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ALBANY ─ High school teenagers in the Albany area are invited to join their peers for an evening of socializing and bonding at the Albany Museum of Art.

The AMA’s Teen Art Kickback, the first of three monthly events, is set for 7-9 p.m. on Friday.

“This was something our Teen Art Board wanted to do,” Annie Vanoteghem, director of education and public programming for the AMA, said. “We’re looking for ways to reach out to and introduce younger people to the museum. We want them to have an enjoyable experience, one that will encourage them to see the AMA in a new light and to become invested in the future of the museum.”

The Teen Art Board members say they hope the event will allow their peers in the community to have a good time while discovering how the museum can affect their lives. Those who attend will be able to bond with fellow teenagers over food, music and games. All aspects of the event are being planned by the teenagers on the Teen Art Board and AMA intern Quadre Curry-Wilkerson, an art major and president of the Student Government Association at Albany State University.

“This is our first time doing something like this,” Sarah Katherine Harris, a member of the Teen Art Board and a student at Deerfield-Windsor School, said. “I’m excited to see many students across Albany or the surrounding area come and support us. I think it will be fun for everyone involved.”

Vanoteghem said the events are a good way for the board to carry out its mission.

“We think a social setting is a great way for our teen leaders to advocate for the museum while giving high schoolers a safe space to enjoy themselves with friends, and new friends they’ll meet,” Vanoteghem said.

Formed last year, the AMA Teen Art Board’s goal and mission are to inspire creativity while having fun, and to make a positive impact on the community. The board aims to define and validate creative minds in the high schools and colleges of southwest Georgia.

There is no set cost to attend. Teens who attend are encouraged to donate any amount they choose to help the Teen Art Board successfully engage in its mission.

The Friday night Teen Art Kickback will return at the AMA on March 13 and April 24. Those events also are scheduled for 7-9 p.m.

The season will conclude on May 2 with a special Teen Art Prom from 7-9 p.m. at the Albany Museum of Art. More information on that event will be released later.

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