Opening Our Doors Day

Indigenous Peoples' Day

Abundant Voices

Monday, October 14, 2019
10 am - 4 pm
Throughout the Museum

This Indigenous Peoples' Day, the Gardner Museum is honored to collaborate with choreographer and Neighborhood Salon Luminary Marsha Parrilla of Danza Orgánica to present local Indigenous artists from the Massachusett, Nipmuc, Mashpee Wampanoag, and Aquinnah Wampanoag tribes.

The theme for the day is “Abundant Voices,” emphasizing the necessary perspectives and incredible work of these creative leaders. Enjoy hands-on art making, interactive performance, storytelling, a special performance from Gardner Museum Choreographers in Residence All Ready with local youth performers and more. 

Explore additional hands-on activities and performances organized by The Fenway Alliance throughout the day across the street from the Gardner Museum in beautiful Evans Way Park.

In the Courtyard | 11 am–4 pm
A Wakdy/Red Hawk Singers Battle Creek Song plays every hour on the hour, as part of a musical intervention curated by Robert Peters (Mashpee Wampnoag).

In the Jordan Garden

10:45–11 am
Elizabeth Solomon (Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag) will open the day with a Land Acknowledgment.

11 AM–3:30 pm
Create a botanical print using autumn leaves as well as plant clippings from the Gardner’s Courtyard and Greenhouse.

In the Bertucci Education Studio | 11 am–4 pm

Join artist Andre Strongbearheart Gaines Jr. (Nipmuc) as he guides you through a hands-on workshop about the history of Deer Island in Boston, MA. Explore pre-colonization, present, and future hopes for this land.

In the Living Room | 12–1:30 pm

Larry Spotted Crow Mann (Nipmuc) is an award winning writer, poet, storyteller, Native American cultural educator, and motivational speaker. Larry will share When The Land Speaks: A journey into the stories, history and drumming of the Indigenous Peoples of Massachusetts. Larry's writings will be available today for purchase in Gift at the Gardner.

In Calderwood Hall

11–11:30 am
Choreographers-in-Residence All Ready offer a high-energy dance showcase in partnership with local youth dancers The Individuals from the West End House Boys & Girls Club.

2:30–3:15 pm | We Are Here (excerpts), by Danza Orgánica and the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe
This powerful new work is being developed in close collaboration with the Aquinnah Wampanoag people through dance, song, installation, and storytelling. The work will be in development through Summer 2020, and is made possible through a partnership with The Yard, Aquinnah Cultural Center, and Danza Orgánica.

3:45–4:30 pm | A Meditation on Indigenous Life, by Robert Peters (Mashpee Wampanoag) and collaborators.
Join special guest Robert Peters (Mashpee Wampanoag) in Calderwood Hall for a participatory experience of dance, music, storytelling, and poetry. Robert is a Mashpee Wampanoag artist, writer, poet, and the creator of “Thirteen Moons,” a calendar featuring images of his paintings, and A Meditation on Indigenous Life, a collection of his poetry, essays and thoughts. “Thirteen Moons” was created to promote understanding and healing among indigenous people everywhere and will be available for purchase in Gift at the Gardner on this day. 

In the Galleries | 10 am–4 pm

Stop by our tables in the Courtyard and Tapestry Room to pick up sketching cards and hands-on activities.

Explore additional hands-on activities and performances organized by The Fenway Alliance in celebration of the Opening Our Doors Festival throughout the day across the street from the Gardner Museum in beautiful Evans Way Park. The full schedule for Evans Way Park can be found on the Fenway Alliance website.

A special thanks to Neighborhood Salon Luminary Marsha Parrilla who co-produced the exceptional programming for this day. 


Free admission will be available at the Museum entrance starting at 11 AM, on a first-come, first-served basis. Admission includes access to the entire Museum, including special exhibitions. To ensure everyone's experience at the Museum is pleasant, entry is timed every 30 minutes, with the last entry at 4 PM.

Due to the nature of the collection, capacity regulations, and the high attendance we see on holidays, the Museum may only admit a specific number of visitors at once. For your safety and the safety of the collection, visitors may be asked to wait in line to enter. Groups of 10 or more cannot be accommodated on this day.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum experience is best suited for children ages seven and older. Visitors under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Education and community programs are funded in part by the Liberty Mutual Foundation, Janet Burke Mann Foundation, Rowland Foundation, and the Yawkey Foundation. Studio activities are generously sponsored by the Polly Thayer Starr Charitable Trust. These programs are funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which receives support from the State of Massachusetts and the National Endowment for the Arts.