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Teen Arts Leadership Summit 2020 – VIRTUAL event!

June 27 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

While we wait to be able to gather safely, we’ll be hosting a mini Virtual Teen Arts Leadership Summit on Saturday, June 27. We still plan to reschedule the full event at the Chicago Cultural Center, so continue to check back for updates!


Urban Gateways and Teen Arts Pass are teaming up with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) to host the 2020 Teen Arts Leadership Summit. The Summit celebrates the role that young people play in the Chicago arts scene. This program provides a chance for teens to come together to exchange ideas, share experiences, and explore creativity, all around the arts with an extra emphasis on music in celebration of the Year of Chicago Music (YOCM), in partnership with other Chicago youth-serving arts organizations.

The first event will be a mini Virtual Teen Arts Leadership Summit on Saturday, June 27 from 2-4pm, hosted on Zoom. It will include a keynote speaker, a live virtual performance, and interactive workshop options. Check back for more information!

Click on the following links to jump to different ways you can get involved:

Poster Design Competition >>
Lead a Session >>
Perform >>
Attend! >>

Pictured: The 2018 Teen Arts Leadership Summit. Photo by Alayna Kudalis. Browse more photos here! >>


The Teen Arts Leadership Summit Poster Design Competition is open to any teen 13-19 in the Chicagoland area who has an interest in visual arts or design. If you are interested in creating the graphic representation of what arts and leadership mean to you, then this competition is for you! Using one of our three template options (linked below), create a sketch, drawing, painting, or finished digital design that represents what the arts, leadership, and the City of Chicago mean to you. The winning poster design may be featured on our websites, social media, and printed materials created for the Summit; the contest winner will also receive a $200 cash prize!

We are currently accepting submissions!

Please save your design as a high resolution PDF and email your submission to Erin Matthew by Friday, June 12 at 5pm: [email protected]

All submissions may be used to promote this event. A winner will be selected live by the teen attendees of the June 27 Virtual Teen Arts Leadership Summit and the poster will be used to promote future TALS programs!

Poster Design Templates >>

Note: The file above contains 3 template options; choose whichever you prefer! Questions? Email Erin Matthew – [email protected].



We are currently collecting submissions for sessions, both those that could be hosted in-person and virtually. We are seeking a diverse variety of voices to share with teens through Teen Arts Leadership Summit programming. Priority will be given to teens (ages 13-19) who want to share their expertise with fellow young arts leaders. Session proposals from young alumni of teen arts and/or leadership programs, or adults with relevant expertise, are also welcome. All proposals should be diverse and engaging with an emphasis on arts and/or leadership and ideally fall within one of the following categories:

  1. Explore: Introductory sessions for teens who are new to the art form
  2. Expand: Deeper exploration sessions for teens who are already engaged in a particular art form or leadership track

(Note: Sessions that do not fit into one of the above categories will still be considered.)

Sessions will be between 40-60 minutes in length.

The deadline to be considered for the June 27 Virtual TALS is Monday, June 1 at 5pm, but applications will remain open for future opportunities.

Proposals will be primarily reviewed by the Teen Arts Leadership Summit Teen Advisory Council. Stipends will be provided for session leaders and financial support may be available for supplies, if applicable.

Apply Here to Lead a TALS Session >>



We are looking for teen/youth performances to feature throughout the program. Don’t miss this chance to perform for other creative teens! Performance slots will be between 5 and 15 minutes in length* and can feature any artistic discipline, although there will be an emphasis on music in 2020 in celebration of the Year of Chicago Music.

Applications will remain open for future programming, but the deadline to be considered for the June Virtual TALS is Monday, June 1 at 5pm.

Applications will be primarily reviewed by the Teen Arts Leadership Summit Teen Advisory Council. Stipends will be provided. All applications for the virtual performance are expected to adhere to safe social distancing practices. 

Please note: While featured performers should be teens, artists do not have to be affiliated with a particular organization. 

*If your performance would be more appropriate in a 40-60 minute session, please fill out the Session Proposal Form, note that the format is “Other”, and specify that it is a performance.

Apply Here to Perform at TALS >>



The first event will be held virtually over Zoom on Saturday, June 27 from 2-4pm and will be FREE for any teen (ages 13-19) interested in the arts and leadership.

Registration will open June 1; check back for updates!


TALS Teen Advisory Committee

We’re excited to be working with an advisory committee of Chicago-area teens who are passionate about leadership and the arts. The committee will help guide the development and planning of TALS 2020 and will play an instrumental role in ensuring every aspect of the Summit is teen-centered.

TALS Teen Advisory Committee applications have now closed. Thank you for your interest!


Keep checking back for additional information about future 2020 Teen Arts Leadership Summit programs and registration!

Our thanks to the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) for partnering with us to make TALS a reality!


June 27
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm