Monday, Jun 13, 2016 - 9:48 am
Culminating exhibition showcases year-long project with Museo Tamayo in Mexico City as part of international Museums Connect project

San Diego, CAThe Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is proud to present FOCUS: Binational Showcase featuring multimedia artworks by 22 teens in San Diego and Mexico City that explore the impact of violence in both cultures. The exhibition will be on view from Friday, June 17 through Sunday, June 19, 2016 at the Museum’s downtown location. A public reception will be held from 2-5 PM on Saturday, June 18 to celebrate the teens’ work.

The showcase is the culmination of “Youth Empowerment through Social Practice Art: Strategies for Coping with Violence and Trauma,” an international partnership between MCASD’s Teen Advisory Group (TAG) and teens at the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. During this yearlong collaboration, the teens have communicated through online forums and participated in week-long exchanges where they visited each other in their home countries for in-person collaboration and workshops with social practice artists. The Binational Showcase presents the students’ artworks inspired by this partnership, featuring photography, video installations, and sculptural works. The works reflect multiple facets of violence as seen through the eyes of teens—from interfamilial violence to the war on terrorism. The exhibition will be on view at both MCASD and Museo Tamayo simultaneously.

For interviews and high-resolution images, please contact Communications & Marketing Manager Leah Straub or Communications Associate Patricia B. Dwyer.

Youth Empowerment through Social Practice Art: Strategies for Coping with Violence and Traumais the product a Museums Connect grant awarded to MCASD and Museo Tamayo. Museums Connect is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). Museums Connect pairs museums in the United States with museums abroad for a cross-cultural exchange that brings people, especially youth, together through community projects that address topics of local relevance. MCASD and Museo Tamayo were one of seven dual-recipients of this year’s Museums Connect grants.

This project began in October 2015. Over the past eight months, teens in San Diego and Mexico City have met regularly at bi-monthly workshops with the program’s participating artists, Itzel Martinez in San Diego and Edgardo Aragon in Mexico City. Through these workshops, the teens have learned how to communicate their ideas through various multimedia art forms, and have worked to hone their artistic skills.

The two groups have communicated with their international counterparts online and visited each other in March 2016. While in Mexico City, the teens traveled to various cultural institutions and landmarks—including Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Tlatelolco, and el Centro Histórico—to immerse themselves in the culture and take part in workshops led by local artists such as Gibran Portela and Félix Blume. During their time in San Diego, the teens visited locales including Chicano Park and the Museum of Photographic Arts, and attended workshops led by Iztel Martinez. During both exchanges, the group was led by education staff from both museums, including MCASD’s Education Curator Cris Scroza and Education Associate Mario Mesquita, and Museo Tamayo’s Director of Education Manuel Alcalá.

About Museums Connect
The mission of Museums Connect is to build global communities throughpartnership, collaboration, and cross-cultural exchanges, linking the respective museums with communities both abroad and locally, while also supporting U.S. foreign policy goals, such as youth empowerment, environmental protection, and social inclusion. Since its inception, Museums Connect has linked American museums in 27 states and the District of Columbia with partners in 49 countries, including Afghanistan, Brazil, China, Honduras, India, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and Ukraine, among others.

About MCASD’s Teen Advisory Group
Composed of 15 diverse teens representing high schools from across San Diego, MCASD’s Teen Advisory Group (TAG) explores contemporary art by meeting with local artists and discussing art in the Museum's galleries. TAG also imagines, develops, and realizes projects designed to reach the wider Museum audience. MCASD will selected TAG Members to serve as the teen participants in the Museums Connect cultural exchange.

About the American Alliance of Museums
The American Alliance of Museums is the largest museum service organization in the world, serving all types of museums, including art, history, science, botanic gardens, zoos and aquariums. The Alliance helps museums serve their communities by developing standards and best practices, offering professional training and resources, and serving as the national voice of museums for the public, media and elected officials. Working on behalf of 35,000 museums, 400,000 museum employees, thousands of volunteers and the visitors who come to museums 850 million times each year, the Alliance is dedicated to bolstering museums in promoting lifelong learning, celebrating cultural heritage and inspiring the creative skills to compete in a global economy. For more information, visit

About the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) builds relations between people of the United States and the people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports and professional exchange programs, as well as public private partnerships and mentoring programs. These exchange programs improve foreign relations and strengthen the national security of the United States, support U.S. international leadership, and provide a broad range of domestic benefits by helping break down barriers that often divide us, like religion, politics, language and ethnicity, and geography. ECA programs build connections that engage and empower people, and motivate them to become leaders and thinkers; to develop new skills; and to find connections that will create positive change in their communities. Alumni of ECA exchange programs comprise over one million people around the world, including more than 40 Nobel Laureates and more than 300 current or former heads of state and government around the world. For more information, visit:

Founded in 1941, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is the preeminent contemporary visual arts institution in San Diego County. The Museum's collection includes more than 4,700 works of art created since 1950. In addition to presenting exhibitions by international contemporary artists, the Museum serves thousands of children and adults annually at its varied education programs, and offers a rich program of film, performance, and lectures. MCASD is a private, nonprofit organization, with 501c3 tax-exempt status; it is supported by generous contributions and grants from MCASD Members and other individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. Hugh M. Davies is The David C. Copley Director and CEO at MCASD. Institutional support for MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.