Past Projects: Americas

Dialogues in the African Diaspora: Youth Reclaiming Community, Identity and Memory (2015)      

  • Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, New York, New York 
  • National Museum Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica
The formation of the African diaspora resultant from slavery tragically erased the history of entire peoples. This project aims to recover and preserve the diasporic history associated with the rural community of Nonsuch, Jamaica and the urban community of San Juan Hills in Manhattan, New York. Through creative discussions and learning about the historical conditions that disadvantaged these two communities, the 30-40 middle school students participating in this project will reclaim a history that has been submerged over time and reconnect with their past as a means of better understanding the present and empowering their futures. The teens will learn how to use archival sources and conduct interviews with elderly residents in their respective communities as they develop compelling digital videos and art works. They will create exhibitions in their communities to display the results of their work. They will also create a bound written text of the history that they will recover through the project, assemble tours of relevant historical sites and design a curriculum about this history for future middle school students.

Youth Empowerment through Social Practice Art: Strategies for Coping with Violence and Trauma (2015)   

  • Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla, California
  • Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City, Mexico
Young people in America and Mexico experience violence or the threat of violence in their communities, a significant social issue that impacts our countries and communities in profound ways. This project enables youth to find meaning and expression through the power of the arts and empowers them to envision solutions through creative interventions. This project will connect 40 teens (20 in each country) from underserved areas around San Diego and Mexico City with social practice artists who specialize in film and photography and have experience working with teens while addressing issues of social and political violence. The projects that the youth produce will examine the impact of violence on teen lives. The teens themselves will select a theme within violence, such as intra-familial violence, dating violence, gangs and cartels or gun use as the focus of their artistic work. They also will create a short documentary film and mount a public exhibition in both countries. 

Citizen-Led Urban Environmental Restoration (2014)

  • Natural History Museum of Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica
  • Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, Miami, Florida

Through an exploration, with local scientist, of common environmental issues such as invasive species, sea-level rise, urban sprawl, and climate change, high school students in Jamaica and Miami will engage in urban habitat restoration and conservation practices to earn digital badges for completed assignments and activities.

Common Ground: Connecting Community through Gardens (2014)

  • Casa K'inich Children's Museum, Copan, Honduras
  • Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum, King City, California

To nurture knowledge and awareness of environmental conservation, students between the ages of 9 and 11, teachers, and community service organizations in Honduras and California will engage in the planning and care of an organic garden to forge common bonds around agricultural heritage, cultivate a lifelong appreciation for the natural environment, and educate children about their attendant responsibilities through a gardening curriculum that shares the rich agricultural bounty of these countries.

e-Mammal International (2014)

  • Museo de Paleontologia in Mexico, Guadalajara, Mexico
  • Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai, India
  • North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, North Carolina

E-mammal International unites 6th-, 7th- and 8th-grade students in a global-citizen-scientist comparative study in Mexico, India, and North Carolina that will employ camera traps in schools to document animal population sizes, activation patterns, and habitat use and use the results to inform an e-Mammal website accessible to a network of scientists worldwide in order to illuminate universal understanding of biodiversity.

Stories from the Home Planet (Historias de nuestro Planeta) (2014)

  • Corporación Parque Explora, Medellin, Colombia
  • James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Stories from the Home Planet invites teachers, their K-through-12 students, and the larger local communities to map bilingual planetarium programming and develop a curriculum focusing on the ways in which astronomy can foretell stories on environmental change and impact.

Forest Guardians (2013)

  • Sicán National Museum, Ferreñafe, Peru
  • Zoological Society of San Diego, San Diego, California
  • Working with Three Mountain Alliance, Līhu’e, Hawaii 
Communities in Peru and Hawaii build ecological literacy, cultural knowledge and environmental stewardship using a new model for conservation education in a network of schools that demonstrate a commitment to environmental action and to developing students’ understanding of conservation in a global, multicultural context.

A Journey through the African Diaspora (2013)

  • Museu Afro-Brasil, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Prince George's African American Museum & Cultural Center, North Brentwood, Maryland
In celebration and exploration of the African American experience throughout the Americas, teams of high school students, teacher liaisons and teaching artists compare and contrast the history and impact of the African diaspora in Sao Paulo and Maryland’s Prince George's County and collaborate on mural projects and exhibits in each location to showcase their findings in their communities.

Scaling the Walls/Escalando Paredes: Creating Urban Green Spaces (2013)

  • Interactive Science Museum, Quito, Ecuador
  • Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Teenagers in Quito and Pittsburgh explore the environmental, social and economic impacts of food systems on local and global communities to consider solutions to the health and environmental challenges facing their crowded, urban neighborhoods and create easily implemented designs for planters that can host edibles for residents with little access to fresh food or green spaces.

Turning the Table: Understanding Cross-Cultural Movements (2013)

  • Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Ateneo de Yucatán, Mérida, Mexico
  • Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, San Antonio, Texas
Using tables as a metaphor for bringing people and cultures together—whether to eat, create or resolve differences—high school students from Mérida, Mexico and San Antonio along with local artists explore their communities’ cultural movements and adaptations over time through community meetings and workshops as well as oral history collection and present their artistic interpretations of community change through local and virtual exhibitions.

Girl Ambassadors for Human Rights (2012)

  • Corporacion Parque por la Paz Villa Grimaldi, Santiago, Chile
  • Sri Lanka Plantation Workers' Museum, Paradeka, Sri Lanka
  • The Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, Fayetteville, New York
  • International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, New York, New York
Using the unique histories of women's struggles for gender equality and human rights represented by three members of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, young women in New York, Chile and Sri Lanka engaged in ongoing virtual and in-person dialogues about gender issues past and present as well as across cultures.

Object Stories Exchange (2012)

  • Museo Nacional de San Carlos, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon
Middle school students engaged in a year-long dialogue about their heritage, community and traditions by telling stories about objects, both their own personal possessions and those in the museums' collections. Using these objects as a starting point, the youth shared information about people, places, events and personalities important to them and to their larger communities.

Rainforest Leadership Academy: Cross-Cultural Teacher Training and Mentoring (2011)

  • Maloka, Bogota, Colombia
  • California Science Center, Los Angeles, California
Mentor teachers from urban- and rainforest-based school districts collaboratively developed materials for teacher trainings and student activities. As the teachers trained their colleagues in inquiry-based science lessons, cross-cultural teams of students shared information about the diversity of the rainforests and cultures in their regions. Visit the Rainforest Leadership Academy's website.

Two Museums, Two Nations, One Identity (2011)

  • Museo de Arte de El Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador
  • Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, DC
Youth in El Salvador and Salvadoran-American youth used art as a means to communicate about themes such as self, family, tradition, community and migration while creating awareness of their personal and collective identities and cultural heritage.

From the Adirondacks to the Middle of the World (2010)

  • Museo de la Ciudad, Quito, Ecuador
  • World Awareness Children’s Museum, Glens Falls, New York
Through art and video conferencing, youth in Ecuador and New York explored the challenges faced by their communities and their own role in addressing them. The partners developed traveling culture kits filled with art, videos and an associated curriculum for use in the museums’ outreach programs.

Sharing Biodiversity and Culture (2010)

  • Tin Marín Children’s Museum, San Salvador, El Salvador
  • The Discovery Museums, Acton, Massachusetts
Using art, autobiographies and video conferencing, third and fourth graders in these two countries learned about one another’s cultures and traditions, explored the biodiversity of their regions, and expanded their knowledge of the environmental concerns in their local communities.  

Inside/Outside/North & South (2008)

  • El Museo Nacional de Etnografia y Folklore, La Paz, Bolivia
  • Gallery "Casa del Caballero Aguila," Puebla, Mexico
  • Museo de las Americas, Denver, Colorado
High school students from local majority and minority ethnic groups created visual, oral and literary components representing their personal experiences with stereotyping and prejudice for a multimedia art exhibition that traveled to all three museums.