Beth Sanders, MFA Boston School Group Guide
With the guidance of MFA’s educators, school tours have been created on a theme of community and identity. With this theme in mind a group of SGGs and MFA Associates (adult group guides) worked together with the MFA staff to create a pilot tour with a bilingual tour stop for high school students from Providence, Rhode Island who are studying Mandarin Chinese. Each SGG (one who fluent in Mandarin) had an Associate Guide ‘shadow’. The SGGs planned tour routes to include several collection areas and the students were escorted to the bilingual tour stop at a pre-arranged time which the SGG delivered in both English and Mandarin.
The students’ responses in Chinese can be seen in the image of messages written on scratch tablets encouraging responses to a special exhibit: Hear Me Now, Black Potters of Edgefield South Carolina.
The students translated the inscription on a painting by Wu Junyong 吳俊勇, a Chinese contemporary artist, (Fig. 3) for the English-speaking Guides: the painting is a play on words 馬馬虎虎: Spoken “ma ma, hu hu” meaning so-so, hardly the response to the pilot project which we hope to continue and re-create with many other languages.