Teens rediscover the Westport Arts Center


Early in the spring, Westport residents driving along Riverside Avenue may see a line of about 20 third graders filing into the Westport Arts Center [WAC]. Unfortunately, for some students, this classic elementary school field trip was the last time they visited WAC.

“Many teens are surprised by the amount of resources we have available to them,” Lindsay Heffernan, the Education Manager for WAC, who sports artsy black rimmed glasses, said.

From volunteer opportunities to various events and lectures, WAC provides a place for any teenager who has an interest in art.

“I was given a chance to dip my toes into my passion for teaching through my love for art at WAC,” Claire Tetenbaum ’18, who spent two days a week at WAC during her junior year, said.

Angie Parmar ’16, who volunteered there last summer, said that WAC gave her the chance to be a sort of fly on the wall observing staff members full of “real characters” do what they love.

The staff members are not the only passionate ones at WAC. According to Katherine Coogan ’17, the young kids she got to work with over the summer were equally passionate about their artwork whether it be Dali inspired watercolor elephants or pinch-pots.

WAC is now in the process of unveiling a new Teen Advisory Council, which would give students in the area yet another opportunity to work with WAC in a leadership role.

Heffernan emphasized that WAC has always enjoyed working with Staples students, describing them as “very knowledgeable about the arts.”

Parmar said she learned about much more than just art during her time there. In fact before volunteering at WAC she had no idea how to operate a non-digital phone. The staff at WAC walked her through the process though. “We all laughed that day,” Parmar said.