exhibitions and programs designed to reflect and/or appeal to local Latino families:

2013

Nora Valdez: Baggage/Bagaje
Solo exhibition of Argentine/American artist with bilingual artist talk

Nora Valdez, The Immigrant
Permanent public artwork for Main Street, Fitchburg 

2014

Juan José Barboza-Gubo: Pink Narcissus
Solo exhibition of Peruvian/American artist with bilingual artist talk

One Language is Never Enough: Latino Artists in Southern New England
Group exhibition of 23 artists with bilingual artist talks, Spanish language docent tours, and bilingual exhibition catalogue 

Mario Quiroz: Mis Vecinos, Portraits of Fitchburg’s Latino Communities
Solo exhibition of Salvadoran/American artist with bilingual artist talk and exhibition catalogue

2015

Spanish language Museum tour for Latino elders

Community Gallery exhibition of work by children from the United Neighbors of Fitchburg’s after-school programs

2016

Linnette Vázquez-Polanco: Reflection of the Soul
Solo exhibition of Puerto Rican artist with bilingual artist talks 

Uruguayan Film Festival
6 films, in collaboration with the Uruguayan Consulate in New York

2017

Mr. Reinford’s World: Paintings by Lionel Reinford
Solo exhibition of Honduran/American artist with bilingual artist talks

Intergenerational Education Programs with United Neighbors of Fitchburg


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