(Boston, MA—August 10, 2020) Since the close of schools in March, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) has continued to serve its teen audiences through ongoing virtual programming. A wide variety of virtual art classes and events are available to all teens for the remainder of the summer; see full program details below. All programs and events take place on Zoom and are free for Boston Public School high school students. Most are free for all teens 13+. Visit teens.icaboston.org to learn more and register for programs.

“When schools closed for in-person learning, we began conversations with our partners to get a sense of how the ICA could help to address ‘summer learning loss’ and how it might be exacerbated due to the quarantine. We also heard from our ICA teens that they still needed the museum to connect with them and to connect them with one another. Though we’re unable to meet and work in our usual museum spaces right now, we are happy to be serving our teen audiences in this new way,” said Monica Garza, the ICA’s Charlotte Wagner Director of Education.

“Teens, like all people, want to stay creative and connected during this time of such uncertainty. They want to express themselves, create work that amplifies what matters to them, and have that work be seen by others. We have adapted, embracing flexibility and creativity, as we aspire to be an empowering platform for young people,” says Betsy Gibbons, the ICA’s Director of Teen Programs.

In addition to these programs, the museum is partnering with UMass Boston’s Urban Scholars program, Vertex’s High School Internship ProgramCastle Square Tenants Organization’s Media Makers Internship Program, and Bloomberg Arts Interns to deepen the experiences of the young people they work with through art looking and making.

Virtual teen art programs and events

Summer Photography: Drop-In Sessions
Through Aug 18

Interested in photography but not sure where to start? Trying to take your skills to the next level? Looking for opportunities to connect with other creatives? Come thru for these virtual sessions! Explore topics like lighting, color, and finding inspiration in quarantine. Free for teens 13+! Join us for any or all sessions. When you apply, we’ll send details on how to join us on Zoom.

Visual Art & Writing Drop-In Series
Through Sep 30

Help us reimagine multimedia art experiences. Make art with us virtually with recycled & accessible materials. Share ideas rooted in self-expression. Free for teens 13+! Join us for any or all sessions. When you apply, we’ll send details on how to join us on Zoom.

Film School
Tue–Fri, Aug 11–14, 2020

Have you always wanted to make a film? Well, here’s your chance. In this one-week, online intensive, connect with other creative teens as you gain filmmaking skills. As part of a small team, you will work together virtually to build ideas, share feedback, and create an original short film.

You will: Join a group of teen filmmakers; gain skills in cinematography, audio recording, and video editing; and get familiar with contemporary art. Cost: Free for Boston Public School high school students; Fee: $360 nonmembers; $285 members.

August Virtual Teen Night
Thu, Aug 13, 6–8:30 PM

FREE for teens
Join the ICA Teen Arts Council—15 students from Boston-area high schools—for an unforgettable Virtual Teen Night! Organized by teens for teens, this online event features art-making activities, youth performances, and a dance party. The event will also feature an exciting collaboration with Converse, where teens will learn from Converse footwear designers how to create their own designs on the iconic canvas of the Chuck Taylor All Star. Those that participate can submit their creations to a design challenge. Winners of the challenge will have one pair of their original Chuck Taylor All Star design produced by Converse, and shipped to them.

About the ICA Teen Arts Programs

The ICA has a strong institutional commitment to teens, stemming from the recognition that teens are our future artists, leaders, and audiences. The museum serves more than 6,000 teens each year, and has emerged as a national leader in the field of museum arts education for teens. The ICA introduces 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, film, music production and more, while yearlong programs such as Fast Forward provide an immersive experience where teens can create films and gain real job skills using cutting-edge technologies. In partnership with Boston-area 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 (TAC) is the ICA’s paid creative leadership program, offering teens the opportunity to work with the museum as ambassadors, event planners, and programmers, learning 21st-century skills for their future while contributing important skills and perspectives to ICA programming. The TAC has nimbly refocused its efforts to digital platforms, creating new content and opportunities to connect other teens with the arts and one another while the museum is closed. Meeting twice weekly via Zoom to move these ongoing projects forward, the group continues to receive pay for their remote work.

In 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama presented the ICA with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the highest honor awarded to youth programs in the U.S. More information about the ICA’s Teen Programs can be found at www.icateens.org.

About the ICA

Since its founding in 1936, the ICA has shared the pleasures of reflection, inspiration, imagination, and provocation that contemporary art offers with its audiences. A museum at the intersection of contemporary art and civic life, the ICA has advanced a bold vision for amplifying the artist’s voice and expanding the museum’s role as educator, incubator, and convener. Its exhibitions, performances, and educational programs provide access to the breadth and diversity of contemporary art, artists, and the creative process, inviting audiences of all ages and backgrounds to participate in the excitement of new art and ideas. The ICA is located at 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA, 02210. The Watershed is located at 256 Marginal Street, East Boston, MA 02128. For more information, call 617-478-3100 or visit our website at icaboston.org. Follow the ICA at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The ICA is committed to maintaining a respectful and safe environment for all at the museum.

Lead support for Teen Programs provided by Wagner Foundation. 

Wagner Foundation logo

Teen Programs are made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Award Number 10-19-0390-19.  

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Additional support is provided by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation; the Rowland Foundation, Inc.; The Corkin Family; the Mabel Louise Riley Foundation; Vertex; the William E. Schrafft and Bertha E. Schrafft Charitable Trust; The Willow Tree Fund; the Nathaniel Saltonstall Arts Fund; the Mass Cultural Council; the Robert Lehman Foundation; the Deborah Munroe Noonan Memorial Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee; MFS Investment Management; the Jean Gaulin Foundation; BPS Arts Expansion Fund at EdVestors; and Santander. 

Mass Cultural Council logo

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Converse is committed to supporting movements for positive social change and amplifying youth voices as they build the future they believe in.

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The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit https://www.imls.gov/ and follow us on Facebook and Twitter