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    Date submitted
  • 06-Aug-2012

YouthMuse

Abstract

Inspired by The Ocean Project’s research findings on the influence of youth and trust in museums, YouthMuse was founded to create youth-driven, museum-based social change campaigns aimed at three critical segments: (1) teens who want to “make a difference” and help society, (2) cultural organizations that already work with teens in learning-focused areas but have little experience in social change, and (3) the public, which wants museums to recommend personal action and sees youth as change agents.

Cultural institutions provide a “safe space”—not just physically, but intellectually and emotionally—where students feel free to be geeky and value-driven, within a circle of teens and adults who share their passion. YouthMuse campaign activities capitalize on this “safety” and enable teens to use their personal networks—and their time spent online—in service of a social issue that ignites their passion.

As creators of a campaign, teens learn critical thinking, communication and persuasion skills, and to work as a team. Campaign participants take personal action and inspire peers to take action through online media and face-to-face activities. Success fosters civic engagement among community members and builds teen confidence, leadership and empowerment. The result is an authentic teen movement at the intersection of culture and societal needs.

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