McMullen Portal 

January 30–June 4, 2023

Connect with people around the world through art, conversation, music, and more.


What is the Portal?

The McMullen Portal, located in the Museum’s third floor Monan Gallery, strives to foster connections with international Portals to provide meaningful conversations between individuals across the world. Dialogues will touch on Landscape of Memory’s themes of identity, exile, and memory in addition to curated connections that fit faculty curricula and student group interests.

Shared_Studios hosts Portals that offer live, immersive experiences to individuals and communities across the world. Transcending borders, Portals are interconnected audiovisual environments that allow visitors to converse with those in a distant Portal, as if in the same room. Shared_Studios Portals have been used for educational, cultural, and artistic exchanges, conferences, shared meals, and much more.

The McMullen Portal has been underwritten by the Institute for the Liberal Arts, the Islamic Civilization and Societies Program, and the University Council on Teaching of Boston College.

Reserve a visit to the McMullen Portal

McMullen Portal sessions will connect with Mexico City, Mexico; Walkers Savannah, Barbados; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Nakivale, Uganda; Kigali, Rwanda; Johannesburg, South Africa; Gaza City, Palestine; Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan; Bengaluru, India; and Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

For Boston College class and student organization reservations

To reserve the McMullen Portal for your BC class or student group, click here

Faculty and student groups interested in organizing Portal sessions at additional times in the coming months should contact McMullen Manager of Education, Rachel Chamberlain (

Each session can accommodate 6–15 participants. Multiple sessions can be booked, back-to-back or on different dates. Note that session times and lengths vary, to approximate the BC class schedule, but are 50 minutes at minimum. Larger classes of up to 30 can be split into two groups for 25 minutes each to accommodate more students.

For all Museum visitors

The Museum is also offering some walk-in sessions and curated events that will allow the museum’s public visitors, as well as students, faculty, and staff, to visit the Portal. See the list below for details. To sign up for a Portal session or find a time when walk-ins are available, visit the McMullen Events page.

Additional opportunities to engage

Current connections

The McMullen Portal will be able to connect with: 

Mexico City, Mexico 

Centro de Cultura Digital

Connections available between: 9 am–9 pm EST

The Mexico City Portal is located at the entrance of Chapultepec Park, one of the most iconic spaces in Mexico City. The Portal is hosted by Centro de Cultura Digital, a museum focused on digital arts, performances, and technologies. The Portal sits next to the Estela de Luz monument and attracts a diverse mix of locals as well as tourists from around the globe. 

Topic areas

  • Mexican art + culture
  • Visual arts (conversation with a work of art, artist critique sessions)
  • Language learning (practice languages with expert translators)
  • Immigration and migration
  • Technology + digital culture | Storytelling
  • Music + DJ connections (album releases, artist interviews, dance parties)
  • Missing children of Mexico

Walkers Savannah, Barbados

The Walkers Institute for Regenerative Research and Design (WIRRED)

Connections available between: 8 am–5 pm EST

The Barbados Portal is hosted by WIRRED, which brings solutions to complex problems by creating disruptive design systems that increase biodiversity, enhance ecosystem services, and improve the well-being of individuals and communities. Through ongoing research, education, design, and community partnerships WIRRED creates regenerative spaces in which individuals can connect/reconnect to the environment, while building more resilient economies, ecosystems and communities.

Topic areas

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 

Rotary Ethiopia 

Connections available between: 9 am–12 pm EST

The Addis Ababa Portal is powered by Rotary Ethiopia, a non-profit, non-political and non-religious network of volunteers who serve their communities. Their goal is to create a world where people unite and take action toward lasting change—across the globe, in their communities, and in themselves. 

General Programming Topic Areas

  • Climate + environment
  • Human Rights + social justice
  • Peacemaking
  • Youth empowerment

Nakivale, Uganda 


Connections available between: 9 am–1 pm EST

The Nakivale Portal is located in the Nakivale Refugee Camp, which is home to 150,000+ people from nine countries across the African continent. The Nakivale Portal is operated by refugee-led organization Opportunigee that helps refugees build skills and gain employment in Uganda. The Nakivale Portal has the distinction of being the first Portal to be constructed using bottle bricks.

Topic areas

Kigali, Rwanda 

Impact Hub + Kurema, Kureba, Kwiga

Connections available between: 9 am–3 pm EST

The Kigali Portal is located at Impact Hub Kigali and run by Kurema, Kureba, Kwiga (“To Create, To See, To Learn”), a public arts social enterprise that uses street-arts and art actions to involve civil society in positive social change. The organization creates large-scale public artworks and works to create new opportunities on both the supply and demand side of the creative arts economy in Rwanda. The Kigali Portal first launched in May 2016 inside of Impact Hub’s conference room, and in September 2019 relaunched with a new space custom built into the rooftop cafe atop the Hub.

Topic areas

  • Climate + environment
  •  Migration
  • Religion, beliefs + belonging
  • Gender equity + womens’ empowerment
  • Rwandan life + vulture
  • Reconciliation + peace-building
  • Technology
  • Tourism + economic development in Africa
  • Music, dance, art + theater

Johannesburg, South Africa (Powered by the Museum for the United Nations)

Makers Valley 

Connections available between: 9 am–3 pm EST

The Johannesburg Portal is hosted by Makers Valley, a neighborhood in Johannesburg that refers to the growing presence and activities of many forms of creative entrepreneurism in the area. It is home to artists, cultural practitioners, artisans, urban gardeners, carpenters, shoemakers, metal and woodworkers, clothing designers and others, live and work in the Valley. Building on the Changemaking concept originally coined byAshoka, activities are inspired by the conviction that progressive entrepreneurs and organizations mobilizing locally can help to propel systemic change within a well being economy. 

Topic areas

Gaza City, Palestine 

Gaza Sky Geeks + Mercy Corps 

Connections available between: 7 am–9 am (ending by 10 am) EST

The Gaza City Portal is hosted by Gaza Sky Geeks, Palestine’s premier tech incubator. Gaza Sky Geeks was founded in 2011 to build Gaza’s start-up movement and is a part of a vibrant co-working space. In 2013, the Gaza Sky Geeks accelerator began connecting top teams tasked with building usable products to global resources to transform Gaza’s most talented youth into the Middle East’s brightest business leaders. 

Topic areas

  • Storytelling + the Palestinian experience with “We are not numbers”
  • Human rights + social justice
  • Religion, beliefs + belonging
  • Palestinian life + culture
  • Technology [social media, mobile development, graphic design, coding
  • African Diaspora + Diasporic culture
  • Language exchange
  • Theater, dance + music

Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan


Connections available between: 7 am–1 pm (ending by 2 pm) EST

The Erbil Portal is located in the Harsham Camp for Internally Displaced Persons. Harsham hosts more than 1,500 Iraqi families who fled militant attacks in Mosul and its surrounding villages. The Erbil Portal is housed in a converted gas station and is operated in partnership with UNICEF Iraq.

Topic areas

Bengaluru, India (Powered by the Museum for the United Nations)

Bengaluru Science Gallery 

Connections available between: 7 am–10 am EST

The Bengaluru Portal is hosted by the Bengaluru Science Gallery, a not-for-profit institution for research-based engagement targeted at young adults. They work at the intersection of the natural and human sciences, engineering and the arts through a Public Lab Complex, ever-changing exhibitions, and mentorship programmes.Their goals are to empower young adults, engage in research, and shape culture with the specific goal of bringing science back into culture. 

Topic areas

  • Science, culture + art
  • Innovation + entrepreneurship
  • Climate + environment
  • Migration + the refugee experience
  • Human rights + social justice
  • Youth empowerment
  • Science, art + culture-based research

Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh 

Humanitarian Assistance Program 

Connections available between: 7 am–9 am EST

The Cox’s Bazar Portal is run by HAP, a youth-led social enterprise that provides technical and strategic support to humanitarian organizations and donors. They train youth in humanitarian principles around climate awareness, how to mobile during humanitarian and and natural disasters, and how to effectively respond to climate change in their communities. The youth design thinking to help build natural-based, short and long term solutions and disaster risk reductions strategies in their community. In return HAP provides access to job experience, placement, and scholarship opportunities for these volunteers

Topic areas


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