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On Monday, September 30, students from all over New York City came to the Whitney to participate in Youth Insights Orientation for the fall 2013 semester! These students are participating in one of the Whitney Museum’s Youth Insights programs, either YI Writers or YI Artists. Youth Insights Leaders, a group of New York City students who have completed previous YI Artists or Writers programs, were also present for this event. The orientation was a great way for all YI teens to socialize with one another—by playing games, eating snacks, visiting an exhibition, and joining in a few rounds of what YI Coordinator Hannie likes to call “Speed Meeting.”
As the teens arrived, Hannie asked everyone to grab two pieces of paper; one with their names to fasten to their fronts, the other with one adjective they’d use to describe themselves to attach to their backs. Then everyone walked around, talked, and wrote positive adjectives that came to mind on the person’s back. Once everyone had a chance to talk to one another, the teens gathered outside for a few games. “Body-to-Body” was led by YI Leaders Alesanicole and Anna. They asked everyone to pair off and to listen for three directions to follow, in order to become more comfortable with interacting with one another. For example, the Leaders would say, “elbow to elbow”, and each pair would touch their elbows together. “Blind Cars,” led by YI Leaders Teddy and Shirley, built trust amongst their peers. In pairs, the “car” had their eyes closed while the “driver” led their partner around the courtyard by touching specific areas of their back. Next, the students visited the exhibition, TJ Wilcox: In the Air to view and discuss the artist’s new panoramic film installation. After the discussion, teens did an activity where they talked about their own favorite memories of New York. Then it was back downstairs for Hannie’s “Speed Meeting,” a game where YI Leaders sat in groups and answered questions about the programs for the newest members of the YI family. All in all, it was a great orientation and an even better way to start off Youth Insights this year!
By Alesanicole, Youth Insights Leader