FAILURE LAB: MCA Denver's teen program
Failure Lab is a museum-led leadership program for twelve Denver-area high school students. Students work with artists, museum staff, and their peers to organize exhibitions, plan events, and develop programming. Rather than focusing on achievement, Failure Lab is dedicated to developing creativity, becoming a place where the risk of failure is always a possibility.
The program runs concurrent with the school year. Failure Lab is currently seeking interested students for the 2017-18 program.
At MCA Denver, admission to the museum is always FREE, everyday, for everyone 18 and under.
HOW TO APPLY TO FAILURE LAB
There are THREE components of the Failure Lab application. You must complete all three, by the deadline (Monday, May 8, 2017 at 11:59PM), in order to be invited to Applicant Day. We will not consider incomplete and/or late applications. All three components of the application must be completed online.
- First, complete the Faliure Lab Application. This helps us get to know a bit about you.FAILURE LAB APPLICATION
- Next, complete the Failure Lab Application Resume. This gives us a sense of your hobbies, interests, extracurricular activities, jobs, etc.FAILURE LAB APPLICATION: RESUME
- Finally, select a teacher that knows you well and can speak about you. Ask them to complete the Failure Lab Teacher Recommendation FAILURE LAB TEACHER RECOMMENDATION
☐ Complete the FAILURE LAB APPLICATION
☐ Complete the FAILURE LAB APPLICATION: RESUME
☐ Send the FAILURE LAB TEACHER RECOMMENDATION to your teacher for completion.
- May 8, 2017: Application deadline (all three components)
- June 9 and June 16, 2017: Applicant Days at MCA Denver (attend one)
WHY IS YOUR TEEN PROGRAM CALLED FAILURE LAB?
We chose the name Failure Lab because we believe that risking failure is an integral element of creativity. We wanted to create a space that would provide teens with a unique opportunity to try out wild ideas.
WHAT DO THE TEENS IN FAILURE LAB DO?
The teens in Failure Lab work with artists in workshops to create exhibitions, interact with MCA Denver staff to gain knowledge about behind-the-scenes operations of the museum, and learn about contemporary art from the artists who exhibit at our museum. The teens in the program also work together to organize events at the museum for their peers.
I DON'T MAKE ART, CAN I STILL BE IN FAILURE LAB?
You don't have to make art, but an interest and appreciation of art is mandatory. Failure Lab is made up of teens with varying creative interests: art, theatre, fashion, dance, music, design, and many other areas.
HOW DO YOU SELECT STUDENTS FOR FAILURE LAB?
We are looking for dedicated, hard working students who are interested in learning more about art and museums. We select students for the program from a variety of backgrounds and schools. The program is competitive. We carefully review each complete application we receive (application, resume, and teacher recommendation) and invite teens to join us for Applicant Day in June. This is our opportunity to get to know the students who have applied for the program, and for students to see if it would be a good fit for them. Second round individual interviews are scheduled in late June. Final selection of new teen interns is announced in July.
WHAT IF I AM UNABLE TO ATTEND APPLICANT DAY?
Due to the competitive nature and high number of applications we receive, students must attend Applicant Day to be considered for Failure Lab.
HOW MANY TEENS ARE IN FAILURE LAB?
Failure Lab is made up of twelve students from high schools throughout the Denver metro area.
WHAT GRADE DO I NEED TO BE IN TO PARTICIPATE IN FAILURE LAB?
We are looking for high school students who will be sophomores, juniors, or seniors during the 2017-18 school year.
WHEN DOES FAILURE LAB MEET AND FOR HOW LONG?
Failure Lab meets at the museum from 4–6PM every Wednesday from September through May (with time off for holidays and school breaks).
WHAT IF I CAN'T COMMIT TO THE ENTIRE YEAR?
All teens accepted into Failure Lab are asked to make a one-year commitment to the program. Regular weekly meeting attendance is required, although a small number of excused absences are allowed with prior approval.
CAN I BE IN THE PROGRAM FOR MORE THAN ONE YEAR?
We allow teens to be in Failure Lab for two years. If you want to continue for a second year, you will be asked to reapply to the program at the end of your first year.
MCA Denver would like to thank the following Failure Lab sponsors: The Salah Foundation, Openbox, The Fulcrum Foundation, The LARRK Foundation, The Thickman Family Foundation, The Sidney E. Frank Foundation - Colorado Fund, and the Harvey Family Foundation. We would also like to thank the citizens of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District for their support.