The new ICA Celebrates a Year – You Get in Free

 Sun. Dec. 9

We were there at the beginning. Well, not the beginning beginning – the Institute of Contemporary Art was a vital and beloved institution on Boylston street for years – but we were when the new ICA opened on the waterfront a year ago. We were knocked out as was most everybody who sipped cocktails at that opening soiree. (Hit the "read more" for details from that event and comments about the museum). On Sunday Dec. 9, the ICA is celebrating its first year in its new white-and-glass digs with a Free Community Day. That means everyone gets a free pass from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will be a screening of a film called "The Making of the New ICA." You’ll be able to tour the multi-leveled facility and take in a whirlwind of art. Jill Medvedow, the director, says, "It has been wonderful to see hundreds and thousands of people visit the museum over the  past year, so many of them with smiles on their faces. The art, artists, and architecture all contributed to a rich diverse, and emotionally satisfying experience and sense of civic pride." We saw a lot of stuff there: the Louise Bourgeois exhibit, avant scultupure from a nonagenerion, Patti Smith doing spoken word and song, Mission of Burma not playing "Revolver" and "Academy Fight Song" for the first time ever  … There’s a permanent collection of 21st century art for the first time in its 70 year history. Heck, we enjoyed the cafe and the smooth elevator rides. We were not alone. More than 280,000 folks passed through the portals, surpassing the projections by 30,000, representing an 11-fold increase from the old ICA. Coming next year: Bill T. Jones, DJ Spooky and an exhibition schedule that includes "The World as a Stage," as organized by Tate Modern, Anish Kapoor and Tara Donovan, among others.

100 Northern Ave., 617-478-3100 www.icaboston.org

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