Urban Gateways is currently accepting applications for Touring Artists for the 2017-2018 season!


Urban Gateways is looking for new artists/groups to join the diverse roster of Touring Performances for school and community audiences across the Chicago area for the 2017-2018 season. We are looking for professional performers who are passionate about sharing their art with students, families, and general audiences and can also provide cohesive educational background information in an engaging way.
Urban Gateways is  a non-profit arts partner, not an agency. The objective of this program area is to thoughtfully expose audiences to a wide variety of artistic disciplines and cultures through live performances. Roster artists receive professional development opportunities, administrative support, regular feedback, and various other perks.

Urban Gateways Touring Performances:

  • Are 40-minutes in length;
  • Showcase the highest quality of performing arts, backed by a strong educational foundation;
  • Are full arts experiences that include visual elements such as sets and/or costumes appropriate for the show;
  • Are adaptable for various settings ranging from fully-equipped school auditoriums to bare-bones community venues;
    • Artists must provide all necessary technical elements, though some sites may be able to provide select items. When required, musicians must provide their own amplification systems.
  • Have been designed specifically with primarily youth audiences in mind;
    • Artists may determine their own grade range (ex. K-5, K-8, etc) for school performances, however the broader the range, the more opportunities there will be for work.
  • Are arts-focused.
    • We present dance, music, and theater, as well as multidisciplinary shows. All are encouraged to apply.


To apply, you must submit the following by 5pm on Friday, March 31, 2017 :

  • Supplemental Materials: Materials must be submitted online (preferred), hand-delivered, or postmarked by Friday, March 31, 2017. All materials must be be received or postmarked by this date for application to be considered.

1. Video footage (10 minutes maximum)

  • Ideally the piece you intend to audition. Please specify if it is a selection from a different performance by the artist and/or ensemble;
  • Can be rehearsal or performance footage;
  • Please limit footage to 10 minutes. If more is included, you must state the 10 minutes you wish to be reviewed.
  • Submit online link in the application, or mail/hand-deliver DVD.

2. Typed Description

  • Describe the performance footage you’ve submitted and how it relates to what you hope to do with Urban Gateways;
  • If submitting video online, application includes place for description. If mailing or hand-delivering, submit as paper copy or PDF (.pdf) file on data disc .

3. Resume of the artist and/or ensemble

  • If applicant is an individual, please include full resume;
  • Groups or ensembles please highlight applicable production history.
  • Upload PDF (.pdf) file at end of application.If mailing or hand-delivering, submit as paper copy or PDF (.pdf) file on data disc.

4. Copies of three total reference documents

  • Can include reviews and/or articles about the company and/or artists, or letters of reference highlighting relevant professional experiences.
  • Upload PDF (.pdf) files at end of application. If mailing or hand-delivering, submit as paper copies or PDF (.pdf) files on data disc.

5. Written copy of the show outline or script (optional)

  • While this is optional, it is strongly encouraged
  • Upload PDF (.pdf) file at end of application. If mailing or hand-delivering, submit as paper copy or PDF (.pdf) file on data disc.

For your application to be accepted and reviewed, all required materials must be submitted and in the formats specified.

If not submitting materials online, please mail or hand-deliver to:

Urban Gateways
205 W Randolph, Suite 1700
Chicago, IL 60606
Attn: Claire Meyers

Please note:  Application materials will not be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope with sufficient postage.  Application materials submitted by artists accepted to the roster remain on file at Urban Gateways.

Additional Information

Applications are reviewed one annually by a panel of Urban Gateways staff. We will review each applicant based on the following criteria:

  • Artistic quality;
  • Strength of educational elements;
  • Urban Gateways’ need and/or interest in the artistic discipline or performance type – see Urban Gateways’ current Touring Roster here to ensure your application complements these offerings;
  • Performer availability;
  • In-person interview and audition (if selected).

Please note: Urban Gateways will not accept applications submitted by a third party individual or organization. All applications must be completed and submitted directly by the individual and/or group.

Additional information about Urban Gateways’ Touring Performance Program:

  • Accepted artists are contracted for work beginning summer 2017 and are expected to be available at least two week days regularly;
  • Artist fees are competitive with industry rates;
  • There are no limits to the number of performers in a group, however it is difficult to compensate large groups competitively, due to partners’ restricted budgets (ideal cast size is typically 2-5 performers);
  • Due to varying needs, we cannot guarantee bookings. We try to take on shows that have a particular interest to our partners.

The application deadline for the 2017-2018 school year is Friday, March 31, 2017.

The ONLINE APPLICATION and Supplemental Materials must be received by 5pm. Urban Gateways staff will schedule an interview and/or unpaid audition for artists/groups selected.

If you have any additional questions, please contact: Claire Meyers cmeyers@urbangateways.org or 312 922 0440 ext. 2743