The MCA believes in supporting the creative vision of youth under 21 with resources, platforms, and opportunities to build community.

  • The MCA is always free for everyone 18 and under
  • Monthly youth-led events showcase Chicago artists and cultural leaders under 21
  • The Teen Creative Agency (TCA) is an intensive program for youth 15–19 years old to develop cultural leadership skills and host public dialogue.
  • The TCA Apprenticeship offers on-the-job training for the next generation of museum leaders


The MCA is committed to empowering young people in Chicago. This video highlights the award-winning programs that continue the museum's legacy of youth-oriented education and position the MCA as a leading cultural resource within a diverse and energetic city.

Youth-led Events

The MCA is proud to highlight Chicago artists and cultural leaders under 21. The Teen Creative Agency, in partnership with organizations from across Chicago, designs and hosts events. These include deep conversations, performances, and activities; artist-led workshops; an annual Zine Release Party; and 21Minus, the signature annual festival of art and experiences that is created by and for people under 21. There are also monthly public events in the MCA Commons that are led by Chicago youth and free and open to visitors of all ages.

Teen Creative Agency

Twenty-five curious, creative 15–19-year-olds from all over the Chicago area form the Teen Creative Agency (TCA), the MCA’s core program for teens.


Members of the Teen Creative Agency 2019-2020


TCA applications have closed for the 2019–2020 school year. Please check back for the 2020–2021 application in spring 2020.


Generous support is provided by the North Shore Affiliate of the MCA, the Duchossois Family Foundation, Luminarts Cultural Foundation, and Cynthia Hunt and Philip Rudolph.

Free admission for 18 and under is generously provided by Liz and Eric Lefkofsky.

Our Programmatic Archive