Posts Tagged 'teens'

The Art of Teen Leadership

If you’ve ever attended one of our free summer programs for families, you’ve probably met a Teen Ambassador. The Teen Ambassador Program has been around in some shape or form since 2001, providing fun and interactive experiences to thousands of visitors each summer.

Teen Ambassadors volunteer at the Museum for a short period of time, but they’re at the Museum a lot between June and August. Our 2018 class volunteered over 560 hours in 2018! In just two and a half months, participating teens get comfortable with their voice, learn how to be a good team member, and become experts in the DMA galleries. They truly embody what it means to be a leader—but what does leadership mean to a Teen Ambassador?

For participating teens, leadership is more than just having confidence. “A leader is not about someone in charge that you have to listen to,” one Teen Ambassador said. “It is about someone who takes initiative. If they find a problem they work with it. [They are] not afraid to make mistakes [and] learn from them.” Another Teen Ambassador described a leader as someone “who can take control of the situation and lead others onto a good path. A leader is always kind and has good integrity.”

Many Teen Ambassadors feel that a real leader is someone who listens to and respects others. While a Teen Ambassador can confidently stand up and give a tour to a large group without breaking a sweat, most find themselves learning how to communicate with others and be themselves. “I’ve learned how to make others feel welcome,” one Teen Ambassador reported at the end of last summer. “I was able to break out of my shell to connect with more people.”

Inspired by these teens’ experiences? Applications for the 2019 Teen Ambassador Program are now open! If you’re a teen who is at least 14 years old and interested in getting involved at the Museum, find out more by clicking here. Applications are due on Sunday, April 28.

Jessica Thompson-Castillo is the Manager of Teen Programs at the DMA.

The Making of “Teen Renaissance”

When the DMA Teen Advisory Council (TAC) re-convened for this year’s session, we started our first brainstorming exercise with the question we ask ourselves every year: what do we want the Dallas Museum of Art to be for teens? While the answer we ultimately arrive at takes a different form, the teens always think of inventive new ways to create a space for their peers.

A Teen Advisory Council meeting in session

This year, the conversation revolved around teen artists. Council members know that young people in DFW have a lot to say, and use their talents to express their ideas. To give these talented artists a space to be heard and recognized, TAC decided to launch Teen Renaissance, a new student art exhibition inspired by the innovation and unique perspectives of their generation.

In developing the open call, TAC settled on the theme of “Your Personal Lens,” inviting teens to submit artworks that shared their interpretations of the world. A whopping 195 students submitted their artwork for consideration, representing more than 15 different schools around the Metroplex.

TAC members making curatorial decisions for the Teen Renaissance art installation

While narrowing down so many submissions was difficult, TAC specifically looked for artworks that could speak to each other. We looked at all the submissions together, finding common themes and works that would be cohesive when viewed together. The council went through three rounds of elimination before deciding on the final 15 works on view at the Museum.


TAC members discussing and planning for Teen Renaissance

So how do teens see the world? This year’s Teen Renaissance shows us that being a teen is a lot about what’s happening on the inside as young people start creating a place for themselves in the world. For many teens, their personal lens is their cultural heritage, and how multiple identities merge and balance to create a unique individual. For others, their personal lens is the complicated journey of growing up, finding a world view that’s authentic to them, and creating meaningful relationships with others.

Join the Teen Advisory Council on Saturday, March 16 for Your Personal Lens, an all-day celebration of the exhibition and teen talent throughout Dallas!

Teen Renaissance is now on view through March 28, 2019, on Mezzanine 2, next to the Mayer Library.

Jessica Thompson-Castillo is the Manager of Teen Programs at the DMA.

Happy National Volunteer Week!

April 23-29 is National Volunteer Week in North America. This special week was created in the 1970s to celebrate and recognize volunteer service across the country. We are so fortunate to have a fantastic group of volunteers at the DMA who support our programs everyday. Since January, DMA volunteers have already donated over 3,600 hours of service and helped create countless experiences for our visitors! In the spirit of National Volunteer Week, we wanted to share a mini volunteer spotlight for each group to celebrate their daily achievements and show our thanks.

Everyday in the Center for Creative Connections, our Junior League of Dallas and C3 volunteers welcome visitors and encourage them to interact with art in new ways. They are always willing to engage in new opportunities when they arise.

Our Docents share their knowledge and passion for the Museum with hundreds of visitors each week. They are constantly researching and learning new things to ensure their tours and access programs are the best they can be.

Arts & Letters Live volunteers help make our many BooksmART and author events possible while serving as ushers, ticket takers, and greeters. Their ongoing commitment to this speaker series makes each year a success.

Go van Gogh volunteers travel to dozens of classrooms each school year, bringing art education to children across Dallas. We truly appreciate their enthusiasm and dedication in delivering these experiences across the city.

Community Engagement volunteers are always happy to lend a hand at special DMA programs including Late Night and Membership events. They are truly one of our most flexible groups!

The Teen Advisory Council is always thinking of innovative new ideas to involve the community and recently launched the Disconnect to Reconnect teen night. We are also looking forward to welcoming a new group of Teen Ambassadors who will join us this summer.

Thank you so much to all of our wonderful and amazing volunteers! You all help make our programs a reality and we sincerely appreciate your ongoing generosity and support. If you are interested in becoming a DMA volunteer, please visit the Volunteer page or email volunteers@dma.org.

Andi Orkin
Volunteer Coordinator for Programming

Are you a teen? We need you!

We are now seeking applications for the 2017 Teen Ambassador Program! Since 2001, dedicated teen volunteers have assisted staff members in providing fun summer activities for families. Teen Ambassadors are trained to give tours, host story times and lead art activities in the galleries. Volunteers are closely mentored by staff members, and have several opportunities during the summer to work on special projects that impact the Museum! They also get perks with volunteering, like free parking in our garage, admission to special exhibitions, and exclusive workshops and tours. Teen Ambassadors must meet the following requirements to apply:

  • Be at least 14 years old and have completed the 8th grade, or equivalent;
  • Have an interest in art, museums, or public service;
  • Willing to practice public speaking skills;
  • Able to commit to volunteering at least 20 hours over the summer.

Does this describe you or a teenager you know? Click here to apply today! We will accept applications until Saturday, April 29, 2017. More information about Teen Ambassadors and all our teen programs is available on our Teen Programs page. Please feel free to email Jessica Thompson with any questions.

Jessica Thompson
Manager of Teen Programs

He(ART) History

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My name is Kenzie Grogan, and I am a senior at Lake Highlands High School. This year, I was accepted into the Professional Internship Program at my school. PIP is designed to give seniors experience in the career they are interested in pursuing in college. During my junior year, I ultimately decided that I wanted to focus on art history and see what a degree in it could lead to in the real world. Art has always been an area of interest for me, and history has always been my favorite subject in school. So, I figured why not give art history a try and see if I like it?

My internship began in September and I was extremely nervous. I was shocked when my teacher told me that I was placed with Teen Programs at the DMA – I wasn’t expecting to be placed at a museum. Throughout my internship I got to participate in a variety of programs, from helping paint a canvas for Dallas Pride and assisting with Family Workshops, to helping with Arts and Letters Live and getting to see Cary Elwes.

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Since I worked with Teen Programs, a lot of my time was spent helping prepare for Teen Tours on Thursday nights, and even assisting in writing a few of them. Researching the Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck opened my eyes to the incredible symbolism in the painting. It was the first time in my life where I actually wanted to study something more. I ended up teaching part of the Renaissance tour, which was a little intimidating. Let me tell you, the teenagers who go on the Teen Tours know their stuff! It wouldn’t surprise me if some of them could get up and teach the tour themselves.

When I wasn’t working on Teen Tours, my time was spent working on my official research project: an interactive teen guide for the Museum. The DMA has a series of self-guided tours for families and adults, but it lacks one specifically for teens. What better way to make a tour for teens than to have one design it?

Since my internship has been all about art history, I wanted my teen guide to reflect that experience. Narrowing down the art I wanted to use was difficult, but I chose what I felt best represented a broad range: Renaissance, Impressionism, Cubism, American, and Surrealism.

The next step was researching and writing the informational parts that would go into the final tour guide. As I began writing, I saw a universal theme throughout the paintings: each painting represented a new genre that went against the popular art style of the time. Because artists rebelled against society in their own way, I decided to call the guide Rebels With a Cause.

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All of the tours at the Museum have some sort of interactive aspect about them, whether it be prompts for drawing or questions to answer. Since music and art are my favorite things, I decided I wanted to create a playlist that represents each piece in the guide. This way, teens are able to connect with the painting using two senses. For anyone without an electronic device, there are other ways to interact with the art, like taking a selfie with Frida Kahlo or using color swatches to notice new colors in a painting.

Participating in this internship has been the best experience of my high school career. I’ve learned so much in the short amount of time I was here, and I’ve gotten the opportunity to work with so many amazing people. I can now say I plan to study art history in college because I’ve seen first-hand all the different careers it can lead to. I’ve loved getting to come to the Museum, and I definitely plan to come back and volunteer as much as I can.

Be sure to check out Rebels with a Cause at the DMA this spring and check how other teens have left their mark at the Museum!

Kenzie Grogan
Teen Programs Intern

Treasures of the Dead: Burial Art of Ancient China

Today’s post comes from Mo Gyeong Seong, a DMA Teen Advisory Council member with a serious passion for history. He currently attends Carroll Senior High School in Southlake, Texas, where he has taken several classes in world history, humanities, and global languages. Enjoy his bite-sized tour of Chinese burial sculpture from the DMA’s permanent collection!

China’s Tang Dynasty was marked as a time of prosperity and discovery that fostered a distinctive cultural sphere lasting down to the modern day. Religion and spirituality played an important part in Tang life, and great thought was put into what would happen after an individual’s last breath. With Halloween fast approaching, I wanted to share a bite-sized tour of some of the burial art made by the Tang Dynasty.

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Pair of Lokapalas (Heavenly Guardians), early 8th century C.E., Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., in honor of Ellen and Harry S. Parker III

The Lokapala are guardians of the world in Buddhism, introduced to Tang China by the preceding Sui Dynasty. According to legend, the Lokapala were originally protector gods in Ancient India, called the Four Great Heavenly Kings. After witnessing the enlightenment of the Buddha, they chose to lead an army of ghosts to defend the worshippers of the Buddha from demons. The Four Kings would slowly integrate into Chinese burial traditions, guarding the four cardinal directions. Their fierce faces reflect their foreign origins. However, their armor is of a mystical Chinese style and a feng huang–an East Asian mythological King of Birds and symbol of harmony and royalty–is sculpted into their helmets.

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Polo horse tomb figure, 618-906, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Rothwell.

Some of the finest pieces from Chinese tombs are the handsome and muscular ceramic horses created by talented craftsmen for burials of the elite. This one has faded over time, but centuries ago it would have dazzled in reds and oranges. Horses, thought to be related to dragons and crucial to the countless military campaigns waged by China, symbolized strength, wealth, and power. Horses also represented a spiritual ascension, as the souls of the dead could ride them into the afterlife.

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Tomb Plaque Marker on a Tortoise Base, 1000-1200, Dallas Museum of Art, the Cecil and Ida Green Acquisition Fund

After the fall of the Tang Dynasty, a new burial tradition was adopted by the nobility: the use of large stone stele, or bei in Chinese. These stele were often etched with information from the deceased’s life, including occupation, age and date of death, birthplace, and their life accomplishments, as an enduring honor to the deceased. The stele is capped by carvings of mythological animals and erected on the back of a stone tortoise, an animal who could carry heavy loads according to Chinese mythology.

Make sure you visit these works of art currently on view on Level 3 of the permanent collection galleries! What other burial traditions can you uncover at the Museum?

Mo Gyeong Seong
Teen Advisory Council Member

I’m Never Saying Goodbye!

Hey everyone, my name is Joshua Berry-Jones. I’m a summer intern here at the Dallas Museum of Art through the Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program. I was chosen out of hundreds of students to come work for the DMA. In total, I interviewed at six different potential jobs. To be honest, I could have landed anywhere, but by fate I ended up here. I have to say, I couldn’t be happier–working at the DMA is the best!

What I’ve experienced at the DMA has exceeded all of my expectations. I’ve done more things than I can count on my fingers AND toes. I mainly worked with the Go van Gogh program, under my supervisor Amy Copeland. This year’s theme was “Go for the Gold.” We would educate children about Ancient Greece and how art tied into the Olympics. When I was not running around in the Go van Gogh van, I was shadowing many programs here at the DMA. One memorable moment would be when I was dressed up as a mummy for the DISD touch tour for children with visual impairment. Another would be when I choreographed a few dance moves with the Dance for PD program.

I’ve also been given plenty of opportunities to learn and build upon many valuable traits desired in today’s workforce. I was even allowed to completely coordinate a new program for the DMA in partnership with CitySquare, during which we created art with over 100 kids. I was the point of contact for volunteers, DMA staff, and CitySquare employees. I even came up with the art project the kids made. I am so thankful to Amy for giving me the chance to do that.

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Out of the few jobs that I’ve had, and the many I will have in the future, the DMA will have a special place in my heart. Every day when I walk in, I feel a welcoming presence. Every person here has a personality that I cannot forget. These eight weeks have flown by so fast, I feel like it’s still my first day. I will never forget the wisdom and guidance that I gained at the DMA, and in the future, I plan to volunteer and/or work here. For me, this was not a job. This was an amusement park with so many different rides to try. To sum it all up, I really don’t want to leave–I’m never saying goodbye!

Joshua Berry-Jones
2016 Mayor’s Intern Fellow


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