moma creates a safe art space for lgbtq teens

'Make Art. Meet People. Explore Ideas. Be Yourself.'

by Hannah Ongley
27 January 2017, 10:00pm

Néstor Pérez-Molière

It's no surprise that President Trump wants to defund the National Endowment for the Arts and cut federal funding to Sanctuary Cities. Queer creative New Yorkers are one of the Commander-in-Chief's greatest threats: they're liberal, enlightened, tolerant, and their flag is super confusing.

But the city's LGBTQ-identifying youth will always be welcome at MoMA. The museum has created a program encouraging queer high school students (and their allies) to explore their creative leanings and meet potential like-minded collaborators. "Make Art. Meet People. Explore Ideas. Be Yourself," reads MoMA's announcement of Open Art Space, "a relaxed weekly drop-in program for LGBTQ high school students who are interested in thinking about, and creating, art in a relaxed and welcoming environment."

The program is loosely facilitated by two artists, but mostly gives students free reign to decompress, see a lecture, do a guided tour, or even serve face for an LGBTQ prom photo. There are even free snacks and Metrocards provided every week.

"Whether teens are getting a behind-the-scenes tour of MoMA's Conservation Lab with artist Robert Gober, posing for a Queer Prom-themed photo shoot, or discussing what's been happening in everyone's lives — Open Art Space's role is to offer space for teens to explore their own identities as well as the opportunity to operate within a community," visual artist and educator Mark Joshua Epstein told the Huffington Post. "We endeavor to create a space where LGBTQ teens feel heard, supported, and recognized, and we hope they can take that feeling of support with them through their daily lives."


Text Hannah Ongley
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