In alignment with our mission to strengthen international cultural relations and engage local communities, BBAX has created a strong Educational Program with both local and international high school students. Through this program, students have the opportunity to participate in art appreciation, attend lectures, and participate in workshops. The workshops facilitate engagement with our selected exhibiting artists and our artists in residence. Our program takes place both in the classroom and in our Santa Monica gallery space. In addition to these lectures and workshops, we present artist panels and collaborative partner presentations each month to accompany all major exhibitions. As part of our international student program students from various schools around the globe are invited to participate in virtual studio tours. In addition to these studio tours, the students have the opportunity to virtually meet with international artists as well as other students from different countries.
Since its conception in 2016 our Educational Program has developed to serve fifteen schools in the Los Angeles area and over 300 students. Many of the schools BBAX works with are largely made up of low- and moderate-income students. We provide students access to the arts and the endless possibilities they offer. Through our workshops and lectures with artists from countries like Mexico, Iran, Cuba, and Japan, the students are given the chance to participate in social and political dialogues in a safe and accepting environment. Furthermore, we encourage young artists recently graduated from universities to participate in biennials and residencies partnered with our organization. By offering students the chance to interact with the artists, we encourage a younger generation to understand and explore different cultures.
BBAX also hosts summer internships as part of our Educational Program. We are currently supporting high school students from our participating LA schools and college students each week. Through these internships students have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with an international non-profit arts organization, learn the process of putting together exhibitions, and work with professional curators and artists. Interns collaborate with the BBAX team who help each student develop team-building and organizational skills. The program includes: promotion, fundraising, shipment of artwork, participation in special events, and education of gallery visitors on current/upcoming exhibitions.
Our Educational Program is now online. Current programs include at-home shadow days with students from local schools. Each at-home shadow day is comprised of a workshop and virtual studio walk through with one of our artists. During the summer of 2020, as part of our virtual Educational Program, the organization offered our first International Student Artist Award. The open call asked students to create artwork that depicted their vision of what "Building Bridges" symbolizes while contemplating various political, environmental, social, economic, cultural or interpersonal relationship issues.