Getty Unshuttered is an innovative multi-platform teen arts program offered by the J. Paul Getty Museum and inspired by Genesis Motor America. Beginning with our belief that everyone is an artist, we created an accessible online platform that empowers teens to change the world through photography--both by telling their stories and advocating for causes that they support. Unshuttered started with an onsite photography mentorship program in which a group of local Los Angeles teens were mentored by teaching artists to build photography and storytelling skills. The teens then became ambassadors for the Getty Unshuttered app, website, and social channels. The online platforms provide photography tips and invite teens from around the world to share their own stories and photographs. This unique project fosters students' ability to see and share their world, and empowers them to use photography to amplify their voices. The first year of the program culminated with an immersive photography showcase celebrating the work of the Getty Unshuttered community. The Getty Center was transformed into a living canvas using projection mapping to display photographs submitted to the app. The Getty also presented LA #UNSHUTTERED: Teens Reframing Life in Los Angeles, a special exhibition of photographs by Los Angeles high school students who participated in Unshuttered. Together, the app, the showcase, and the exhibition work as a platform that empowers teens to become artists and activists and invites them to exchange ideas as part of a global community of photographers.
In order to engage local and global audiences, the Getty Unshuttered program was implemented through a series of phases:
The Unshuttered App and web platform:
The Unshuttered Celebration and Showcase:
Unshuttered has very successfully met its goals of giving teens agency and an accessible platform for sharing their photographs. The onsite workshop's combination of photography mentorship, facilitated activities, and access to the Getty's collection created a dynamic environment that inspired and empowered the 23 participating students to develop as creative storytellers and artists. Their voices inspired the Unshuttered online platforms, which have been incredibly successful with a community of users that has been steadily growing since launch. We have had over 10 million impressions online across various platforms. The Unshuttered app has over 16k downloads on iTunes, and our website has over 24k page views. The student's challenge videos have also reached a wide audience with over 290k views on YouTube. The culminating celebration had over 1,800 attendees, and LA #UNSHUTTERED: Teens Reframing Life in Los Angeles has had over 30k visitors and counting. Our team is dedicated to improving Unshuttered in its second iteration. We will continue creating inspirational content that invites teens to be part of the Getty's creative community. We also have a commitment to further offering robust online educational curriculum.
Unshuttered contains many of the features that are recognized as essential to student success in school and beyond: mentorship, creative agency, opportunities for leadership, and deliberate exercise of the 21st Century skills of critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, and self-direction. We believe that this program will set a new standard for youth programming with the potential to transform lives through arts education.