Oklahoma City Museum of Art accepting applications for Youth Arts Advocates

Application deadline: July 22!

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art introduced its first teen program this spring. Youth Arts Advocates, a name chosen by participants, is a diverse group of eleven high school juniors and seniors selected by an application and interview process in February. The program is led by Sheila Hallett, the Museum’s AmeriCorps Member in community outreach. Hallett began promoting this opportunity in December 2010 by visiting high schools, distributing posters and e-mailing art teachers at public, private, charter, and home schools.

“This program has been very successful for the Museum,” said Hallett. “I am very proud of our group. They are insightful, motivated, and their passion for art is obvious.”

Current members of YAA are Jessica Bowie (Putnam City North–12th grade), Kate Foringer (Edmond North–11th grade), Alison Glass (Tuttle–11th grade), Mary Ann Grover (McGuinness–11th grade), Bo Hubbard (Harding Charter Prep–11th grade), Lauren Johnson (Jones–12th grade), Hayley Olson (Edmond Memorial–12th grade), Lauren Schlepp (Edmond North–11th grade), Jacquelynn Sims (Jones–12th grade), David Wang (Norman North–11th grade), and Julia Witcher (Putnam City North–12th grade).

Over the last few months, these juniors and seniors had the unique opportunity to plan and promote their own film event featuring live music, a screening of American Teen—a documentary that follows the lives of five teenagers—and an interactive panel discussion. The event was held at the Museum on Saturday, May 14, and had 55 attend.

YAA members also worked with a professional artist to create art panels for the WestTown Campus public art project put on by the Homeless Alliance of Oklahoma City. The WestTown Resource Center is a comprehensive resource center for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in central Oklahoma to access services they need to achieve long-term stability in their lives. Working within the theme, “What Does ‘Home’ Mean to You?,” each YAA participant developed their interpretation and worked closely with artist Kathleen Huffman and Sheila Hallett to transfer and paint their ideas on large, corrugated steel panels that will be displayed as public art at the Center.

Through monthly meetings, participants also have been educated about careers within the arts and are working to organize an additional event for teens this summer. One student was selected to be the Museum’s first teen docent and will train with Museum staff to accomplish that role. Another student is fulfilling her passion for art therapy by assisting in the Museum’s outreach efforts with OU Children’s Hospital.

For the 2011-12 school year, applications are currently being accepted through July 22, 2011. To apply, visit okcmoa.com/learn/programs/youth-arts-advocates or contact Sheila Hallett, (405) 236-3100, ext. 221, for more details.

Source: Oklahoma City Museum of Art Press Room with some hyperlinks created by Oklahomans for the Arts.