Holding Chicago High: Mosaic-Making at Southside Occupational Academy

Students at Southside Occupational Academy worked with teaching artist Jesse Avina in 2015 and 2016 over the span of two residencies, in which they explored the styles of many different artists in hands-on projects. Their final project was an impressive mural that now hangs in one of their school’s hallways, speaking to the themes of diversity and empowerment.

March 23, 2016 //

Defining Identity

What is identity? Does identity change over time? Is identity shaped by your family and the communities in which you live? These questions are multi-faceted, aimed to stimulate thought, to provoke inquiry and spark more questions. This is exactly what William Eller hopes to accomplish through his new visual arts residency program at St. Margaret …

March 17, 2016 //

Experiencing the Spotlight: Teaching Artist Reflects on Student Performance at Art for All Gala

The talent and joy that 4th graders from South Shore Fine Arts Academy displayed through their African Dance performance left the Gala audience speechless; we asked Amaniyea Payne to tell us more about their performance experience.


Intro to Traveling Minds

Pilsen is a uniquely creative Chicago neighborhood, with a uniquely vibrant arts scene that includes public works, museums, a plentitude of artist studios, and a deep connection to many residents’ Mexican heritage. It is also the neighborhood where Urban Gateways teaching artist Victoria Martinez grew up and the neighborhood where her artistic career first found …

January 13, 2016 //

Our Top Picks of 2015

Our annual January post reflecting on our (very subjectively) favorite blogs of the previous year is always a fun opportunity for reflection, and in this case, it brings to light a theme we’ve been thinking more and more about here at Urban Gateways: The City as a Classroom. Below you’ll discover many stories about programs …

January 5, 2016 //

World Weavers 2015: Finding Stories in Textiles

December at Urban Gateways means the end of another fiscal year, the close of many fall arts programs, time off to rest and reflect…and as of last year, it also means the much-anticipated World Weavers project culmination. 2015-16 is the second year of this program for 6th graders at Stone Academy in West Rogers Park; …