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Did you know Illinois elementary and high school teachers receive free admission to the MCA? Simply present a valid teacher ID (or a photograph of your valid teacher ID) at the Admissions desk for free admission to the museum.

For Teachers

Teacher Institute


The Teacher Institute is the MCA’s professional development program for classroom educators. Designed to help you investigate, create, incubate, and implement innovative, contemporary curricula, this free, yearlong program includes year-round programming like the Learning Series and the Teacher Residency.

Applications open April 2025

Learning Series

Registration-based. Free and open to all.

Throughout the year, the MCA hosts high-quality professional development programming. Open to teachers of all disciplines, these events are skills-based trainings on contemporary art integration and educator-specific programs.

Programs are designed in connection with the cultural assets of the MCA (exhibitions, exhibiting artists, public programs, and performances). To hear about upcoming Learning Series programs, sign up for our educator email list.

Multiple Visit Program

We are not supporting school field trips or the Multiple Visit Program at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience. We look forward to welcoming student groups again soon!

You can still take advantage of free admission for student groups. To reserve tickets, please email [email protected].

Teacher Advisory Committee

A community of classroom teachers who meet quarterly to advise the MCA Learning team on school and teacher programs and matters of interest to the larger school community.

Current members of the Teacher Advisory Committee (TAC):

  • Andrew Breen
  • Bridget Doherty-Trebing
  • Lindsay Johnson
  • Rhavin Haynes
  • Marcia La Porte
  • Marina Lopez
  • Kristal Pacheco
  • Lisa Wax
  • Zachary Wisser

For more details about the TAC, email Evelyn Sanford-Nicolson, Polk Bros. Associate Director of Learning.

Teacher Residency

This 10-month partnership with 15 Chicago-area K–12 classroom teachers of various disciplines includes monthly collaboration sessions, MCA class field trips, and curriculum development.

Working closely with MCA staff and other mentors, teachers develop new curricula focused on contemporary arts integration for classroom and museum learning, earning up to $750 in the process.

2024–23 Teachers-in-Residence

  • Aespyne Brooks — Nobel Academy
  • Annie Zirin — Pleasant Ridge Elementary School
  • Colleen Kilcoyne — Marquette Elementary
  • David Hossler — Simeon Career Academy
  • Carrie Byington-Oei — Wolcott College Prep
  • Chelsea Bashore Acero — Esmerelda Santiago Elementary
  • Laura Lynn Hsieh — North Shore Country Day School
  • Safir Kaylan — Gems World Academy
  • Hyunju Park — DePaul College Prep
  • Justin Goh — Woodlands Academy
  • Isabella Mellado — School of the Art institute of Chicago
  • Chasitie Neal — Morton Elementary
  • Jessica Londay — STEM Magnet Academy
  • Danyelle Jones — STEM Magnet Academy
  • Shlinda Greer — Ralph Ellison High School

Teacher Resources and Guides

We currently create robust teacher guides in conjunction with our Tour Video (TV) series. Those can be found on our Learning Resources page.

View All Educator Events

Contact & Registration


The MCA creates immersive professional development programs and invites teachers to use the museum as their studio, laboratory, library, and classroom.

In need of fresh ideas for your curriculum? Need to know what’s happening in art, teaching, and learning right now?

  • MCA Educator Salons tackle timely issues through open exchange among peers, colleagues, and speakers.

Participants receive ISBE credit.

Vouchers for free parking in the MCA garage are provided pending availability.

Email Ahmad Bracey, Manager of Learning: School and Youth Communities, or sign up for our educator email list to be the first to hear about opportunities at the MCA for teachers and students.

Teacher Mailing List Sign-Up

Complete this form to keep in touch and hear about the MCA's programs for educators.

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Major support is provided by the Zell Family Foundation, Max Mara, Northern Trust, Nancy and Steve Crown and the Crown Family, GCM Grosvenor, Kenneth C. Griffin, Jana and Bernardo Hees, Carol Prins and John Hart, Reyes Holdings, and an anonymous donor.

Generous support is provided by Bank of America; the Bluhm Family; Julie and Larry Bernstein; Marlene Breslow-Blitstein and Berle Blitstein; Lois and Steve Eisen; Helyn Goldenberg and Michael Alper; Andi and Jim Gordon, The Edgewater Funds; Karen Z. Gray-Krehbiel and John H. Krehbiel, Jr.; Rachel and David Grund; Melissa Grund Sarnoff and David Sarnoff; the Harris Family Foundation in honor of Bette and Neison Harris; HCSC/Blue Cross Blue Shield IL; Cynthia Hunt and Philip Rudolph; Illinois Tool Works; Anne L. Kaplan; Susie Karkomi and Marvin Leavitt; the Kovler Family Foundation; Liz and Eric Lefkofsky/Cathy Ross and Chris Liguori; Gael Neeson; Norcon, Inc; Cari and Michael Sacks; Karyn and Bill Silverstein; Ellen Wallace and Steven Gould; William Blair; and an anonymous donor.

Max Mara logo
Northern Trust Logo
Crown Family Philanthropies logo
GCM Grosvenor logo
Reyes Holdings logo
Andi and Jim Gordon the edgewater funds logo
BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois logo
Illinois Tool Works logo
Norcon Incorporated logo
William Blair