Brenda Hernandez & Sarah Meyer – Understanding HOMAGO and Informal Youth Spaces

March 21, 2013
9:00 am - 10:15 am PST
By Educator Innovator

How to invent a program where subject matter experts can become collaborative learning partners with youth.

View the Conversation
During the broadcast, the conversation also took place on Twitter using the hashtag #connectedlearning.

Key Questions and Comments:

  • (4:40) What we realized, learning about HOMAGO and what it is we wanted in an open studio: we had [a HOMAGO framework] all along, which was fun to realize…It was a way of validating what we’d been doing since 1997.
  • (5:10) This resource [the HOMAGO Guidebook] was a way to validate these informal learning spaces for ourselves, for our funders…but also to support other institutions who needed to have something to be like, “Yes, we can do this” or “We have been doing this.”
  • (07:01) On a daily basis, students at New Urban Arts can walk in and decide if they are going to pursue[, for example,] photography or drawing. And, often, how they make those decisions is based on their relationships with mentors and who they’re interested in working & collaborating with.
  • (10:22) I know that [New Urban Arts has] certain core concepts that guide your practice. How did those come about?
  • (10:41) I view young people as human beings…I view young people as partners in life, and I think that was a key value for me from the very beginning.
  • (11:44) I appreciate this HOMAGO framework for providing some language and some validation of this idea of allowing practice and relationships to emerge at their own pace, driven by the people who are there in the room.
  • (14:56) At Yollocalli, it’s always been important to tell the students that they do have options as artists; their identities don’t always have to be reflected in their artmaking…If you over-structure an art practice, you can’t experiment, you don’t want to risk, and failure isn’t an option.
  • (16:45) The HOMAGO idea replaces authority with authenticity.
  • (20:27) In our space, in a public high school library, there were these interesting tensions between having a space that made room for interest-driven learning…but also thinking about incorporating elements of participatory learning and thinking about how that aligns with an inquiry stance on learning.
  • (27:47) Here at Yollocali, it’s this unspoken mantra: “We have to be weirder than the students.” Whatever they do is nothing compared to our weirdness…they need that validation.
  • (31:52) In addition to formal structures we have in partnering with schools, just having an open access allows students to bring the school day into our program in ways we wouldn’t anticipate.
  • (34:57) Hopefully, the informal space is creating these communities where young people are allowed to see themselves–and be seen–in ways that they haven’t been.
  • (39:13) What I do see happening at these two teen “drop-in centers” sharing the block with us is a practice called “unconditional positive regard” when working with teenagers in these informal learning spaces, which I think is a key ingredient…the willingness to change directions, to meet people where they’re at, and form meaningful relationships.
  • (43:40) Because both arts organizations rely on the mentor model, how does having the Art Institute of Chicago and the [Rhode Island School of Design] nearby affect your pool of resources in term of feeding that mentor model?
  • (49:00) This sort of “near peer” mentoring relationships seems like a special and valuable one…Mentors at New Urban Arts can be former participants who may or may not be in college…they tend to hover in this 18 to 30-year-old range.
  • (55:38) Can we address concerns that HOMAGO could be construed as a ‘formula’ or something that’s universally easy to do?
  • (60:12) I think it could be easy to fall into this formulaic trap that there’s this progression from Hanging Out to Messing Around to Geeking Out, that we want to be pushing people toward Geeking Out. I think what the Guidebook shows is that these are all equally valid forms of participation, that the lines between them blur.

Guests for this webinar included:

  • Claudia Caro Sullivan – Moderator/Host
  • Brenda Hernandez – Guest Speaker, Program Coordinator for Yollocalli Arts Reach at the National Museum of Mexican Art. Brenda Hernandez is the Program Coordinator for Yollocalli Arts Reach at the National Museum of Mexican Art. She writes about art education and cultural programs for Contratiempo Magazine and recently presented at the National Art Education Conference about Art, Music and Youth Cultural Production.
  • Sarah Meyer – Guest Speaker, Director of Programs for New Urban Arts. Sarah Meyer is the Director of Programs for New Urban Arts. Under her direction, New Urban Arts has achieved record youth and artist participation in its programs as well as record attendance at its public programs and exhibitions.
  • Buffy Hamilton – Learning Strategist for the Cleveland Public Library
  • Tyler Denmead – Founder and Executive Director of New Urban Arts

Resources for this webinar:

Download iCal File

Add Event to Calendar