ICA/BOSTON GIVES TEENS THE FLOOR IN GROUNDBREAKING SUMMER CONVENING WITH ARTS LEADERS
GENERATION O: A NATIONAL CONVENING FOR TEENS AND THEIR ARTS LEADERS
AUG. 12-14, 2009
Boston, MA—From Aug. 12-14, 2009, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston hosts Generation O: A National Convening for Teens and their Arts Organizations. Bringing together five of the most innovative teen arts organizations in the country, Generation O inaugurates a nationwide exchange of ideas among key teen leaders and their museum educators. In a time when arts education is dramatically reduced or absent at many public schools, the teen-moderated conference addresses how museums can provide opportunities for young people to experience art and develop skills in creative thinking and leadership. Participants include: the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the Marwen in Chicago.
“Teens and museums can learn a lot from each other about the necessity of art and creative expression in our daily experience, and the ICA’s Teen Convening is the first step towards our mutual education,“ says Jill Medvedow, Director of the ICA. “Museums with vibrant teen arts programs have the chance to enrich the lives of their young participants in a meaningful and lasting way; through immersive and innovative interactions with art, artists and each other, teens are inspired to think creatively and critically in all aspects of their lives. “
“Since the ICA expanded its Teen Arts Program two years ago, we have seen participation increase by an astounding 300%,” says ICA Associate Director of Education Rosanna Flouty, who oversees the museum’s teen programs. “As in other parts of the country, budget cuts and changing priorities have made it difficult if not impossible for Boston public high schools to maintain their arts programs.”
”The popularity of the ICA’s Teen Arts Program clearly indicates that young people are seeking ways to meaningfully experience art, creativity and new ideas. The main goal of Generation O is for teen arts leaders and museum educators to come together and discuss their findings in order to build a model for teen engagement in the arts.”
The term “generation O” refers to the current generation of young creators and innovators who will come of age during the Obama administration. Like Obama himself, these young people demonstrate an extraordinary ease and open-mindedness in using new technologies to communicate and exchange ideas. Teen participants in Generation O
have created an online forum to begin discussion of topics they will continue to address at the conference in August: http://www.icateens.org/forum
About ICA Teen Arts Programs
The only program of its kind in Boston, the ICA’s nationally recognized Teen Arts Programs encourage artistic expression and creative thinking among Boston-area youth. Each school year, the ICA introduces thousands of adolescents to contemporary art through drop-in events such as Teen Nights and school tours of ICA exhibitions. Enrollment-based programs such as Teen New Media courses offer instruction in digital photography, blogging, design, and more, while year-long programs such as Fast Forward provide an immersive experience where teens can create art and gain real job skills using cutting-edge technologies. Fast Forwardalumni have won national awards and recognition for their completed projects. In partnership with Boston Public Schools, the ICA hosts WallTalk, a multi-visit art and writing program designed to improve the critical thinking and verbal literacy skills of middle and high-school students. The ICA’s Teen Arts Council is a 12-member group of motivated high school students who meet weekly to develop and implement creative programming for their peers. The TAC produces a series of Teen Nights throughout the year, connecting teens across Greater Boston during an evening of music, dance, spoken word and studio art-making activities.
Because contemporary art represents original thinking, encompasses new technologies, explores self-identity, and reflects multiple world views, it has the unique power to resonate with adolescents. Participants in the ICA’s Teen Arts Programs develop visual awareness and creative self-expression through the arts and gain skills in artistic techniques, media production, critical thinking, creative writing and leadership.
Generation O: A National Convening for Teens in the Arts is made possible in part by support from The Boston Foundation.
The John Hancock Teen Education Program is made possible by significant support from John Hancock Financial Services.
JP Morgan Chase Foundation supports Youth Education at the ICA is supported by the JP Morgan Chase Foundation. ICA Teen New Media Classes are supported by the Verizon Foundation. WallTalk is supported by the National Grid Foundation.
Additional support is provided by the Cabot Family Charitable Trust, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, the Krupp Family Foundation, the Paul and Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation, the Rowland Foundation, the William E. and Bertha E. Schrafft Charitable Trust, the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, and the Wallace Foundation.