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MFA City Talks: Traditions

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With support from: Lowell Institute
Date and time
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
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Dr. Kyrah Daniels moderates a discussion in the Edward H. Linde Gallery of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston with guests Dr. Karilyn Crockett, Pedro Cruz, and Stephen Hamilton. The four discuss how connecting to traditions can shape our relationships with the past. The talk in inspired by the themes found in [“Frida Kahlo and Arte Popular"](https://youtu.be/gMJiOrAh-eo "exhibit link"), on view February 27–June 16, 2019.

**Dr. Karilyn Crockett** focuses her research on large-scale land use changes in twentieth century American cities and examines the social and geographic implications of structural poverty. Karilyn’s new book "People before Highways: Boston Activists, Urban Planners, and a New Movement for City Making" (UMASS Press 2018) investigates a 1960s era grassroots movement to halt urban extension of the U.S. interstate highway system and the geographic and political changes in Boston that resulted. Karilyn was the co-founder of Multicultural Youth Tour of What's Now (MYTOWN), an award winning, Boston-based, educational non-profit organization. MYTOWN hired public high school students to research their local and family histories to produce youth-led walking tours for sale to public audiences. During its nearly 15 years of operation, MYTOWN created jobs for more than 300 low and moderate-income teenagers, who in turn led public walking tours for more than 14,000 visitors and residents. In a White House ceremony, the National Endowment for the Humanities cited MYTOWN as “One of ten best Youth Humanities Programs in America.” Karilyn holds a PhD from the American Studies program at Yale University, a Master of Science in Geography from the London School of Economics, and a Master of Arts and Religion from Yale Divinity School. She currently serves as the Director of Economic Policy & Research and Director of Small Business Development for the City of Boston and is a research affiliate in the Department of Urban Studies & Planning at MIT. Karilyn’s career mission is to work at the nexus of education, economic development and urban revitalization.
**Pedro Cruz** is the Youth Arts Program Coordinator for IBA’s Youth Development Team.
**Stephen Hamilton** is an artist and arts educator living and working in Boston Massachusetts. Stephen’s work focuses on the aesthetics, philosophies and key symbols inherent throughout Africa and the Diaspora. He strives to create a dialogue between contemporary Black cultures and the ancient African world. Through visual comparison of shared philosophies and aesthetics ubiquitous amongst Black peoples he seeks to describe a complex and varied Black aesthetic. These visual and philosophical connections and cultural analyses form his visual language. His pieces depict African thought and culture as equal to, yet unique from its western analogue. This work stands in stark contrast to the pervasive negative associations, which have become synonymous with Black culture.
**Kyrah Malika Daniels** is Assistant Professor of Art History and African & African Diaspora Studies, with a courtesy appointment in Theology. Her research interests and course topics include Africana religions, sacred arts and material culture, race, religion and visual culture, and ritual healing traditions in the Black Atlantic.

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