Boston Bombing Aftershocks: Opening Doors to Arts and Culture

Art is a "vital antidote" to the tragedy, says museum director.

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The Institute of Contemporary Art along Boston's waterfront. The museum, and the city's Museum of Fine Arts, are free to visit for now.

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As the city of Boston grapples with the meaning of Monday's Boston Marathon bombs, institutions are doing what they can to support the community. For Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art and its Museum of Fine Arts, that means waiving the price of admission Tuesday.

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"I believe that museums and the art that they contain are a source of tremendous inspiration and solace to people in time of trouble," says Museum of Fine Arts director Malcolm Rogers, who was on a flight back to Boston at the time of the explosions and made the decision to waive admissions (usually $25 for adults) last night. The Museum of Fine Arts has one of the largest and most comprehensive collections, holding some 450,000 works. But its setting is relatively smaller than many museums of similar reputation, and it's located in a tight-knit community, notes Rogers.

"Something shocking like that – it's a tremendous reminder of what we can do strengthen the community" he says, and "make difficult circumstances a little bit easier."

Jill Medvedow, director of the Institute of Contemporary Art, shared similar sentiments in a statement emailed to U.S. News that said it would waive the price of admission (usually $15 for adults) "in an embrace of our Boston community and all those who seek solace in the wake of yesterday's tragedy."

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Rogers says the Museum of Fine Arts is looking into other ways it can help the community in the days, and weeks and months to come.

"When you see the perversion of what the human mind can do," says Rogers, to see the best that the human mind can do in the form of arts and culture is a "vital antidote to that negative picture."

Other cultural-historical programs like the Boston Children's Museum ,Boston Tea Party Ships, Boston Freedom Trail have taken to social media to assure visitors they would be up and running the day after the tragedy.

Roger describes the atmosphere in Boston as "surreal" but says his museum is quite busy today. "We are seeing quite a few people in their blue and yellow runners jackets."

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