Museum Teen Summit Africa

Today we really didn’t know what to expect. Marit and Nate told us to just go with the flow of whatever happened, so we did. The morning began with an attempt to walk to the Blue Café which is about two blocks from our house, but when we got halfway down the street, we decided it was too cold, too windy, and too close to raining, so Nate drove us there in the van instead before heading out for the day.

We spent the day at Museum Africa, for an all-day
program called Museum Teen Summit Africa. Marit is too humble and didn’t tell us ahead of time that she was the founder of Museum Teen Summit (New York), which is a program that allows teens to get involved with museum outreach and education programs in New York City. The teens mostly run the program themselves, and do a wide variety of tasks that help to make museums more accessible and applicable to them, which is great because then other teens will actually be excited to go to a museum or be a part of a program happening in one.

The morning was full of speeches from various people involved with the program’s initiation in South Africa along with some speakers who were there to inspire the teens. Marit was one of the speakers, so of course we cheered the loudest for her.

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Our fearless leader

In a truly South African way, all of the speakers focused a lot on how young people can make a difference in the future of the nation because of the power within them. Some of the speeches reminded me a bit of the youth panel we attended at the Apartheid Museum on Youth Day, and it was cool to see that happening again.

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Each square was decorated before we put them together to make the bigger picture

In the afternoon, we made art with the teens, and had a fun time working with them to create a big mural all together. When it was time to go, we took a million pictures all together and said goodbye.
Overall, the day was a powerful reminder that both museums and youth can make a difference in the world, and it was really great for all of us to see a museum education program kick off. Moving forward, it would be amazing if all these kids continued to work together with MTSA because their collective voice would be so powerful.

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One of the many group photos

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