The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Announces Highlights of the O’Keeffe Art and Leadership Programs for Girls and Boys

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Award winning children’s summer programs target creative youth to foster growth, community and learning through art. Student art exhibition on display weekdays, August 12th – September 6th.

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“The curriculum encourages experiential learning and the artists’ lessons build artistic skills along with self-discovery and awareness,” said Jackie M, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum director of education.

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum is pleased to announce highlights from the O’Keeffe Art and Leadership Program for Girls and Boys. The intensive summer programs, one for girls and a separate program for boys, is targeted at children ages 11-13 who reside in Santa Fe and surrounding rural communities. Students with core interest in the arts are nominated for scholarships by their teachers, counselors and the coordinators of after-school programs to increase their skills and receive support for the challenging issues faced by many adolescents today.

The Art and Leadership Programs were created in response to multiple studies showing that levels of achievement drop significantly as children approach their teen years. Offering opportunities for independent thinking, skill-building, problem solving and the development of artistic talents, the programs teach children to use the resources in their environment to create a vision for themselves and to work toward achieving their goals and dreams.

“It is exciting to watch the growth and development that occurs for students as well as interns as they participate in the program,” said Jackie M, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum director of education. “The curriculum encourages experiential learning and the artists’ lessons build artistic skills along with self-discovery and awareness.”

Program Highlights:

Art and Leadership Program for Girls:

  •     About the program: Founded in 1998, the program focuses on identity, creativity and self-esteem as well as issues of friendship, responsibility, personal identity, problem-solving, boundary-setting and trust.
  •     Teachers: Multi-generational arts professionals and high-school and college interns.
  •     Curriculum: Lessons in leadership, art and poetry that promote self-discovery and discussions of gender issues faced by girls including boundary setting, eating disorders and nutrition, establishing goals, and the use and abuse of power.
  •     Goals: Create a support system for girls, utilizing art-making and women artist role models, particularly Georgia O’Keeffe, to promote girls’ leadership skills and creative abilities.

Art and Leadership Program for Boys:

  •     About the program: Founded in 2002, the program encourages independent thinking and non-violent behavior. Participants learn to use positive actions rather than self-destructive choices as outlets.
  •     Teachers: An all male staff of artists, men working in arts fields and college interns
  •     Curriculum: Lessons in leadership, art, theater, creative writing and music that promote self-discovery are supplemented by activities that address issues faced by boys including establishing goals, tolerance, respect, risk taking and the use and abuse of power. In addition, field trips offer insight into career choices made by men in the arts, from architects to arts administrators, museum curators to photographers.
  •     Goals: To provide a safe haven and an oasis of positive support and encouragement, offering an alternative to failure, criticism, and low expectations.

“The Art and Leadership Programs are an important part of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum’s education and outreach,” said Robert A. Kret, Georgia O’Keeffe museum director. “We are proud to highlight the work of these programs and the profound effect they have on the creative ability and potential of the area’s youth.”

Art and Leadership sessions end with an art exhibit and opening in which the work by participants – including paintings, drawings, three-dimensional artwork, performances, video, and poetry readings – is shared with family members and the public providing a meaningful closure to the summer program. The student’s art exhibit will be on display every weekday at the Museum Education Annex, 123 Grant Avenue, from August 12th – September 6th from 10am to 4 pm.

The Art and Leadership Program received the 2008 Coming Up Taller Award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities designating it as one of leading programs in youth development in the country. In 2010, the programs received an Arts and Learning Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The programs are offered each summer and serve over 100 middle-school aged youth. For more information, please contact the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum at 505.946.1000 or visit

The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum is dedicated to the artistic legacy of Georgia O'Keeffe, her life, American modernism, and public engagement. The Museum's collections, historic properties, exhibitions, Research Center, publications, and education programs contribute to scholarly discourse and inspire diverse audiences. Located in Santa Fe, NM, the Museum’s collections, exhibits, research center, publications and education programs contribute to scholarly discourse and serve diverse audiences. The largest single repository of the artist’s work in the world, it is the only museum in the world dedicated to an internationally known American woman artist and is the most visited art museum in New Mexico.

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