Teen Creative Agency


Know a teen who would be a great TCA candidate? Nominate them!


Apply to join TCA for the 2020–21 school year (Sep 2020–Jun 2021). The deadline for applications has been extended. Please check back for more information in July.


The Teen Creative Agency (TCA) is the MCA's creative, youth development program. Twenty-five young people, ages 15 to 19, from all over the Chicagoland area meet weekly to grow their agency and collaboration skills, build community, and develop creative projects and public events under the guidance of two Lead Artists.

Weekly sessions include time in the galleries, visits to other cultural sites, meetings with artists and museum staff, and time to work on collaborative projects. Projects include zines, pop-up events for public discussion of civic issues, and 21Minus, a museum-wide annual festival of workshops, installations, and performances curated by TCA teens and featuring local youth artists.

June 2020 Update

Sparked by the need for transparency regarding any museum funding of the Chicago Police Department, the Teen Creative Agency has called on museum leadership to address structural inequities throughout the institution. TCA members envision a museum that celebrates the value of Black lives not only in its exhibition program but in its internal workings and public communication.

Youth programs staff at the MCA support TCA’s efforts to radically reimagine ourselves, our institutions, and our world. In order to support this ongoing work, MCA youth programming has been paused. Youth programs staff are committed to anti-oppressive learning in working with youth, wholeheartedly support their organizing efforts, and the structural changes to this program that will come from this youth collective.

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Members of the Teen Creative Agency 2019-2020


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About the TCA Apprenticeship

About the TCA Apprenticeship

This one-year, part-time staff position for Teen Creative Agency (TCA) alumni bridges the gap between youth programs and museum careers.

Apprentices build their professional portfolios by designing programs and facilitating dialogue about urgent social issues for staff and audiences of all ages and backgrounds. They work across MCA's Learning Programs, curate and produce public events, act as ambassadors and advocates for youth in and beyond the museum, and facilitate workshops and trainings.


Generous support is provided by the North Shore Affiliate of the MCA, The Duchossois Family Foundation, and Luminarts Cultural Foundation.