NEW ORLEANS, LA — Ogden Museum of Southern Art has been approved for a $35,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the Ogden Museum Teen and Young Adult Outreach Program, which provides opportunities for New Orleans area underserved students, ages 13 to 25. Ogden Museum’s project is among the more than 1,100 projects across America totaling nearly $27 million that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2021 funding.
Ogden Museum’s Teen and Young Adult Outreach Program currently includes two existing programs, which this grant funding will support. One of which is the monthly program, Day with an Artist, which connects artists with middle or high school classes from an area public school. In addition to spending the day discussing and making art with a professional artist, the program often serves as a first Museum experience as well as an introduction to the Ogden Museum Teen Internship program. Approximately 200 students participate each year, and since 2010, over 1,500 students have participated in this monthly program.
The second existing program that this funding will support is the Ogden Museum Teen Internship Program (formerly the Teen Docent Program), which for the last 12 years has served New Orleans public high school students. The year-long program offers job training and resume building experience to eight interns as docents and camp counselors, provides a creative haven for students during out-of-school hours, as well as a stipend. Through an outreach component, interns also create art to share with their community. In addition, encounters with artists, museum staff and other cultural institutions broaden participants’ knowledge of the arts and related careers. In turn, Ogden Museum gains trained assistants for programming, creating a mutually beneficial relationship. The program addresses the critical lack of arts education and resume-building activities available to the majority of New Orleans area students, while increasing participants’ leadership skills and providing access to a supportive professional museum community. The program boasts an 80% college matriculation rate, compared with the Orleans Parish rate of 61%. In 2015, the program received the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award for its work in providing “rich arts and humanities learning opportunities to young people.”
With the funding support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Ogden Museum will introduce a new component of the Ogden Museum Teen and Young Adult Outreach Program – an internship program for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This new opportunity was created for university-level students from ethnically diverse cultures and backgrounds that are historically underrepresented in the museum field with the goal of promoting inclusive, pluralistic museums. The program also aims to enrich the intern’s academic experience, broaden their understanding of art, specifically of the South, and provides a stipend. Three interns a year (fall, spring and summer) will work closely with the Director of Education and Education Coordinator to assist with the planning and organizing of education activities, research for special projects and assisting other areas of the museum.
“These programs aim to increase students’ exposure to the arts, develop leadership and critical thinking skills, and explore new career pathways,” says Ellen Balkin, Director of Education at Ogden Museum. “While quality art education has been proven to increase critical thinking skills and improve chances for success in school and beyond, the majority of Louisiana schools lack funding for arts education. Taking place both at the Museum and virtually, the Teen and Young Adult Outreach Program strives to fill that gap for a wide range of New Orleans area students.”
“As the country and the arts sector begin to imagine returning to a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to announce funding that will help arts organizations such as Ogden Museum of Southern Art re-engage fully with partners and audiences,” said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Although the arts have sustained many during the pandemic, the chance to gather with one another and share arts experiences is its own necessity and pleasure.”
About Ogden Museum of Southern Art
Located in the vibrant Warehouse Arts District of downtown New Orleans, Louisiana since 2003, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art is home to a collection of more than four thousand works, making it the largest and most comprehensive repository dedicated to Southern art in the nation, with particular strength in the genres of Self-Taught art, Regionalism, photography and contemporary art. The Museum is further recognized for its original exhibitions, public events and educational programs, which examine the development of visual art alongside Southern traditions of music, literature and local craft. Museum admission is free on Thursdays for Louisiana residents, courtesy of The Helis Foundation. The Museum is located at 925 Camp Street, New Orleans Louisiana 70130. For more information, visit www.ogdenmuseum.org.