ARTE Takes on Teens Takes the Met
Updated: Dec 26, 2019
On November 8, 2019, Art and Resistance Through Education (ARTE), along with 40 other community organizations, held a table at the Metropolitan Museum’s annual event, Teens Take the Met. From 5 to 8 p.m., teenagers ages 13 and up packed the museum to explore activities hosted by various organizations specifically targeted to their interests. ARTE, partnering with the Met for their second year, held an activity to further ARTE’s outreach to teenagers as well as help them cultivate their sense of place amongst social justice initiatives.
ARTE’s activity titled, “Collaging Justice,” posed the question “What does social justice mean to you?” In order for students to answer this question, ARTE’s table displayed an array of magazine clippings, tape, and plain white cards with which collages could be made. These materials allowed the teens to reflect on and creatively capture social justice in a way that was personal and imperative to them. After they finished making their collages, teens had the opportunity to either put them in envelopes and take them home or leave them at the table. The teens were also offered the opportunity to sign up for ARTE’s future workshops. The opportunity to visualize social justice through art opened the door for New York teens to center their experiences in social justice - the epitomization of ARTE’s mission to connect art and human rights education for youth.
The table also had a slideshow and postcards depicting past events hosted by ARTE and ARTE’s redesigned Universal Declaration of Human Rights zines. For example, one postcard featured a mural created by the Pan American International High School students in 2015 that was created to bring awareness to Racial Discrimination and Immigrant Rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights zine remains to be a foundational document for ARTE’s work as it provides an overview of the articles that pertain to the “recognition of inherent dignity of the equal inalienable rights of all members of the human family.” In addition to these supplemental materials, interns Desmonda, Colette, and Maihlikhaa, helped define social justice by explaining some issues ARTE addresses through its events such as mass incarceration, racial discirmination, gender discrimination, and immigrant justice. These extra materials and anecdotes from the interns served as inspiration for teens who either didn’t know what to create or were unsure what social justice entailed. However, several students, from personal experience or knowledge, already had some understanding or connection to the phrase “social justice.”
While ARTE primarily focuses on developing and facilitating workshops in schools and jails, its team makes sure to integrate with the community through events such as Teens Take the Met. It is important to extend education on human rights for youth as far as possible, and being an active participant in public events is an invaluable avenue to doing so. If you are interested in having ARTE facilitate a workshop near you, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.