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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 at the admissions desk. Don’t carry your school ID with you? Email us to request a teacher pass.

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.

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

Applications are open and due December 31.

The MCA’s Multiple Visit Program brings the Common Core to life by offering teachers and students a chance to debate, discuss, and connect to works of art through return visits to the museum and provides professional development for teachers. Designed in alignment with Common Core English Language Arts Standards, this program uses contemporary art and ideas to sharpen students’ critical thinking skills, helping them to engage in collaborative dialogue and inquiry.

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:

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

Teacher Residency

Select Admission: The 2023–24 Application opens May 1, 2023.

This 10-month partnership with 15 Chicago-area K–12 classroom teachers of various disciplines includes monthly collaboration sessions between the Teachers-in-Residence. They work closely with MCA staff and other mentors to develop new curricula focused on contemporary arts integration for the classroom and museum, earning up to $750 in the process.

2022–23 Teachers-in-Residence

  • Philip Alvy
  • Shannon Andrea-Perryman
  • Paulette Butler-Mitchell
  • Gönül Zerya Düzer
  • Monica Koziol
  • Lynette Mendoza
  • Kelli Meserole
  • Lisa Pearson
  • Jeannine Potter
  • Devin Prendergast
  • Cyntria Richardson
  • Sofia Wehrle
  • Rebecca Wolsten

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.

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 for Learning Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art is provided by Julie and Larry Bernstein and Anonymous.

Additional generous support is provided by the Lois and Steve Eisen and The Eisen Family Foundation, Friends of Edwin A. Bergman Fund, the Hulda B. & Maurice L. Rothschild Foundation, Diane Kahan, The Marshall Frankel Foundation, D. Elizabeth Price and Lou Yecies, Carol Prins and John Hart/The Jessica Fund, and The William Randolph Hearst Foundations.