Julius at Art Camp, 2010, photo courtesy of Alexis Curry

A 13-Year-Old Celebrates NexGen's 13th Birthday

April 13, 2016
Katie Antonsson, USC Annenberg Journalism Fellow

NexGen is 13 years old today! The program offers free membership to kids 17 and under, giving them opportunities to get involved with art and the museum throughout the year. From Art Camp to Teen Night, NexGen's got kids and teens covered. We took a moment to interview 13-year-old Julius, who's been a NexGen member for many years, to celebrate the program's birthday.

What is the first NexGen event you remember going to?

I think it was the Art Camp at LACMA that I did when I was around seven. The only part that I can really remember is doing woodworking. For me that was the most fun.

What’s your favorite thing that you’ve made?

I remember I made this face out of clay. My mom keeps everything that my brother and I have made in her office with her. And I have this little red face that I made in the shape of a rectangle and I used one of those weird Play-Doh spaghetti makers for hair. I remember really being obsessed with it.

What’s your favorite thing about NexGen?

I think it’s really important that all kids get to learn about art. It’s really important for people in general, because that’s the original way that people could communicate to each other and record what they needed to record about religion and history. If kids don’t know about art, then they don’t really know about the people and the culture around them.

Favorite thing about LACMA?

I just like how, with the permanent exhibitions and the exhibitions that come and go, they’re always so different. You can go [to LACMA] once a month and see something completely new that you’d never expect to see.

What are you most looking forward to with NexGen?

I think that as it continues, as the program gets older, more people will become involved. And the more people you have involved with what you’re doing, the more you can do. And since NexGen is so important, the more that NexGen can do to help children understand art and culture, [the better]. I think parents should do all they can to get their kids to LACMA. Maybe just twice a year, maybe even less than that. But you really have to expose your kids to [art] because I remember going to art shows when I was little and I thought they were really boring. But now when I go to them, since I’ve been exposed to them and now that I have experience seeing different types of art, I can really appreciate it.

Not a NexGen member yet? Enroll by mailing in a form, or visit a Ticket Office or information table next time you're at LACMA to sign up any time!