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At the MCA, young people not only view but engage with contemporary art and artists. The MCA makes museum resources accessible to youth so that they may dream, plan, and create responses to the issues that are important to them.


Teen Creative Agency

The Teen Creative Agency (TCA) is the Museum of Contemporary Art’s cultural leadership program for teens ages 15–19. TCA members from all over the Chicago area come together at the museum once a week, from September thru June. During this time they increase their agency and collaboration skills, as well as their knowledge of public engagement and the creative process.

Group portrait of people of various ethnicities sitting on wide gray steps.

Members of the 2023–24 Teen Creative Agency. Photo: Olive Stefanski.


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, including deep conversations, performances, and activities; artist-led workshops; an annual Zine Release Party; and 21Minus, the signature annual festival of art and experiences that are created by and for people under 21. These events, and many more, are led by Chicago youth and are free and open to visitors of all ages.

View Family and Youth Events

TCA Alumni 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 the 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.


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