School and Teen Programs

The New Museum’s mission is to promote “New Art, New Ideas.” School and Teen Programs utilize the Museum as a resource to enhance learning and to engage high school students through the exploration of contemporary art—connecting educators and teens to local, global, and cultural issues that affect their lives.

For more information about our programs, please contact


Convening for Contemporary Art, Education, and Social Justice

The New Museum inaugurated its first annual convening of activists, artists, and educators to exchange knowledge and methods for generating critical discussion and structural change while promoting safer and braver spaces in summer 2018.

As a noncollecting institution working primarily with living artists, the New Museum is poised to be responsive to ever-present and increasingly urgent priorities of inclusiveness, while taking stock of activities relevant to contemporary art, education, and social change. The Museum has published two historical books on contemporary art and education to generate, assemble, and disseminate work in the form of essays, artist entries, and lesson plans: Contemporary Art and Multicultural Education (1997) and Rethinking Contemporary Art and Multicultural Education (2011). Over the last decade, the Museum has actively created content, tools, and methods for employing contemporary art as a resource for engaging youth and communities in questions and ideas that matter to them. As the Museum considers its next step in making such tools and knowledge further available to educators, the new multi-day Convening for Contemporary Art, Education, and Social Justice invites artists, activists, classroom teachers, and educators in other settings to share best practices.

The New Museum presents its second annual Convening for Contemporary Art, Education, and Social Justice from Thursday, July 25 through Saturday, July 27. Aspects of the Convening will intersect with programming related to the annual Summer Social Justice Residency and Exhibition, “Melanie Crean, Shaun Leonardo, Sable Elyse Smith: Mirror/Echo/Tilt,” including a public conversation with the artists and a private, facilitated workshop on design futuring. Each morning will begin with self and community care for educators, with restorative healing exercises for mind and body facilitated by Aki Baker and Sunder Ashni. Each day will include a keynote, offering multiple viewpoints on the role of arts in transformative justice: on Friday, activist and educator Mariame Kaba will deliver a presentation, and on Saturday, representatives of the organization Groundswell will offer an intergenerational perspective. The Convening is free to attend.

Lesson Plans
Lesson plans are designed to incorporate contemporary art into the classroom. Developed in collaboration with the New Museum’s school partners, each lesson plan promotes observation and interpretation through inquiry, experiential activities, and extended peer discussions. Lessons foster an informed, critical understanding of art, culture, and current events.

Professional Development Programs for Educators
Professional development days are led by artists, curators, and educators and are designed to guide teachers in methods that activate contemporary art in the classroom. The multifaceted programs expose teachers to contemporary art history and offer tools to inspire critical thinking, focusing on the integration of new art and new ideas with school curricula. The New Museum encourages educators of all disciplines to participate. Programs take place during New York City Department of Education Conference Days from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and are followed by workshops from 1 to 3 p.m.

School Partnerships
The New Museum currently partners with Gramercy Arts High School, City-As-School, Hetrick-Martin Institute, Broome Street Academy, and Fortune Society. Through a multi-visit program, teachers and New Museum educators collaborate to use the Museum’s resources as a tool to enhance learning in the classroom and beyond. Activities cultivate students’ self-expression, critical thinking, and visual literacy skills through an innovative curriculum.

Teacher Membership
The New Museum offers discounted annual memberships for teachers. For more information, please contact 212.219.1222 ×234 or


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Youth Pass
The New Museum is free to all young people ages nineteen and under. People fourteen years old and under should be accompanied by an adult.

Experimental Study Program (ESP)
Every spring and fall, this free semester-long program offers fifteen participants the chance to learn about contemporary art, engage directly with artists, and participate in intimate, critical discussions about culture. Through close work with peers in interactive workshops, participants have the opportunity to collaborate with artists in residence at the New Museum. Each semester focuses on an R&D Seasons theme. Past themes have included SPECULATION, PERSONA, LEGACY, DEMOCRACY, BODY, ANIMATION, and GENERATION. The Museum encourages applications from prospective participants who are curious about contemporary art and enthusiastic about connecting with their peers.


Apply for the fall 2019 season of ESP here. Applications are due October 1, 2019.

Teen Apprentice Program
Each summer, the New Museum Teen Apprentice Program offers students work experience and exposure to contemporary art and ideas through on-the-job-training, career-development talks, field trips, and group projects that engage the Museum’s summer exhibitions. A stipend is available for all selected participants.

Six weeks in July and August


Youth are selected via lottery through the city’s Summer Youth Employment Program. You can apply directly on the Department of Youth & Community Development website. Once selected, youth will be placed at the New Museum via the program provider, Chinese American Planning Council in Manhattan.

Youth Summit

As part of the Department of Education and Public Engagement’s ongoing programs around arts and social justice, the New Museum hosts the third youth summit and celebration organized by a luminary group of artists, writers, and activists committed to community building, including Asian American Feminist Collective, Unapologetically Brown Series, Scope of Work (SOW), and the New Museum Youth Council.

Each youth summit builds upon and reinterprets the principles of healing, self-love, skill building, political education, and empowerment established by the inaugural committee.

In 2016, Scamming the Patriarchy: A Youth Summit was organized by BUFU, Brujas, Discwoman, and members of House of Ladosha. In 2017, Scamming the Patriarchy: A Youth Summit was organized by GHE20G0TH1K, Mask, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP), and Thank God For Abortion. In 2019, Scamming the Patriarchy: A Youth Summit was organized by Asian American Feminist Collective, Scope of Work, Unapologetically Brown Series, and the New Museum Youth Council.

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