DiversityWorks (DW) Teens is a new program for Houston-area teens that begins in September 2016.


DW Teens provides an opportunity for ten to twelve teens from underrepresented communities to learn about multi-disciplinary art and different professions in the arts. The goal is to encourage teens to consider pursuing leadership positions in non-profit arts organizations. This free, ten-week program will include Thursday afternoon workshops in contemporary art and ideas, community organizing, professional development, and cultural awareness, alongside discussions with individuals in leadership roles in the arts in Houston.

The DW Teens program was developed by DiverseWorks as part of a new initiative to help address the lack of racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in leadership positions at non-profit arts organizations in the United States. This grim situation has been reported in a number of recent studies conducted by several institutions, including the Common Good Careers & Level Playing Field Institute, Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, and Mellon Foundation. By introducing teens to galleries, museums, and non-profit art spaces and providing an opportunity for them to hear from professionals working in the arts, DiverseWorks hopes to empower teens from underrepresented communities to consider pursuing future careers as non-profit arts leaders.

As a long-standing, non-profit arts organization, DiverseWorks wishes to utilize its many assets to bolster the rich, cultural diversity of which Houston boasts by investing in the city’s youth. DiverseWorks is known for presenting thought-provoking international contemporary, multi-disciplinary art. Housed in the MATCH (Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston), DW is accessible by the Metro rail and bus. The MATCH also houses several other non-profits, such as Main Street Theater and the Texas Center for African American Living History, and is a short distance from the museum and theater districts. DW maintains close ties to the Houston artistic community and its staff is composed of knowledgeable individuals with many years of education and experience in curatorial practice, art history, art education, development, community organizing, grant writing, art criticism, and creative writing.

Participants in DW Teens will leave the program with a new level of awareness of the various professions in the arts and will have a stronger foundation of critical thinking, contemporary art, community organizing, global cultural awareness, and civic duty.