It’s been ten controversy-filled days since Donald Trump took office. Calling President Trump “polarising” doesn’t quite seem to do him justice, but amongst the range of worrying views that he has expressed is the desire to defund the National Endowment for the Arts, and cut federal funding to Sanctuary Cities. New Yorkers, and more precisely liberal, educated and queer New Yorkers, are Trump’s worst nightmare.
Thankfully, in such dark times, the city’s LGBT+ youth will always have a place to turn. The Museum of Modern Art has created Open Art Space, a programme that encourages queer school students to explore their creativity and connect with potential collaborators. “Make Art. Meet People. Explore Ideas. Be Yourself,” reads MoMA’s announcement, “a relaxed weekly drop-in programme for LGBTQ high school students who are interested in thinking about, and creating, art in a relaxed and welcoming environment.”
Although the programme is facilitated by artists, it mostly gives students free reign to unwind, express themselves and learn about queer history at such a crucial point in their development.
“Whether teens are getting a behind-the-scenes tour of MoMA’s Conservation Lab with artist Robert Gober, posing for a Queer Prom-themed photo shoot, or discussing what’s been happening in everyone’s lives — Open Art Space’s role is to offer space for teens to explore their own identities as well as the opportunity to operate within a community,” visual artist and educator Mark Joshua Epstein told the Huffington Post. “We endeavour to create a space where LGBTQ teens feel heard, supported, and recognised.”