Street-Level Youth Media Unites with Urban Gateways to Strengthen Capacity

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Urban Gateways staff and Board of Directors are excited to announce that Urban Gateways has acquired Street-Level Youth Media, a revered Chicago organization that educates urban youth in media arts and emerging technologies for use in self-expression, communication, and social change. Urban Gateways is now operating the Street-Level media center at 1637 N. Ashland Avenue, continuing to provide the media programs that the Street-Level family has been invested in for years and expanding those program offerings in the coming months and years.

“As Street-Level Youth Media is reconstituted as Urban Gateways’ expanded creative youth development program portfolio, both organizations stand to significantly increase their collective mission impact through the strategic merging of resources,” said Urban Gateways Executive Director Eric Delli Bovi. Urban Gateways’ successful acquisition of Art Resources in Teaching (A.R.T., now the Urban Gateways visual arts portfolio) in 2013 provided the inspiration and model for acquiring Street-Level Youth Media.

“With its recent acquisitions of A.R.T. and Street-Level Youth Media, Urban Gateways has been creative and forward-thinking in its embrace of strategic partnerships,” said Eric Weinheimer, President and CEO of Forefront, a membership organization for nonprofits, grantmakers, public agencies, and others working to build a vibrant social impact sector in Illinois. “In times of tremendous funding challenges and increased demand, nonprofits that strategically partner with other organizations can align their services, strengthen the infrastructure, and scale their missions. These types of mergers can allow vital services to continue and to grow, perhaps even more effectively than in the past.”

Urban Gateways looks forward to strengthening its capacity to engage more Chicago youth through Street-Level Youth Media and other arts programs in new and exciting ways.


Street-Level’s programs build critical thinking skills in youth who have been historically neglected by policy-makers and mass media, and prepare them to address social justice issues that affect their communities. Using video and audio production, digital arts, and the Internet, Street-Level’s young people access advanced communication technology and gain inclusion in our information-based society.

Street-Level incorporated in 1995 to become one of the country’s first nonprofits to offer technology access and media arts training to urban youth. Three years later, Street-Level won the inaugural Coming Up Taller award from President Clinton’s Committee for Arts and the Humanities for its innovative approach to arts education. Today, Street-Level remains committed to engaging young people in creative self-expression and critical thinking through in-school and after-school media arts programming. Programs include video production, audio and music production, stop-motion animation, digital photography, graphic arts, and new media. Street-Level’s facility and free media arts education programs provide Chicago youth with an important outlet for positive self-expression and cultural production. The organization serves over 800 young people through community and school-based programs.


Urban Gateways educates and inspires young people by delivering high-quality, accessible arts experiences that advance their personal and academic growth. For questions regarding this acquisition, Urban Gateways, or Street-Level Youth Media, contact Abby Prescott, Director of Communications at 312-445-2755 or

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