Voices of Youth at the MCA

Community Education Events Youth

Marissa Reyes explains the TCA and how we teach youth what it means to engage the public.

It really is about, how have we sort of equipped our 25 Teen Creative Agency members to think about the museum as a space in which they can invite young people to have an experience with contemporary art and culture and ideas. And we—so over the course of the year, these 25 teens have gone through a journey of getting to know the museum, and to understand, who are the voices and perspectives that are represented in the museum, and how can their presence and their voice add to the ways in which we sort of reach out to our publics? And so over the course of the year, they're understanding the museum, the artists, what it means to engage the public.

And then for 21Minus, they then put out a call for proposal from other youth artists in the city to propose projects and to engage the museum public. And our 25 teens curate those projects. They work with those—this year it was over 75 youth artists. They worked with those 75 youth artists to shape those projects.

And for one day in June, the museum is taken over by these amazing youth artists. But it's not just for the teens; it's people—museum visitors, grown-ups are also around and engaging with the artists and with the works of art. So it's just—it was cool. 

Members of the TCA. Photo: Mikayla Delson, © MCA Chicago.

Members of the TCA. Photo: Mikayla Delson, © MCA Chicago.

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

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