—Please note the Teen Gallery will be closed for maintenance February 6–27 and maintenance and April 17–21 for school vacation week.—  

The Stories that Make Us is an exhibition of artwork by high school students that explores personal stories about migration, belonging, and overcoming adversity. This exhibit embodies how different stories intersect and finds the commonalities we all have with one another.  We invite you to explore the works that make up The Stories that Make Us and see what you relate to. 

I Learn America (ILA) is a youth-led education program with a mission to use the power of storytelling to foster empathy, urgency, and action around issues affecting migrant youth, as they forge their own path in a new land. In 2021, youth facilitators from ILA worked with artists from the Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to create panels that focused on their own journeys. In the fall of 2022, ILA facilitators worked with student leaders at Everett High School, Boston International Newcomers Academy, and ENLACE Academy to lead workshops around the panels—taking inspiration from the panels, students used black vinyl and permanent marker on mirrors and windows to create pieces that reflected their own personal experiences and points of connection.

This exhibition was organized by the ICA’s Teen Exhibitions Program, a group of creative teens who work together to plan, organize, and install artwork in the ICA Teen Gallery, while learning about the process of making exhibitions from dedicated museum professionals. Teen arts education is central to the ICA, and the Teen Exhibitions Programs is just one of many programs offered. Special thanks to all the collaborators who made this happen, including I Learn America, Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Everett High School, Boston International Newcomers Academy, and ENLACE Academy at Lawrence High School. 

The Stories that Make Us is on view in the Teen Gallery in the ICA Seaport Studio at 100 Pier 4 Blvd. Seaport Studio is open to the public Tuesday through Thursday, 2–5 PM.