Experience Art Through Internship

artthinkby Erica Guajardo

Education is a common thing that parents encourage in their children. Whether you are talking about grades, attendance, or college, this subject is an important aspect in a child’s future. Although it may be a hard process for some children to engage with, special education programs may be the twist to what gets your child to interact in school activities. Dallas Contemporary Museum is a non-profit organization which is striving to get the public more involved with ART. By hosting a number of programs, geared towards education, this museum is creating attention grabbing responses by students. Currently hosting six different programs ( “Taking It to the Streets”, “Art Think”, “Chit-Chat”, “DCU”, Espace, and Renaissance Program) this space is changing how Museum’s educate their youth.  

When I was in high school, I remember that the only programs that I wanted to engage in where the ones that had a creative flare to them. I was one always looking forward to the classes that broke the norm of “Textbook Reading”. One program that DC organizes is Art Think. Art Think is a educational youth program which is geared towards ninth graders around the Dallas/Fort Worth area and areas towards Denton. Working with around 1,200 kids a year, Dallas Contemporary visits high schools for a six week course “which promotes visual literacy.” Educating the students on contemporary art which is shown in the museum, it broadens the education of the children to think outside of a textbook. At the end of the course, the museum invites a hands on experience for the kids to visit the museum, reiterating what they have been learning about. For many, this trip is the first time they have ever journeyed through museum walls.


Other aspects of art that have emerged in the world is Street Art. For many years street “tagging” / graffiti was not seen as art, rather a nuisance. With more contemporary artist turning towards the street art movement and showing this style in galleries, this look is being seen in a more positive manner. Many graffiti artist tell tales of starting at young ages, such as twelve, making it important to educate youth early to tell the difference between vandalism and street art. Taking It to The Streets is a summer out reach program which visits recreational centers, youth centers, and programs from DISD. Hosting groups which range from 25-35 students this program is open to all for FREE. This particular program differs from the “Art Think” courses because it has two parts. One being an outreach program and the other a week long workshop.

During the week long workshop students are introduced to local graffiti artists Sour Grapes, with master artist Arturo Don Juan leading the groups discussions. From past experiences, the most grasping aspects of this program is that kids and parents are starting to understand this movement as “a valid form of artistic expression” and that this look has an evolution of becoming mainstream.


Although youth programs are something that is great for our future generations, many individuals that are interested in the Dallas Art Scene are currently in college or working in the scene. Chit Chat is a developed program to “start a conversation between museum artist and visitors” Bringing in local master artist or exhibiting artist to share their thought process, views, and experiences with those who are still emerging or learning. Another program which is similar to Chit Chat, but has a subtle twist is DCU. This program features North Texas college professors which are creating ‘”cutting edge” artwork of their own. Based on the similar principle of Chit Chat, this program is scheduled every Wednesday from 7pm-8:30pm.

With so much interaction of these programs emerging in the museum space, who would not want to join the crew with an internship? As someone who personally interned in this space myself, I can talk from experience and share with readers that this is a great place to get hands on experience in all different aspects of the museum work. Dallas Contemporary on average has about six interns which help with the different specialties of the space. But, there is a program which elects an emerging museum professional to take on a professional role in the space. This is the Renaissance Program Intern. This particular internship holds more responsibility than the other internships because the intern will be in charge with the helping of the Education Development, Exhibition Development, and Event Planning. Open to those internationally, out of state, and local individuals. Dallas Contemporary is currently seeking a new intern which is well written, has a great academic record,and volunteers. Great for those artistic individuals who know how to shine in a crowd!


Remember to stay active with in your community and museum spaces! All programs are free and if you need more information on how to get your school involved, make sure you reach out at learning@dallascontemporary.org.


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