Urban Gateways is always at work on a number of special arts initiatives and projects that aim to further our mission – inspiring creativity and impacting social change. A few of these projects are highlighted below.

Arts Healing Trauma

Arts Healing Trauma initiatives leverage the experience of art-making into an opportunity for young people and community members to thrive in a healthy, creative, and reflective space that encourages emotional healing and wellness. The initiative was developed to mitigate the impact of trauma experienced by many Chicago youth. This work involves 400 participants across numerous strategies and initiatives.

We kicked off this initiative in summer 2016 with a trauma-informed training for our staff and a cohort of our teaching artists. Provided by UCAN, a North Lawndale organization which works with youth and families to address the impact of violence and trauma, this training moved us toward our long-term goal of becoming a trauma-informed organization. In December 2016 Urban Gateways received a Creativity Connects grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support robust multidisciplinary arts programs for UCAN youth with Urban Gateways teaching artists. (Pictured below: Screen printing with Urban Gateways artist William Estrada.)

Over a year into this initiative, Arts Healing Trauma continues to grow and to support young people and families in North Lawndale and beyond with the healing power of the arts.

Internships & Apprenticeships

Arts Internships & Apprenticeships connect youth to arts and administrative opportunities as a path toward college and career readiness. These opportunities value young people as creative members of the arts community with unique capabilities and perspectives. Opportunities range from administrative internships with Urban Gateways to media arts internships at Street Level and art-making apprenticeship opportunities through our summer CoCre8 program. To learn more, check out our Opportunities page for future listings. (Pictured: Street Level interns, summer 2017.)