ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – This fall, many teens are spending their Wednesday afternoons clicking through channels or playing on their phones, but there’s one group of students participating in a different kind of after school activity. The Albuquerque Museum’s Teen After Hours program.
Together with an art teacher, kids ranging in age from 14 to 17 are working on a six-week-long art project-based climate change. They brainstormed how to send a cohesive message about their frustrations over climate change policies in the United States, and together they settled on a symbolic heart installation.
They’re each making a human heart out of paper mache, recycled cans, and foam tubing. The hearts will range in color from dark to light, and the last heart will have tiny flowers blooming from it, a symbolic way of saying they hope politicians will have a change of heart towards the issue.
“We’re the fire burning you know, we’re pushing it forward.”Ian Malone, Art Student
The teens say the program has not only given them an outlet to discuss their political frustrations, but has also benefited them socially and given them an outlet to meet like-minded people. In fact, they each attended the global climate strike in September, and many of them now spend time with each other outside of art class.
Museum staff says the program also gives kids skills they might not find in a regular classroom and opens doors for new friendships.
“For teens now I think it’s just so important to feel connection to other teens I think that’s what’s missing in a lot of their lives.”Ophelia Cornet, ABQ Museum
The climate change of heart display will be up for viewing in the Albuquerque Museum starting November 11 and will be included with the price of regular admission.
The Teen After Hour program costs $75 for each six week session. Students are currently meeting on Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. until November 6. A new session begins in January.
The Albuquerque Museum is now also seeking donors to help sponsor students with scholarships for the Teen After Hours program. If you’re interested in being a donor or would like to sign up your student to participate, contact Elizabeth Becker at email@example.com or by calling 505-764-6515.