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Boston Children’s Museum
308 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 426-6500

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9:00am - 12:00pm and 1:30pm - 4:30pm

Boston Children’s Museum Announces 2016-2017 CURRENT Artist-in-Residence

November 21, 2016
Joanna Tam’s “Let’s Story” Draws out Children’s Voices using the Museum’s Collection
Boston Children’s Museum is pleased to announce Joanna Tam as the 2016-2017 CURRENT Artist-in-Residence. Tam’s project, “Let’s Story”, uses conversation, questions, animation, audio, and objects from the Museum’s collection, to draw out and present stories from children and their families. Tam has been inspired by the potential teachability of objects as well as exploring methods for centering and amplifying children’s voices.

CURRENT creates a direct channel between contemporary artists and children through a live studio, site-specific installation, artist-designed learning experiences and child-oriented video interviews. It also provides artists such as Tam with the opportunity to investigate and enhance their teaching skills. The program was created in partnership with Alter Projects, an initiative that fosters artistic infrastructure through custom arts programming and consultation for artists, organizations and the private sector. “Working with Joanna Tam on this project has been a dream,” said Alter Projects’ head Maggie Cavallo. “This residency is designed to serve a variety of contemporary artists who have a penchant for teaching and learning.

Joanna Tam is a Boston-based artist originally from Hong Kong whose interdisciplinary practice examines the development of ethnic and national identities, experiences of displacement and the relationship between objects and storytelling. Her photography, video, performances, installation and drawings have been exhibited regionally, nationally and internationally. She is a dedicated Educator having taught classes in Time-Based Media at Massachusetts College of Art & Design where she also manages the Brant Gallery. “This residency has taught me to be patient and to recognize, respect, and honor the voices of kids,” explains Tam. “Their thought processes and the ways they speak are very different from adults; some of their stories are more like poems, creative writing in the form of stream of consciousness. There are so many ways of existence and so many ways to communicate.” Boston Children’s Museum is one of the few children’s museums in the world that maintains a collection. It began in 1913 with a donation of rocks and minerals and over the last 103 years has amassed over 50,000 objects. “This is a great opportunity for both the Museum and our CURRENT Artist-in-Residence” explains Boston Children’s Museum’s Arts Program Manager, Alice Vogler. “Our collection is able to be explored and utilized through an artist’s lens, and Joanna herself is able to expand on the use of historic objects she had already made a place for in her practice.” After selecting and photographing various objects from the collection, Tam designated open-ended prompts for each one, while on-site she used these prompts to collect stories from children, their families and Museum staff. These stories will be paired with original animations in the final installation, where visitors will also be able to engage in their own storytelling experiences using Tam’s image-based prompts. This project is an exciting exploration of object-based learning and storytelling from the lens of a contemporary artist and directed towards acknowledging and celebrating the voice of every Boston Children’s Museum visitor.
Let’s Story – Opening Reception and Public Reflection:
Friday, January 20, 2017, 6:00-8:00pm

Artist Workshop for Children & Families:
Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 10:30am-12:00pm

Artist Workshop for Children & Families:
Friday, January 27, 2017, 6:00-7:30pm

Process Report & Film Screening:
Sunday, March 5th, 2017, 11:00am-1:00pm

The installation is scheduled to run December 2, 2016 – March 12, 2017.

For additional information, please visit
About Boston Children's Museum
Boston Children’s Museum engages children and families in joyful discovery experiences that instill an appreciation of our world, develop foundational skills, and spark a lifelong love of learning.

Hours and Admission
The Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Fridays until 9:00 p.m. Adults, $16, children (1-15) and senior citizens, $16; children under 12 months and Museum members are always free. Fridays 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., all visitors $1.

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