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Expanding the Walls

Making Connections Between Photography, History and Community

A free, eight-month, photography-based program for a select group of students enrolled in high school or GED program


Teen Programs at the Studio Museum provide a safe environment for teens to express themselves creatively. Programs offer students the opportunity to meet and converse with prominent visual artists, express their ideas in discussions, participate in tours and hands-on workshops, and develop important communication and critical thinking skills.

Expanding the Walls is a free program for teens enrolled in high school or GED program to learn about photography, history, and community. The program culminates with a celebration of the participants' work. Participants receive a $1000 stipend and a Canon EOS Rebel DSLR camera. Meetings will take place in-person!

Expanding the Walls uses the Studio Museum’s James Van Der Zee Collection and Archive as the point of entry to share experiences and perspectives on community, identity, history, and cultureOver the course of 8 months each year, Studio Museum engages with participants in a regimen of field excursions, workshops with prominent visual artists, and the study of the fundamentals of photography.

Teens receive transportation fare to and from the Museum and a stipend upon their completion of the program. Additionally, each student is awarded a digital camera upon completion of the program, which culminates with an exhibition of student work for an entire exhibition season. 

View Past Exhibitions


Applications are now closed for the next cycle of Expanding the Walls

January 9–August 1, 2024
Tuesdays 4:00 pm–6:30 pm and Saturday 10:00 am–3:00 pm

Beginning July 2, 2024, the program will meet three times a week:

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays 10:00 am—3:00 pm