Posts Tagged 'Teen Advisory Council'



TAC-kling the Future

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The Teen Advisory Council (or TAC for short!) was created to extend engagement and involve the teen perspective in creating new artistic experiences for visitors. We currently have fourteen members: Shirui, Won, Mo, Emma, Nathen, Carson, Maddi, Christina, Bethany, Taylor, Claire, Nikki, Riya, and me, Jierui. Our mentor, Jessica Thompson, is the Manager of Teen and Gallery Programs at the DMA.

Founded in 2014, the TAC has been involved in a variety of endeavors at first with JC Bigornia at the helm. On our first project, we partnered with the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and artist Brittany Ransom to create a window panel mural celebrating the fusion of the arts and sciences. The mural featured a tableau of microscopic views of everyday objects.

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Our next stop was a partnership with Big Thought through their City of Learning program with the goal of preventing summer education loss. In a series of Turn Up events, our booth created a My Dallas Is… board (inspired by the Before I Die Wall) to better understand our fellow residents’ perspectives on our city. Later, Eliel Jones, a former McDermott intern, engaged us in his Experiments on Public Space project. The resulting Alternative Signage performance art piece used cardboard signs to break the barriers between the public and the Museum.

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The June 2015 Late Night marked our biggest involvement with the Museum as we planned tours, haiku slams, scavenger hunts, speaker talks, and other superhero themed activities. Lastly, our most recent January Late Night Creations workshop with Jessica returned to our interest in the intersection of the arts and sciences. We used LED lights in conjunction with batteries to illuminate beloved works of art from the DMA’s permanent collection.

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So what’s in store for the TAC? Your next chance to hear from us–after reading our lovely introduction to the blogosphere–is at our February Late Night Creations workshop entitled Rest On Your Laurels on February 19th. Join us as we celebrate your individual virtues and vices in the spirit of Classical tradition! We are also in the process of planning a teen workshop and other programs in the community. Although we may be relatively young, we are excited to add our mark to the vibrant canvas of the DMA!

Until next time!

Jierui Fang
Teen Advisory Council member

Hello My Name Is Jessica Thompson

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Jessica winning our coveted Great Pumpkin trophy on Halloween.

I’m Jessica, the new Manager of Teen and Gallery Programs. Although you might have seen me before in Late Night Creations, I formally joined the Museum in November 2015. As an artist, I thought I’d tell you a little more about myself through one of my favorite forms of art-making: zines!

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You can find me in the Center for Creative Connections, where I oversee:

  • Teen Workshops and Summer camps
  • The Teen Advisory Council and Teen Docent programs
  • Booker T. Washington Learning Lab
  • Late Night Creations
  • and more!

Working with teens is the best part of my job. Teenagers are routinely the most enthusiastic and excited people I come across. Listening to what they’re interested in and thinking about is like getting a glimpse into the future (be advised: the future is bright).

I didn’t know museum education careers existed until I started volunteering in C3 in 2012. Museum education combines all my interests and allows me to give back to my community. If I weren’t working at the DMA, however, I would probably be a window dresser at Neiman Marcus or Bergdorf Goodman.

If you enjoyed the zine, check out the upcoming Urban Armor: Zine Making workshop on January 23rd. We’ll be making a zine inspired by Spirit and Matter: Masterpieces from the Keir Collection of Islamic Art. Hope to see you there!

Jessica Thompson
Manager of Teen and Gallery Programs

Made This: Celebrating the DMA’s Resident McGuyver

After 16.5 years at the DMA, JC Bigornia, Manager of C3 Programs, is heading across the freeway to take the position of Manager of Mobile Innovation at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. JC is our McGuyver, always ready with an ingenious, perfect solution for any and every art-making challenge we throw his way. For his last day at the Museum, we’re taking a look not just at the countless small and brilliant projects he brought to life through his freakish artistic talent, but the way in which his worked shaped our department in larger ways.

Susan Diachisin, The Kelli and Allen Questrom Director of the Center for Creative Connections, perfectly captures what it is we all enjoy about our resident DIY expert:

JC is a creative and diligent art educator who has managed and taught thousands of programs for museum visitors during his tenure here. He worked with people of all ages, guiding them in careful looking at works of art from the collection and then making connections through an art making process.  He was at the helm of our popular Late Night Studio Creations, the drop-in art making program that hosts over 250 multi-age visitors each month. And for many years he led the drop-in weekend family Studio Creations that took place on every Saturday and Sunday all year long. He spent the summers managing logistics for the Summer Camp Program for children and teens, as well as many other family programs too numerous to mention here.

JC has a pretty high coolness factor that was perfect for his accomplishments of working with teens—a focus he originally started back in 2008. In 2013 he was the Project Manager of the IMLS Teen Learning Lab planning grant in partnership with the Perot. For that he spent extensive time researching teen developmental learning, designing innovative programs, and launching a DMA/Perot Teen Advisory Council (TAC). This project boosted his already popular Urban Armor program and launched Maker Club the Thursday night program focusing on the intersection of art and science. He recruited and met bi-monthly with the thirteen member TAC team, and collaboratively led experimental programs, visiting artist projects, and community projects in partnership with other Dallas organizations.

JC brings extensive artistic skills to the programs he designed. I can’t tell you how many times during the development process he had to test and produce project samples. He would say, “I’ll just make that.” And a short time later he would share a creation that was absolutely incredible.

As humble a person as JC is, there are a few memorable projects that you might have seen and may not know they were his:

If you were ever at the Materials Bar in the C3 Materials & Meanings exhibition you might have caught JC’s creative hands demonstrating how to work with materials on the video screens:

JC's hands demo art-making ideas in C3

JC’s hands demo art-making ideas in C3

Last year, JC developed a week-long teen summer camp program call Brains, Brains, Brains where the participants learned about the art and science of zombie culture. Inspired by our collection, they transformed themselves into zombies and went roaming in the galleries:

The Perot Museum entrance featured a mural designed by the TAC students led by JC:

Teen Art Council mural

Teen Art Council mural

JC’s students in the Urban Armor: Street Art Workshop transformed the DMA Sculpture Garden with masking tape:

And this year, the popular teen themed Late Night in June was developed and run by JC’s teens.

JC is a terrific listener and thoughtful which makes him an excellent supervisor to our volunteers and interns. They adore working with him. They enjoy his creative ideas as well as the support he gives them. He is genuinely interested in the people he works with and takes the time to get to know everybody. I’d like to publically thank him for his outstanding work at the DMA with our visitors.

In case you—like all the rest of us here—would like to siphon off a little of JC’s talent and take some art-making adventures of your own, check out his many DIY tutorial blog posts on how to make: sounds prints, printed t-shirts, etchings with cola, vinyl toy mini-amps, collagraphs, and cosplay armor and accessories.

In his new position, JC will oversee the Perot’s fleet of Mobile Innovation trucks so look for him on the streets–taking learning into the community!  We’re gonna miss ya, JC!

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs

June Late Night: Teens Take Over

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Members of the Teen Advisory Council participating in McDermott Intern Eliel Jones’ Alternative Signage event as part of his project, Experiments on Public Space.

Grab your capes and get ready for an action-packed, superhero-themed Late Night! For the first time ever, the DMA has foolishly generously agreed to turn the planning of the evening’s events over to the Dallas Museum of Art/Perot Museum of Nature and Science Teen Advisory Council (TAC). Come and experience the Museum through their eyes and participate in some unique, teen-concocted fun! Some highlights include:

  • A March Madness-style, superhero haiku slam
  • Street artist demo with the Frontiers of Flight Museum
  • Talks including The Physics of Superheroes with Dr. James Kakalios
  • Under 21 dance lounge
  • A special Heroes vs. Villains version of the DMAzing Race
  • Create and destroy a collaborative cardboard metropolis
  • Cool prizes and much more!

Now in its second year, the TAC is made up of sixteen, highly motivated high schoolers who have been helping to shape the direction of how our institution engages youth audiences. In particular, they have been dedicated to exploring the way art and science can connect and what creative avenues can result from their crossover.

A TAC meeting takes a dramatic turn.

A TAC meeting takes a dramatic turn.

While the TAC has participated in some amazing projects during the past couple of years–including creating a gigantic mural for the Perot and designing a collaborative art project for the City of Learning Initiative–I’m ecstatic that they have this chance to impact the DMA in a new and exciting way, giving them and their peers a sense of ownership and belonging. It’s really been a privilege for me to learn with them, and their insight has really transformed the way I approach my work.

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Maddi and Emma leading an activity during this year’s City of Learning Kickoff.

A huge thanks to Stacey Lizotte, Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services, and her team for providing the TAC with this fantastic opportunity, and also to Andrea Severin Goins, Interpretation Manager, for all her work with the Council. See you on the 19th–costumes are definitely encouraged!

JC Bigornia
C3 Program Manager


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