Getty Unshuttered is built on the simple concept that art can radicalize social change by touching both head and heart, transforming how we connect with ideas and one another. This core idea sparked an innovative multi-platform teen arts program driven by the personal passion and authentic voices of teens themselves.
By design, Unshuttered was not a classroom, but a launch pad for young artists, fueling their creative growth with direct access to artists, mentors, curators, and of course, art. Beginning with a core group of students from traditionally underserved communities in Los Angeles, twenty-three teens participated in mentorship workshops at the J. Paul Getty Museum, covering fundamental photography skills and visual storytelling. They developed powerful photo narratives around a social cause or personal story, which ranged from sexual assault to dignity for homeless women, depictions of young African American males, and hyper-masculinity in Latino culture, to name a few.
These stories were then amplified in the Getty Unshuttered app and website, Unshuttered.org. The teens told their stories in a series of video photo challenges that encourage other young artists to post their own photo responses and offer photography tips to boost users’ camera skills and creative eye. Thousands of teens continue to answer the call with images from their own lives shared in the app’s positive, artistic, online community.
In June 2018, these artists were celebrated at a site-wide event in which the museum campus was turned into an interactive canvas. The walls were covered with a multi-story projection-mapped experience created in collaboration with the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, featuring over 1000 of the best and most powerful images from the Unshuttered app community.
The Getty Museum is proud to showcase the social causes of our Unshuttered teens online and in the museum galleries. These young change-makers have reached more than 4 million students and teachers online, and more than 100,000 visitors to the LA #Unshuttered exhibition at the Getty Center. Even better, thousands of young people who found the program online were inspired to pick up their cameras to share their own personal view of the world as it is, and as they believe it should be.
If you would like to try the app, please feel free to use our demo credentials (username: jeanpaul2
password: Getty18$ ) or your own. We ask that you abide by the community’s terms of service.