Speak Up, Speak Out! A Whitney Teen Summit
Feb 23, 2018

  • Teens posing for photograph.

    Teens pose in front of a paparazzi wall designed by Paul Chan and Badlands Unlimited. Photograph by Filip Wolak

  • Teen sitting in the theater.

    Performance Workshop with Shaun Leonardo

  • Teens screen printing.

    DIY Screen Printing

  • Teen meditating.

    Meditation with Kyle Somersall of My Inner Glow

  • Teens speaking onstage.

    Open Mic!

  • Teens handing out prizes.

    Raffle Prizes

  • Four Polaroids.

    Open Mic’s Polaroid photographs by Micaela Durand

The Whitney’s Youth Insights (YI) Leaders hosted Speak Up, Speak Out! a teen summit on Sunday, February 11. This event was inspired by the history of activism presented in the exhibition An Incomplete History of Protest: Selections from the Whitney's Collection, 1940-2017. YI Leaders and New York City teens shared their ideas about political and social justice issues that matter to them. Teens participated in a DIY Screen Printing project, discussions, guided tours of the exhibitions, open mic, and workshops, expressing themselves creatively, openly, and without the fear of being judged.

Artist and educator Shaun Leonardo led a captivating performance workshop about memory, trauma, and connectivity. The Door, one of the Whitney’s Community partners who provide comprehensive programs and services for youth, conducted an interactive immigration rights workshop. Kyle Somersall, founder of My Inner Glow, a meditation center, led a guided meditation and discussion about self-care. At the end of the day, YI Leaders and New York City teens left the Museum confident about raising their voices against inequalities and optimistic for the future; a step closer to being activists.

Dyeemah Simmons, Coordinator of Teen Programs commented: “This event was unlike any teen event we’ve had in recent history. The Leaders wanted to give their peers a venue to speak about the issues that were most important to them. They worked incredibly hard to design informative workshops and tours in addition to spaces for creativity, mindfulness, and relaxation. For us, the summit pushed the boundaries of what a teen event at an art museum can and should look like.”

If you are interested in future teen events, like us on Facebook or keep an eye on the Whitney’s website. Take a look at the slideshow above for more fun during the Speak Up, Speak Out! teen summit. All photographs by Filip Wolak.

Georgina Dasoura, Teen Programs Intern

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