Just over a year ago, I embarked on a challenge to create a teen program that happened outside of school. We wanted a program that encouraged teens to decide for themselves that the MFAH was a cool enough place to be during their limited free time, so we decided on the HOMAGO (hanging out, messing around, geeking out) model.
After weekly conversations with teens and lots of experimentation, we came up with hang@MFAH: Houston Art New Generation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston!
hang@MFAH meet-ups take place weekly. Our learning lab is equipped with digital-media tools such as 3-D printers and iPads, as well as analog tools such as sewing machines and fabric. Working with mentor artists, teens are limited only by their own imaginations. Teens generate their own ideas, and working with peers and the artist mentor helps guide hang@MFAH members as they become creators and makers of ideas and content.
By building on our existing strengths and fully using the tools of our connected age—just as generations before us harnessed the advances of their times—we can help create the makers and life-long learners that our era demands.
Want to read more about the research concepts behind hang@MFAH? Researcher Mizuko Ito and others have presented their findings in two critical reports:
- Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out (2009)
- Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design (2012)
More to come—we are just getting started!
For more information on hang@MFAH, visit the program page here.