Hello! My name is Isaac Platt Zolov and I’m a member of ArtsConnection Teen Programs’ Teen Advisory Council (TAC) and a former participant of Film TRaC (Teen Reviewers and Critics). One of my favorite parts of TAC is getting to plan and put on many of THE ArtsConnection Teen Programs’ various events. I’ve always been interested in the planning aspect of an event and what is needed to prepare for a successful culmination of activities. Being part of TAC has given me a chance to participate in the process and play a key role in what goes on in an event. 

When planning events, we usually split up into smaller groups to brainstorm ideas for different activities which we could facilitate in the event. This is where it gets creative! We get to come up with ideas that correlate to a specific theme or topic in relation to artistic interests. We also have to figure out how to make the activities work in the event space. This works out really well because we are able to use some of the resources already at the event space to strengthen and add more on to our activities. Sometimes the event space challenges what we are able to do and makes us creatively work around an obstacle to create an awesome outcome. We then make instructions, steps, and a list of materials we need for our designated groups created activity. After the groups have had planning time, we gather as a whole and share our ideas for our specific activity and get feedback from each other on them). Our next meeting after we get our feedback usually tends to be the meeting where we revise our activity plans, gather our materials, and test out the activity to make sure it is working the way we planned for it to.

The most exciting part of the process is the actual event itself. Personally, I always find it mind-blowing to see people doing the activity our group created and seeing all of the different outcomes and ways people complete the activity. Specifically at our recent Teen Programs Open House a couple of weeks ago, I co-created and ran the “Magnitude of our Actions” activity representing the Teens Curate Teens program.  For this activity, we gave people options for different sub-themes related to this year’s TCT theme of climate justice and challenged them to, essentially, make art related to the sub-theme without using tape or glue. After this art-making process, the creators were challenged to curate their piece of work on a magnetic structure. It was really amazing at the end of the event to see all of the art in each sub-theme and the different ways and mediums of art that people chose to represent their ideas/interpretations. I think that because people could interpret the sub-themes in whatever way they wanted, we wound up with such a large variety of different types of art and ideas shown in it. They were, however, all connected at the same time. This is the best feeling I could get as one of the creators of the activity and as a member of TAC.  It was so satisfying to see how this activity started as a small idea we’d come up with and ended up being a great activity that exceeded all of our expectations.