Tag: teens

Homago, Connected Learning, and Teen After School Programming


If you’ve attended CMA on a Thursday night, chances are you’ve noticed teenage visitors in the Center for Creativity playing Xbox, creating sculptures, composing songs, or even hanging out with friends. The CMA Teen Open Studio is a part of the nationally recognized Surge Columbus collaborative along with Columbus Metropolitan Library, Center of Science & Industry (COSI), Wexner Center for the Arts, and WOSU Public Media. Surge Columbus partners are working to create a city-wide network of studios, labs and spaces that empower teens to discover and pursue their learning interests outside of school by connecting them with mentors, digital and cultural resources, and each other. Since its debut in January 2014, CMA’s Teen Open Studio has served more than 150 teens from more than 30 local high schools.

After school programming has become increasingly important for our country and our local Columbus community. Sociologist Ray Oldenburg claims that people need a neutral space beyond school and home where they can develop social bonds and live social lives. This is also a place where creativity, imagination and critical thinking skills can be developed and fostered.

By offering after school digital media labs, Surge organizations can supplement the creative learning needs that teens aren’t receiving in school, while offering safe, inviting, and accessible spaces for teens in our city. These studios, labs and creative hubs are intentionally designed as unique environments, different from the school settings teens are accustomed to. Spaces are informal, unpretentious, and always free to the teen. A variety of workshops are available for teens to participate in, though they are not required.

Cities all over the country are creating digital media labs for teens. The MacArthur Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, and many others are looking to museums and libraries for the future of education, supporting these organizations’ efforts. Chicago, Washington DC, and New York are a few of the cities that have pioneered these after school learning opportunities. Though spaces and programs may look slightly different from city to city, our philosophies and guiding principles are aligned.

Connected Learning is one of those approaches. According to researchers, Connected Learning makes learning relevant to all populations, real life and work, and the realities of the digital age, where the demand for learning never stops. Connected Learning places value in creating spaces where dedicated mentors work side-by-side with teens to help them identify their interests and put those interests into practices that could transform into careers and other professional opportunities.


Another approach that aligns with Connected Learning is HOMAGO, which stands for Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out. This acronym is based off of research compiled by professor and anthropologist Mimi Ito, and shows the natural way in which teens interact with digital media. Two spaces at CMA, the Innovation Lab and Studio, are set up each week to intentionally support this approach.

The Innovation Lab serves as the technology hub, offering a range of digital media including Macbooks equipped with the Adobe Creative Suite, iPads, Wacom Tablets, photography equipment, and even an Xbox for the “hanging out” inclined. It is also holds a full functioning, sound proofed recording studio with studio quality microphones, headphones, editing software such as Garageband/Logic Pro, and a MIDI keyboard for creating beats. The Studio across the hall is where teens can find a range of fine art supplies including painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, sewing machines and even monster make up. Students are encouraged by mentors and teaching artists to push their ideas, try new mediums and materials, and collaborate with other youth in the spaces.

Many Teen Open Studio participants do not have regular access to computers, Internet, or some of the other resources CMA has to offer. Our studios serve as a social space and entry point for many teens in our community. Many come to hang out, while other teens who are “geeking out” have taken their interests to new levels. One teen came to the space for the first time because he heard about our recording studio from some friends. Now, months later, he has composed a number of original songs and is adding these tracks to his portfolio in hopes to attend college next year for audio engineering.


Another teen with an interest in graphic design came to our space having messed around in Gimp, a free image editing software that mirrors the pricey Adobe Photoshop. This teen learned how to use a Wacom drawing tablet as well as Photoshop, and worked with a CMA mentor to design a logo for his first freelance commission as a young designer. He’s attending the School for Advertising Arts in the fall and had this to say about CMA: “If I didn’t have this museum, I don’t know where I would be, like what my career would be. I know I would still have art, but not a career!”

Surge Columbus wants to make learning opportunities like these available to as many teens as possible, and connect them with mentors and digital resources that are available at each of the SURGE cultural institutions. The CMA Teen Open Studio is offered every Thursday evening from 4:00-8:00pm to teens ages 14 – 19.

More information on Youmedia, Homago and Connected Learning. For more information about the CMA Teen Open Studio or other SURGE Columbus opportunities, contact Morgan Anderson or visit www.surgecolumbus.org.

Art Lab, Project Pivot, and Teens at CMA


If you happened to be in the museum on Wednesdays recently, you may have noticed the surplus of high-school-aged youth engaging in various activities. Project Pivot, the 4-year partnership with the Arts and College Preparatory Academy (artcollegeprep.org), is a high school program that experiments with formal and informal learning. Pivot and Art Lab meet every Wednesday. Pivot in the Studio and Ready Room and Art Lab in the Innovation Lab.

Art Lab, the out-of-school internship kicked off its first day recently with a photo shoot, gallery tour, sound booth intro, and zine workshop. More than 30 teens from four area high schools applied to the program and scheduled interviews with CMA staff. Only 15 were selected to participate, including Art Lab alumni who applied to come back for a second year.

From October until May, teen programming staff and mentors will be pushing teens to re-define what it means to be an artist, either as a profession or a way of existing curiously in the world. Members of the program will be encouraged to evaluate community need, and will be given resources to conceptualize events for museum visitors on our free Sundays.

In mid-November, Kansas City based artist, Sean Starowitz will be working with both Art Lab and Project Pivot on respective program initiatives. One of the reasons Sean was picked to work with our teens, is due to his belief that socially engaged art brings people together in unique ways, which create pathways for meaningful interactions, conversations, and experiences.  Art Lab’s first Social Sunday of the year will be a collaboration between Art Lab teens, CMA staff, Starowitz, and museum-goers alike. Stop in Sunday, November 17 from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM to see what Art Lab teens have in store.

TeensatCMAThis Thursday November 14 will also be our first Drop-in Studio times for teens from 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM. Teens can hang out together and check out our Studio and Innovation Lab, mess around with Garageband, PhotoShop, a sound booth, and green screens, plus Studio time with art supplies, crafts, and a sewing machine. All are welcome, no registration requested.

Interested in serving on the Teen Event Council? The Teen Council meets monthly on the second Wednesday of each month from 4:30 PM -6:00 PM, rotating between COSI and the Columbus Museum of Art. Contact Morgan Anderson for details.

Art Speaks. Join the Conversation.

Morgan Anderson, Teen Programs Coordinator

By Teens for Teens

“Teens need a program that will make them believe that something is possible for them.” Dyshawn – CMA Art Lab Teen Intern

You may have seen one of CMAʼs 15 member strong Art Lab Teen Collective (ALT-C) in the halls of the museum shooting scenes for video projects, asking museum patrons with help filling out questionnaires or working with visiting artists on projects in the galleries. These are the same teens that took over Columbus Museum of Art last spring with fashion shows, live entertainment, street art and other radical forms of museum engagement. See the blog post here for more information about the event.

Columbus Museum of Art is on the cusp of engaging in a transformation of how we work with, program for, engage, value, and support teens in the Columbus community. We believe that continuously developing new ways to authentically engage teens is essential to the mission of CMA and the Center for Creativity as part of our effort to become a resource hub, and catalyst for great things in our community.

How do we inspire teens? What changes do we need to make in our museum community to make teen programing even better? How do we encourage teens in our Columbus community to be involved with the CMA? These are just some of the questions we set out to explore with some insightful members of the CMA community by hosing a teen focus group.

The focus group is a dynamic and integral part of our museumʼs effort to create great new teen programming. On Thursday July 26th a few ALT-C teens gathered in the Center for Creativityʼs Innovation Lab to zero in on what CMA could do to support teens to feel connected to their community, to be eager to learn, and to feel empowered to create positive change.

Weʼll do our best to make them proud. Look as new teen programs, inspired by this teen focus group, roll out this Fall.

For more information about CMA teen programs please contact Kristin Lantz, School Programs Coordinator at kristin.lantz@cmaohio.org or (614) 270-3501.

Art Speaks. Join the Conversation.

Kristen Lantz, School Programs Coordinator

Art Lab Teens Take Over CMA

Thirteen teens set out to change the way you experience the Columbus Museum of Art.

Art Lab is a teen internship program at the Columbus Museum of Art. Our interns from The Arts and College Preparatory Academy, Focus Learning Academy, and Columbus Alternative High School worked all year long to plan a day of events and programming that truly engaged their community.

The Art Lab teens were challenged with thinking about alternative learning environments, making everyone feel welcome in a museum and how the museum can be relevant to everyone’s lives, including teens.

Can people change how we interact with art in a museum setting? Our Art Lab teens think so. They examined the perception of teens in roles of power and responsibility, inclusiveness of museums, and what real community engagement at museums can look like.

We brought our Art Lab interns in on a recent Sunday to put their plans into action. They were on a mission to create a museum experience like none other.

Tommy found that parts of the museum seemed inaccessible so created a barrier to artwork. Latisha and Jessica included a fashion show to the museum halls. All garments were inspired by trends seen in the artwork of the museum. Aaron played live music throughout the museum. Jarred curated an exhibition with five urban artists. Jacob created a recorded sound scape for CMA’s New Materials Gallery.

It was quite the engaging Sunday! We are lucky to have our museum embrace youth as valued guests, to highlight their creative learning processes, and to embark on a future of informal learning and alternative ways of thinking about museum experiences.

What will our teen interns bring in the 2012-2013 school year? Well that is a question for a new group of teens with fresh ideas.

To be continued…

“Before Art Lab I did not feel like I had a place in the museum. I was nervous to interact with the art or engage in talking with people about art. Now I feel like those boundaries have been taken down.” – Tommy

For more information about the Art Lab teen program please contact Kristin Lantz at kristin.lantz@cmaohio.org.

Art Speaks. Join the Conversation.

Kristin Lantz, School Programs Coordinator

Teens, Photography, & Columbus

Utilizing the power of photography to engage teens in socially relevant conversations, the Columbus Museum of Art’s Columbus In Focus program invites students from two Columbus City high schools, Linden McKinley and Marion Franklin, to examine the rich history of Columbus and document it during the Columbus Bicentennial. With these photographs, students invite you into their world as they uncover their communities past, confront today’s most pressing issues, and explore their place in their city and the world at large.

This years participants also looked to extend their reach into the community. Three students from Linden McKinley helped create QR Code plaques that are installed in locations thoughout Columbus. These plaques direct viewers to their exhibition at CMA and online resources located on this page.

To see more student work please visit the Columbus In Focus Flickr Group or check out the Columbus Underground story on the Columbus In Focus program.

The work the In Focus students created is on view at CMA May 3 – September 8, 2012. Columbus In Focus will also dovetail with CMA’s Radical Camera exhibition, which highlights the work of the Photo League, the pioneering documentary photography movement of the 1930s and 1940s. For more information about the Columbus In Focus teen photography program please contact Kristin Lantz at kristin.lantz@cmaohio.org.

The Focus program is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and Puffin Foundation West, Ltd.


Art Speaks. Join the Conversation.

Kristin Lantz, School Programs Coordinator