Eight teens have developed their love of the arts, learned the intricacies of staging programmes and events, and cultivated a habit that is likely to see them become lifelong visitors to galleries and other cultural institutions.
For the first time last year, Hastings City Art Gallery offered a special programme based on international models, aimed at 14 to 19 year olds in Hawke’s Bay. The call is now out for the 2018 cohort.
Based on research by gallery educator Elham Salari and after discussions with Hastings teachers and teens, the Youth Art Ambassador Programme, or YAAP, got underway in March 2017.
The eight YAAPers were introduced to staff at the gallery with a behind the scenes tour before going on to work alongside gallery staff to design a six-month plan. It included an art workshop with Hawke’s Bay artist Freeman White, a visit to a local artist’s studio, and an art event for other youth which was developed, marketed and managed by the YAAP members.
There were also opportunities for the teens to contribute their ideas to the gallery’s annual exhibition programme, marketing and events.
As well as expanding their career horizons, research showed those involved with art and cultural institutions at an early age were more likely to be adult visitors, regardless of their career path.
For the Hastings City Art Gallery, the greatest indicator of success had been the ongoing relationships with the 2017 YAAPers, said Salari.
Three had become gallery volunteers, supporting public programmes, school holiday workshops and events. One had twice been a tour guide for the gallery’s seasonal Hastings public art walking tours, and two had offered to peer-lead the 2018 group.
“We feel so privileged to have had these young people in the gallery with us, sharing their perspective and supporting them to become more confident in their relationship with art and the gallery world. We are really looking forward to meeting the 2018 group and seeing what they choose to focus on, Salari said.
Applications are being open for local young people aged between 14 and 19 who are interested in art and want to become more involved with the gallery. Meetings are monthly at the gallery which is in Civic Square, beside the Hastings Public Library, 201 Eastbourne Street East, Hastings.
For more information contact Elham Salari, 06 871 5095 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications close 9 March 9, 2018.
1 March 2018
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