Urban Gateways is currently accepting applications for Touring Artists for the 2019-2020 season!


Urban Gateways is looking for artists/groups to join the diverse roster of Touring Performances for school and community audiences across the Chicago area for the 2019-2020 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 high quality 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, artists must provide their own amplification systems.
  • Have been designed specifically with primarily youth audiences in mind;
    • Approximately 80% of performances take place in school settings, 20% occur in community venues (libraries, parks, etc).
    • Artists may determine their own grade range (ex. PreK-5, K-8, 9-12, etc) for school performances, however, a broader range typically results in more inquiries/bookings. The majority of Urban Gateways school partners serve K-8th grades.
  • 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 29, 2019:

  • Supplemental Materials: Materials must be submitted online (preferred) or postmarked by Friday, March 29, 2019. All materials must be received or postmarked by this date for application to be considered.

If you have any questions or concerns about submitting the supplemental materials, please contact Jeremy at jschaefer@urbangateways.org or 312.445.2743.


1. Video footage

2. Resume of the artist and/or ensemble

3. Copies of three total reference documents

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

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

Please mail materials not submitted online to:

Urban Gateways
100 S State St Floor 4
Chicago, IL 60603
Attn: Jeremy Schaefer

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 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;
  • 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 2019 and are expected to be available at least two weekdays regularly;
  • 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, the number of annual bookings cannot be guaranteed.

The application deadline for the 2019-2020 school year is Friday, March 29, 2019. The ONLINE APPLICATION and Supplemental Materials must be received by 5pm.

If you have any additional questions, please contact: Jeremy Schaefer, jschaefer@urbangateways.org or 312.445.2743.