get tickets

Advance tickets are now available for visits through June 30. Book now

Reflecting on the distinctive quality of learning in an art museum setting, many teens who are part of art museum learning communities have expressed that their art museum experiences are different from and, in many cases, distinctive from their formal, classroom-based educational experiences. Prioritizing active learning, self-direction, collaborative experiences, and creative freedom, teen programs in art museums stand as key opportunities for experimental, innovative and experiential learning. This Teen Convening explored what makes art museums vital “after the bell” learning sites and the benefits and importance of having such open-ended learning spaces in the lives of youth.

For more information on the 2016 Teen Convening/National, download the publication.

2016 Partner Organizations

  • The Art Institute of Chicago
  • The Brooklyn Museum
  • The Contemporary Austin
  • Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
  • The High Museum of Art
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Ogden Museum of Southern Art

Public Day

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Teen Presentations

Teen delegates from each of the eight participating organizations presented on their distinctive programs and institutions.

Public Panel: After the Bell

Teen programs in art museums provide youth with key opportunities for active learning, self-direction, collaborative experiences, and creative freedom. Such programs are distinctive from, and in many cases, complementary to traditional, classroom-based educational experiences. This panel explored what makes art museums vital “after the bell” learning sites.

Teen Night: Look at Yourself/Ourselves

Organized by teens for teens, this unforgettable evening featured community collaborations, youth performances, artmaking and more.

In recent years, contemporary art has seen a growing fluidity between rigid, strictly defined categories of art. Many artists have increasingly embraced methods of performance, collaboration, and public practice, placing human experience and interaction over object-making as the center of their artistic activity. Similarly, teen programs in museums often center around expansive modes of collaboration, and provide new models of exchange between audiences, artists, and institutions. As an audience, teens are at a transitional point in their own lives standing between childhood and adulthood. As such, they are often challengers of the status quo, defined labels and social demarcations, and on the edge of new ways of thinking as the harbingers of cultural change. The 2015 Teen Convening brought together teens, educators, and Foster Prize artists to consider the open possibilities inherent in challenging defined categories of artistic, educational, and social practice.

For more information on the 2015 Teen Convening/National, download the publication.

2015 Partner Organizations

  • Artpace
  • The High Museum
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit
  • The Pérez Art Museum Miami
  • Queens Museum

While the impact of teen programs in museums is a widely discussed topic amongst the field, these discussions typically consider and measure the impact on participating youth. Expanding the definition of teen program impact, the 2014 Teen Convening explored the myriad ways in which teens are not merely impacted, but the ways in which their presence profoundly impacts the institutions in which they are embedded, the artists with whom they work, and entrenched models of traditional educational practice.

For more information on the 2014 Teen Convening, download the publication.

2014 Partner Organizations

  • Art Gallery of Ontario
  • Artpace San Antonio
  • Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver
  • Park Avenue Armory
  • Whitney Museum of American Art

Teen Presentations

Presentations took place in the ICA’s Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater. Two teens from each participating organization presented on their institution and its teen programs as well as their personal experiences and interests.

Public Panel

This panel features contemporary artists and museum representatives who have worked extensively with teens around the topic of youth impact on institutions and artis¬tic practice. Panelists include Los Angeles-based artist collaborative Slanguage; Sandra Jackson-Dumont, The Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chairman of Education at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and Jill Medvedow, Ellen Matilda Poss Director of the ICA. This panel was moderated by Montgomery Alcott and Shaquille Alberts, both alumni of the ICA Teen Program.

For the 2013 National Convening for Teens in the Arts, Customize: Maker Culture, Youth, Creativity, participants considered the intersection and overlap between DIY/maker culture and youth, and the ongoing quest for an experience that is custom­ized, participatory, and at its heart experimental.

For more information on the 2013 Teen Convening/National, download the publication.

2013 Partner Organizations:

  • The Contemporary Art Museum Saint Louis
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
  • The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
  • The North Carolina Museum of Art
  • Seattle Art Museum
  • Yerba Buena Center for the Arts


For the 2012 Teen Convening, State of the Art: Teens and Technology, attendees eagerly and enthusiastically tackled the complex and wide-reaching subject of youth, technology, and museums.

For more information on the 2012 Teen Convening, download the publication.

2012 Partner Organizations:

  • Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Marwen
  • The Studio Museum in Harlem
  • The Walker Art Center
  • Yerba Buena Center for the Arts


The third annual Teen Convening, Real Life Remixed, considered the primary role that the art museum environment can play in youth development. The title refers to how the museum can be both a safe space to explore real life and big ideas, while simultaneously serving as an experimental space where new and different ideas can “remix” existing notions, contributing to more open and creative points of view.

For more information on the 2011 Teen Convening, download the Education Report.

2011 Partner Organizations:

  • Arthouse
  • Marwen
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles
  • Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
  • The Walker Art Center
  • The Warhol Museum
  • The Wexner Center for the Arts
  • The Whitney Museum

The first Teen Convening, Generation O, was an unprecedented meeting of teen leaders in the arts. Recognizing the dearth of opportunities for involved teens from around the country to gather, exchange ideas, and share ambitions, frustrations, and opportunities, Generation O addressed the need for both teens and museums to actively learn together how best to engage and involve adolescents through contemporary art. This Teen Convening was the first of its kind, placing teens side by side with artists, museum professionals, and educators and leading the next generation of creators and innovators forward.

For more information on the 2009 Teen Convening, download the publication.

2009 Partner Organizations 

  • Marwen, Chicago
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Walker Art Center

The second annual Teen Convening, Art & Identity: Making Art to Belong, Making Art to Distinguish Oneself, took inspiration from an exhibition at the ICA featuring the work of Dr. Lakra. Like the work of Lakra, which utilizes symbols and imagery that can represent the tension between individuality and group affiliation, teens similarly struggle between these two poles as they work to form their own identity.

2010 Partner Organizations:

  • The Bronx Museum
  • Contemporary Arts Center/New Orleans
  • Marwen
  • Seattle Art Museum
  • Walker Art Center
  • Whitney Museum of American Art

For more information on the 2010 Teen Convening, download the publication.

Teens, educators, artists, and more convened to exchange and debate ideas about the intersection between teen arts education and social justice. A publication about the 2019 Teen Convening/National will be available for download in late 2020.

2019 Partner Organizations

  • The Andy Warhol Museum
  • Contemporary Jewish Museum
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Milwaukee Art Museum
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson
  • RISD Museum
  • Walker Art Center

Public Day: Wednesday, August 7, 2019


Teen Convening Artists Adobo-Fish-Sauce (Anthony Febo and Ricky Orng) performed. Their poems about discovery, healing, and self-preservation through their relationship with food, culture, and heartbreak fed us all, as did their plantains.

Teen Presentations

Teen delegates from each of the eight participating organizations presented on their distinctive programs and institutions.

Public Panel

This panel explored definitions of social justice, ways to be an advocate, the relationship between social justice and education, ways that institutions can work towards social justice, and more. Panelists Sienna Kwami, Ana Masacote, Danny Rivera, and Mariama White-Hammond shared their truths, stories, challenges, and aspirations.

Teen Night: Category Is: ________: Living Your Authentic Truth

Organized by teens for teens, this unforgettable evening featured print-making, gallery experiences, teen performances, a fashion show, and more.


Day Two: Thursday, August 8, 2019

Artist Workshop

Teen Convening Artists Adobo-Fish-Sauce helped us create intentional moments with each other. They invited us to collaborate, think creatively, and solve problems together, as well as to think and create on our own. We reflected on the prior day and deepened our bonds of connection and trust.

Roundtable Discussion Sessions

After collaboratively generating questions for discussion, teens and educators broke into smaller groups, chose one of the questions, and unpacked it for 45 minutes. They formed new groups and repeated.


Day Three: Friday, August 9, 2019

Educator & Teen Tracks

Educators and teens divided up to discuss the intersection between teen arts education and social justice from their own perspectives.

Group Wrap Session

The group came back together to share, express gratitude, give affimations, and say farewell for now.


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 MA-10-17-0447-17.

Institute of Museum and Library Services Logo


Additional support is provided by the Rowland Foundation, Inc.; The Corkin Family; the William E. Schrafft and Bertha E. Schrafft Charitable Trust; The Willow Tree Fund; the Robert Lehman Foundation; the Deborah Munroe Noonan Memorial Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee; the Plymouth Rock Foundation; the Jean Gaulin Foundation; and the Thomas Anthony Pappas Charitable Foundation, Inc.