Young at Art Museum
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Logo of Young at Art
Young At Art Museum (YAA) is a museum in Davie, Florida founded in 1987 with the belief that art is a fundamental part of a child's complete education. It is located at 751 SW 121st Avenue, Davie, Florida, USA, in the Greater Fort Lauderdale region. The museum is one of only 8 Major Cultural Institutions in Broward County, and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The 55,000 sq. ft. museum features exhibition galleries, a YAA Art Institute, teen center, Museum Preschool and Broward County Public Library.
Young At Art Museum (originally named Young At Art Children's Museum) was founded in 1987 to fill a void in arts education in South Florida public schools. Founded by artists Esther and Mindy Shrago, Young At Art traveled South Florida for two years as a Museum Without Walls, opening in 1989 in a 3,200 sq. ft. storefront in Plantation, Florida. Outgrowing its space immediately, YAA utilized creative means for meeting the demands of families, from leasing storefronts for camps and classes to establishing a Traveling Exhibit Program for small museums in Florida. Ten years later, in response to overwhelming community demand, Young At Art relocated to Davie in 1998, moving into a 24,000 sq. ft. leased space and proving its ability to successfully operate a $1 million+ museum with exhibit galleries, art studio classes, student field trips and events for 100,000 children and families annually.
Over the next decade, Young At Art set its sights on establishing a permanent home. With federal, state, county, town and community support – and through a public/private partnership with Broward County – Young At Art opened a groundbreaking new 55,000 sq. ft. Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) museum and public library on May 5, 2012, named by the Knight Foundation "as one of the most transformative arts initiatives in South Florida." 
Art & Exhibitions
Young At Art's five exhibition galleries provide authentic, interactive artistic, historical and cultural experiences that shift the paradigm of arts education from learning about art to using art for learning.
ARTSCAPES is a journey where art crosses time, place and culture. Featured areas include the "Cave Portal" where images of art and its histories explode with sight and sound; a "Portrait Salon" that encourages self-expression inspired by the work of artists from Picasso to Basquiat; and "Avenue A", a New York subway car where Keith Haring's work becomes a collective mural created by visitors.
CULTURESCAPES builds respect for our culturally diverse world through the eyes and art of contemporary artists from Africa, Haiti, Asia, Latin America and Native America. Featured art and artists include fantasy landscapes and metal sculpture by Edouard Duval Carrie that reflect the oral traditions of Haiti; paintings by artist Leonel Matheu that draw inspiration from the political turmoil he experienced in Cuba; woodcuts by Japanese artist Kenichi Yokono that juxtapose traditional and contemporary images; traditional and contemporary crafts curated by Seminole artist Pedro Zepeda; and batik and drumming circles by artist Chisseko Kondowe that convey the richness of Africa.
GREENSCAPES unveils the potential of art to call attention to environmental issues. Featured areas include "Sandscapes," where visitors recreate the work of visionary Earthwork artists; "Pablo's Magical Workshop & Theater," where children, inspired by Cuban artist Pablo Cano, create and perform with recycled marionettes; and "Stomp," an urban streetscape for the creative fusion of movement and music, the first museum installation of its kind by this renowned performance group.
WONDERSCAPES is a world of imagery based on Alice in Wonderland that fosters early childhood development through art, literacy and play. Amid murals created by Illustrator of the Year DeLoss McGraw, children experience learning at featured areas including "Alice's Pool of Tears" for stimulating fantasy play and the "March Hare's House & Tea Party" for conveying the concepts of scale, size, sight and sound.
THE KNIGHT GALLERY is an ever-changing space, featuring national traveling exhibitions, installations by emerging and established contemporary artists or the work of Broward high school students through the regional competition of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.
Over 200 painters, sculptors, animators, filmmakers, textile, graffiti, woodblock, multimedia, muralists, fiber, mosaic, composers, photographers and lighting/industrial artists have infused their creative voice into Young At Art. Artists featured or represented in the museum include Leonel Matheu, Pablo Cano, Edouard Duval Carrie, Chisseko Kondowe, Kenichi Yokono, Pedro Zapeda, Tom Luckey, Rachael Elwell, Kenny Scharf, Jillian Mayer, DeLoss McGraw, Ben Morey, Alejandro Romero, Taryn Boyd, Pepe Mar, Carlos Alves, Ruben Ubiera and Duane Hanson.
NEW EXHIBITIONS and Bedlam Lorenz Assembly (BLA), BLA, a south Florida alternative art projects group facilitates the museum's exhibitions, installations, lectures and workshops by acclaimed international artists as well as South Florida's emerging artists, curating interactive projects reinterpreted for the family audience. In 2013 New Times named BLA the year's best curator for its calendar of programming in and out of the museum.
Programs & Program Areas
The museum's YAA ART INSTITUTE offers studio art classes, camps, workshops and artist residencies in painting/drawing, ceramics, mixed media, printmaking, digital cartooning, darkroom and digital photography through a curriculum focusing on artists, history, principles of design, forms of media and the importance of process over product.
A TEEN CENTER features a recording studio, CD and computer production; more than 500 teens in grades 9-12 volunteer through Young At Art's Teen Leadership Program. A licensed MUSEUM PRESCHOOL educates through an art-based curriculum preparing young children for lifelong learning. A PUBLIC LIBRARY operated by Broward County strengthens learning through art and literacy.
The museum also offers student field trips and creative art workshops for grades PreK-8, birthday party programs, facility rentals, Night at the Museum evening programs, Conversations from the Hut with artist-in-residence Chisseko Kondowe, classroom and community outreach, Play Dates for parents and children ages 5 and under and parent discussions on nutrition and safety. Special events include the Teen Recycled Fashion Show, ArtRageous Eggstravaganza, YAA Festival of the Arts (featuring the work of child/teen artists), Teen Comic Convention and Student Showcases of artwork produced in the YAA Art Institute.
Young At Art believes that art has the power to enrich the quality of life for children, teens, adults and seniors – especially the most disenfranchised. Community-based initiatives include:
ARTREACH, our after school enrichment program for homeless youth ages 5–15 living in emergency and transitional shelters
The ARTHOUSE @ NORTHWEST GARDENS, an innovative community art center in one of the most impoverished communities in the nation, transformed through revitalization by the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Lauderdale. The ArtHouse is an example of creative placemaking – the belief that art, culture and creativity expressed powerfully through place can create vibrant communities.
PROJECT SAIL, infusing art and science into the curriculum of child care centers as part of PNC Foundation's national Grow Up Great early childhood initiative.
GIRLS 'N POWER, an arts-based enrichment program for at-risk teens enrolled at the PACE Center for Girls Broward, helping them find their voice and self-worth through the creation of art.
ARTSTART ON THE GO, a curriculum-enhancing outreach for Head Start classrooms, in partnership with Broward County Public Schools, strengthening a teacher's approach to learning and a child's creative expression through the integration of art and science.
ART @ SUNLAND PARK ACADEMY, arts-based classroom instruction changing STEM into STEAM at one of the lowest performing schools in Broward.
Young At Art is the recipient of numerous awards including an ArtWorks award from the National Endowment For The Arts; Museums for America and National Leadership grants from the Institute of Museum & Library Services; Art of Community Engagement Challenge from the Community Foundation of Broward ; Broward 2-1-1 Non-Profit Academy Award; Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties; Urban Land Institute Vision Award as Project of the Year; Promising Practice Awards from the MetLife Foundation and Association of Children's Museums; and a Building Bridges Award from the Broward Coalition to End Homelessness. 
- Robinson, Randall, Young At Art Museum: Turbo-Charging South Florida's Creative Engine, Tropic Magazine, Summer 2012. 
- Young At Art Celebrates Grand Opening of New Museum, Press Kit, May 2012 
- Best Curator - 2013
- Young At Art, A Museum for the Ages, Knight Arts Blog, January 15, 2013 
- The Art of Museum Making, November, 2013, Julie Kay, Lifestyle Media Group 
- Young At Art Museum Collaborates to Revitalize Neighborhood, Forum Publishing, May 10, 2013 
- Best Museum 2013