Teens Run the Museum

Education Events Youth

21Minus allows young people to organize and make serious choices about the museum.

What's interesting about 21Minus is that it's not just that the MCA lets a bunch of young people run rampant in the museum and bring projects. It's that they also let young people curate and design that event. So it comes from—yes, I do a lot of work on that end. But really it's about facilitating those young people in TCA and giving them the abilities they need to curate this crazy thing. TCA makes all the decisions about 21Minus.

So you watch someone who comes into TCA with a lot of ambition for themselves but doesn't think that they can affect the world yet. And you give them the ability to choose between all the applications that come in and say, "Okay, you now have to make all these choices. What do you want the museum to be showing in six months?" Which is a really exciting, and they take it really seriously because it's a powerful choice that they have to make.

Participants at 21Minus, May 17, 2014. Photo: Gillian Fry, © MCA Chicago.

Participants at 21Minus, May 17, 2014. Photo: Gillian Fry, © MCA Chicago.

21Minus, featuring a performance by Paola Lopez, May 13, 2015. Photo: Mikayla Delson, © MCA Chicago.

21Minus, featuring a performance by Paola Lopez, May 13, 2015. Photo: Mikayla Delson, © MCA Chicago.

21 Minus, Jun 17, 2017. TCA members and 21Minus attendees participate in popping pink balloons in MCA atrium. Photo: Mikayla Delson.

21 Minus, Jun 17, 2017. TCA members and 21Minus attendees participate in popping pink balloons in MCA atrium. Photo: Mikayla Delson.

Participants at 21Minus, May 17, 2014. Photo: Gillian Fry, © MCA Chicago.

Participants at 21Minus, May 17, 2014. Photo: Gillian Fry, © MCA Chicago.

Kopano Muhammad, Black Women Spec, 21Minus, Jun 2017. Photo: Mikayla Delson.

Kopano Muhammad, Black Women Spec, 21Minus, Jun 2017. Photo: Mikayla Delson.

Participants at 21Minus, May 17, 2014. Photo: Gillian Fry, © MCA Chicago.

Participants at 21Minus, May 17, 2014. Photo: Gillian Fry, © MCA Chicago.

21Minus, May 18, 2013. Photo © MCA Chicago.

21Minus, May 18, 2013. Photo © MCA Chicago.

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Video still, Behind the Scenes at an Art Museum. © MCA Chicago.

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MCA staff members are interviewed in 1997 about their work. Interviews include Torri Johnson, security officer; Margaret Farr, assistant director of education; Pablo Helguera, coordinator of public programs; Dominic Molon,. . . more
1990s Community Education Staff