Percussion Healing Trauma

We talked with teaching artist Josh Guy about his experiences at UCAN, where youth who have experienced trauma participate in his weekly percussion workshops.


Street-Level Perspectives: Shane Calvin

Shane Calvin has been attending programs at Street-Level since 2012, and he is now an intern at the multimedia center. He tells us all about what Street-Level has taught him, in media arts and in life.

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A Celebratory Black History Month Kick-Off at Second Chance High School

Associate Board member Lauren Shirk blogs about her experience attending a Black History Month kick-off performance of “Celebration Dances of West Africa” in Back of the Yards.

December 13, 2016 //

Girls Can Play Football, Boys Can Be Unicorns

Touring artist Jeremy Schaefer shares a delightful anecdote from an interactive storytelling performance at Willard Elementary.


From Carnival to Soul Train: The Creative Identity of Miles Davis Academy

Miles Davis Academy has hosted Urban Gateways teaching artists on an ongoing basis for their K-8 classrooms. Learn about the impact of this long-term residency program, and get excited for the school’s end-of-year Soul Train performance!


Justus White: Winner of the Inaugural Emerging Artist Award

Get to know Urban Gateways’ first Emerging Artist Award winner; read about his inspiring journey from Art Options apprentice, to peer mentor, to student at the School of the Art Institute – and take in his moving poetry.

September 7, 2016 //

Jazz Music Provides Visual Inspiration for the New Dyett High School

Teaching artist Nicole Beck helped incoming Dyett High School freshmen to create jazz instrument-inspired installation art that will be mounted in the entryway of their new school, a vibrant visual reminder of the artistic history of the school and community.

June 8, 2016 //

Teaching Students About “The Birds and the Bees”

Students at Chinatown’s Haines Elementary worked with teaching artist Nicole Beck to learn about pollinator extinction and to create wearable artwork celebrating the importance of plants. They brought their creations to the 2016 STEAM Conference, where they were some of the youngest (and most fashionable) presenters!


Celebrating Abstraction at the Islamic Community Center of Illinois

Teaching artist James Jankowiak blogged to tell us about his six-week artist residency at ICCI, in which he and his K-6th grade students took full advantage of their short time together by creating beautiful abstractions.


Warriors of Peace: Students Reflect on “Amazing Africa” Performance

Fifth grade students from St. Sylvester School in Palmer Square reflect on a Black History Month performance of Urban Gateways touring show “Amazing Africa”, touching on topics from artistic inspiration to cultural diversity.