Emma Boast

Regional Arts and Culture Planner & Public Humanities Specialist

Department: Arts & Culture
Phone: 617-451-2770 x 262


Emma Boast joined MAPC in 2019 as an Arts and Culture Fellow in the Arts and Culture Department. Following the end of her two-year fellowship, Emma remained at MAPC as an Arts and Culture Planner and Public Humanities Specialist. Her interests include community curation; hyperlocal history; art in public life; histories of urban planning and development, and interdisciplinary approaches to informal education. She is particularly interested in how innovative forms of storytelling and community engagement can connect everyday experience with new areas of knowledge and advance social justice.

Prior to joining MAPC, Emma worked as curator and cultural organizer who shaped experiences to help people collectively understand the past, engage with the present, and reimagine the future of places. Her experience has included curatorial work with the National Public Housing Museum in Chicago and cultural policy development with the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism in Providence, RI. She also spent five years as the founding Director of Exhibitions and Programming at the Museum of Food and Drink in New York City. In this capacity, she led research and production of the museum’s interdisciplinary exhibitions; public, school, and family programs; and digital initiatives.

In May 2019, she received her M.A. in Public Humanities from Brown University. At Brown, her studies focused on how practices of public engagement and principles of cultural justice can transform museums, cultural institutions, public spaces, and cities by generating and sustaining more just and vibrant forms of public life. She also holds a B.A. in Art History from the University of Chicago, where her research explored the intersection of urban planning and the creative economy through the lens of postwar design in the New York City subway.

Areas of Expertise: Exhibition development, community engagement, public and socially-engaged art, event planning, project management, urban and cultural history, and food studies.