Our Teen Advisory Board is composed of a passionate group of local high school students who see the de Young and Legion of Honor as places to unite and support one another on behalf of important social issues. Every year they create the event Teens Take Action!, inspired by the Museums’ collection or exhibitions. The next Teens Take Action! is Saturday, October 27 and is inspired by the exhibition Contemporary Muslim Fashions.
We sat down with members of the Teen Advisory Board to talk about Contemporary Muslim Fashions, the Beyond the Paint podcast and audio tour they created for the exhibition, and what they hope attendees will get out of the after-hours, high-school-students-only event.
What was it like writing and producing the Beyond the Paint podcast and audio tour?
Amanda: It was amazing, fun, and a great new experience. I thought that it was going to be very complicated. However, everyone was full of amazing ideas and supportive, which made the process incredibly enjoyable. If I could write and produce another podcast/audio tour, I definitely would.
Sarah: I never thought that I would be able to make something like this at my age, and definitely not in a month, but this just goes to show how much teens can do when we are determined and supported by people who trust in our ability.
Kenzo: I felt like a professional, and it was amazing to do this project.
What did you most enjoy about the process?
Amanda: I loved hearing the diverse perspectives and what the interviewees had to say. I also really liked the script writing for the process. It allowed me to express my creativity. I’ve always loved writing, so putting my passion into my work made me really excited.
Sarah: I enjoyed how we were able to make so many of the artistic decisions. The podcast really ended up being our vision and how we wanted the listeners to experience it.
Franki: I really liked the fact that this “teen-produced” podcast really was teen-produced. We had control over what messages we wanted to relay and in what creative direction we wanted to take our podcast.
What do you hope listeners take away from Beyond the Paint and the audio tour?
Jackie: A lot of teens can relate from just hearing the story and seeing that they have something in common.
Kenzo: I hope the listeners understand that even in modest religions, there can still be a sense of fashion and identity because many people refuse to or cannot understand that.
Benjamin: I hope that listeners learn that they have a voice in this world. Although it may not seem like it, I hope they learn that their opinion matters and they should stand up for what they believe in.
How do Beyond the Paint and the audio tour relate to Teens Take Action!?
Sasha: The audio tour is an educational platform that allowed our team members to simultaneously learn and spread ideas. As we encourage teens to use their voice to create change at Teens Take Action!, we were able to do the same through this project.
Sarah: I feel like teens often feel like they can’t make a difference or impact on the world at their age; the thing is, they can. These projects show that teens can do whatever they have their minds set on and are passionate about.
Franki: They relate because they provided outlets for us to express our ideas and opinions on issues that matter to us.
Attendees of last year’s Teens Take Action!
What do you hope attendees of Teens Take Action! take away from the event?
Jackie: There is much more to the exhibition than just the religious or fashion aspect. Fashion and religion can be intertwined, and Contemporary Muslim Fashions does an amazing job presenting that.
Benjamin: I hope Teens Take Action! and the exhibition teach teens that if we unite, then we can achieve greater things, rather than filling the world with so much negative energy and hate.
Sasha: I hope that teens leave with a sense of empowerment a certainty in the fact that their voice can precipitate change, and contribute to the creation of a better, kinder world. Every person has a cause that they feel impassioned toward, and the Teens Take Action! event encourages advocacy for that personal cause.
Teen Programs is made possible with support from Bank of America, de Youngsters, Kimball Foundation, Gap Foundation, the Marilyn Langer Memorial Fund, Ross Auxiliary of the Fine Arts Museums, The Sato Foundation, the Walter S. Johnson Foundation, Wells Fargo, and Zellerbach Family Foundation.