Subjected to the social, political, economic and artistic events of the day, the need of the art museum has shifted with time. As part of that shift the museum has had to reflect on their goals as an institution, updating their mission, revising their content, and identifying who should be served. This paper will look at the recent emergence of teen-centric Art Museum programs as part of a historical trend that began to center attention on audiences. Since the needs of teens are different than any other age group, to engage them has caused museums to further transform their connection to the public in many ways. The paper will explore the historical context in which museums have come to include a teen audience, tracing the emergence of the art museum’s mission from collecting and preserving objects of art to public engagement, and the shift from focusing primarily on school children and art appreciation to including a teen population and its particular needs. As a key characteristic of this engagement, there will also be a discussion about the change in art museums from being ‘temples’ for contemplation to ‘rocking community centers,’ wired for technology.
|Keywords:||Teens, Audience, Museum Mission, Technology, Community Center, Education|
Professor of Art Education, Art Education, Eastern Kentucky University, Lexington, KY, USA
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