Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Youth Council and School and Community Partnership Program

Partners: PAFA Youth Council partners with the Students at Museums in Philly (STAMP) program, an initiative of the Philadelphia Cultural Alliance; The School and Community Partnership Program partners with Isaac A. Sheppard Elementary School, Julia DeBurgos Middle School, Taller Puertorriqueño, and the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Educators: Dana Shafer; Abby King

Location: Philadelphia, PA


Ele Grant, 10th Grade
Like A Hammer, 2014
Mixed media


Hector Tapia, 10th Grade
Act > Words, 2014
Mixed media


Ray Bellfor, 3rd Grade
Vegetables and Cheese, 2014
Model Magic


The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts’ Youth Council encourages its high school members to develop the 21st century skill of collaboration by working with their peers to create art, learn about the museum, and organize events. The Youth Council’s first art project was to take an image from the permanent collection and rethink, redesign, and remake it. Youth Council member Hector Tapia, whose work is on display, took elements from Laylah Ali’s Untitled (Greenhead with Sweater) while Ele Grant started with Cecilia Beaux’s Head of a Woman. Both Hector and Ele created opportunities for creativity, humor, and design in their collages. The museum’s educators also developed a School and Community Partnership Program, working closely with students at Sheppard Elementary. The program teaches arts curriculum through tours of the collection and classroom visits. In December 2014, third grade students studied the work of Peter Blume, focusing on his use of color and composition. Inspired by Blume’s paintings Vegetable Dinner and Autumn, student artist Ray Bellfor created a clay collage featuring a variety of foods for his still life composition.