YI Leaders worked throughout the fall semester to plan events for their peers, maintain the Whitney’s teen blog, and prepare specialized tours of Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction. Leaders worked with the Whitney’s Education staff to help prepare for the fall Whitney Family Day, Whitney Kids: Georgia O’Keeffe. To expand on Georgia O’Keeffe’s interest in the natural world around her, the YI Leaders organized the drop-in program, “Spring Rolls and Sustainability”, with artist Britta Riley of the Windowfarms Project. In partnership with Art Education for the Blind and the New York Institute for Special Education, YI Leaders developed and led a touch and verbal description tour of Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction for a group of children who are blind and visually impaired.
My name is Amadu and I'm a senior. I study Writing for Communication and Arts. I come from Ghana, located in West Africa. My family and I migrated to America because it represented the land of opportunity. I have been here since I was five years old. My folks used to always stress the "Three D's:" dedication, determination, and discipline. In the future I hope to accomplish my goals and dreams in order to help change society. I want to explore the world, see things I have never seen, and go places I have never been. People say an artist is poor, but he is wealthy with his talents and ambition. An artist is wise and expressive, as well as powerful.
Hello everyone! My name is Cesar. I love art because it is the best way for someone to express themselves in their own way. It is a way to be as creative, talented, and weird as you want to be with the message you're trying to send to your viewers. I was born in Manhattan, but my parents are from Mexico. I am a proud Mexican American. Like my parents, I am a really hard worker and full of determination. I believe that I have a good sense of humor (wait, yes I do) and I am very philosophical in many ways. With such a combination of characteristics, experience, and intellect, I hope to become a successful architectural engineer one day.
My name is Charlotte and I am a junior at The Dalton School. I have lived with my parents in Manhattan my whole life, although we have moved within the city several times. I am the second child of five sisters—two full and two half. My oldest sister is a freshman at Vanderbilt and my youngest is less than a week old. I have been interested in different types of art my whole life, starting in elementary school when I began attending the School of American Ballet (SAB). I studied ballet at SAB until ninth grade and performed on stage with the New York City Ballet in many of their performances. Since quitting SAB, I have begun taking painting and life drawing classes—both in and outside of school. For two years, I have been taking modern dance at school, and I'm in the student-choreographed spring dance show.
I go to Bard High School Early College. Aside from the Whitney, I take many art classes. I am very interested in installation art. However, right now, I primarily draw, make collages, and paint. I am also active in New York 2 New Orleans, which is a youth-led organization that sends New York City high schoolers to New Orleans to learn about racism, classism, and sustainability. When I am older, I want to be an artist or work in an art museum.
My name is Lisette and I am a Nuyorican. Born in Brooklyn, I have lived in East Harlem for the past seven years with my mother, older sister, and dog. I am seventeen years old, and a senior at The Renaissance Charter School, which I've attended since the fourth grade. I love art and found my passion, photography, in the eighth grade. While playing with my sister’s camera, I discovered my life's goal—to become a professional photographer. Last year, I exhibited a photograph at Casa Frela Gallery. The photograph depicted a girl screaming and jumping at a protest, hair flying in all directions. It sold on the day it premiered in the exhibition.
Last semester ended on an excellent note, or shall I say stroke! As a returning YI participant, I am more eager than ever to start giving back to the YI community. This year, I will be partaking in a new branch of the innovative YI program. I am extremely excited about the various existing projects as well as new projects. I cannot wait to add a few original ideas from my own artistic box of talents! This semester’s focus on Georgia O’Keeffe versus Jenny Holzer last semester will bring a new perspective to the Whitney. In addition to the pseudo-curator role that I will play in the program, I will be interacting with various groups of youth who come to the Whitney. Organization, collaboration, and creativity will definitely be the paint of this semester’s masterpiece. I am sure that it will be just a piece of cake, or shall I say stretched canvas!
Hi! My name is Riana. I go to Bard High School Early College in Manhattan. It is my third year at the Whitney. I moved here from India three years ago. I like reading, painting, and dancing. I like to have intense discussions about politics and current events. I speak and write four languages. I never really understood contemporary art. I wanted to make sense of those scribbles. I absolutely love the Whitney, it is almost like my second home! You will often find me at the Museum on weekends, sitting on one of the wooden benches staring at a work of art.
Hi, I'm Sakhia. Seventeen years ago I crash landed on Earth in a purple box and ended up in a "lovely" place we call the Bronx. I go to the Bronx High School for the Visual Arts where I am a senior suffering from "I Have All of My Credits Already, Get Me Out of Here!" syndrome. I'm into art and creating art. I'll pretty much work with any medium I can get my hands on. Now I've been at the Whitney for what feels like forever, and it seems as though I've made a family here. Being around the same people for so long, you tend to develop a lot of bonds and see each other outside the office, and on Upper East Side street corners. Yup, I'm not going anywhere for a while.
My name is Shaniece and I attend Gotham Professional Arts Academy. I am originally from Trinidad, but I moved to the United States in 2005, where I lived in San Bernardino, California briefly before moving to Brooklyn. I had always loved art and music, but when I moved here my passion for these things intensified. The beauty of art is that there is no wrong or right answer – it is whatever you want it to be. It can be your escape. It has been my escape from the reality of the busy New Yorker life for quite some time now. In the future I hope to become more involved in the arts. There is a world of possibilities and I intend to explore them.
My name is Yasmin. I was born, raised, and currently live in Brooklyn. I am an artist who is constantly working on her craft. Creative writing, visual art, and music are my interests, passions, and hobbies. I came to the Whitney to learn more about art, artists, and the Museum. At the Whitney I contribute my ideas, opinions, participation, and skills as a Youth Insights Leader.