On May 1, 2018, Urban Gateways launched Teen Arts Pass (TAP), a program that allows young people ages 13 to 19 to experience live dance, music, theater, and more performances all around Chicago for only $5. Teens can sign up for free on the TAP website, and they will receive a digital membership card via email (and later a physical card via mail). Then they can browse the TAP calendar to view eligible events that offer $5 day-of-show tickets at venues all around Chicago. We are thrilled to be working with 25 inaugural arts partners to offer this program to thousands of teens in the program’s first year alone. Six of those partners are offering special teen events during the month of May to help celebrate the TAP program launch; check the calendar for more details!
TAP was inspired by TeenTix, a Seattle-based nonprofit organization that seeks to break down the barriers that prevent teens from accessing the arts. The TeenTix Pass Program increases access for teens with a similar $5 day-of-show model to 75 arts and culture organizations in the Pacific Northwest. In preparation for TAP’s launch in Chicago, TeenTix acted as a consulting organization and we convened an Advisory Committee of Chicago arts and community partners. Most importantly, we heard from teens through a survey, focus groups, and the formation of a TAP Teen Council to ensure TAP was designed and implemented to best serve teens. As Teen Council member Jamani explained,
“[Teens in Chicago] witness and go through so much in our communities and homes that it is hard to remember what being special feels like. This card will make a lot of teens feel special. Who do you know that’s 15 years old and going to see a show that’s [normally] $85 for only $5? This program will hopefully bring more art programs to the city and teach the city how to value performing arts. Also it will hopefully teach Chicago and other places around the world that art can change and will change society.”
“The Teen Arts Pass is a formal invitation for all young people to engage in the civic and artistic discourse of our city,” said Urban Gateways Executive Director Eric Delli Bovi. “This far-reaching initiative is designed to be for teens and by teens, where youth input and ideas inform the direction and growth of the Teen Arts Pass, and ideally influence the future vitality of Chicago’s arts and culture sector. We are thrilled to be partnering with such an extensive list of inaugural arts partners who are opening their doors and welcoming in new generations of artists, arts patrons, and arts appreciators.”
Through TAP, arts organizations all over the city welcome teens into the arts community and expose them to art forms that open their minds and inspire their creativity. We hope to see more and more teens utilizing this exciting initiative and experiencing Chicago’s performing arts for many years to come.
Urban Gateways engages young people in arts experiences to inspire creativity and impact social change. TAP is a program of Urban Gateways; with the Teen Arts Pass, teens can experience live arts performances all around Chicago for only $5. Learn more at teenartspass.org.
For more information contact Eric Delli Bovi, Executive Director at Urban Gateways: 312.445.2754 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured: TAP members attended our first TAP launch event on May 4 – “Jesus Christ Superstar” at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Photo by Carl Ankrum.