These are only a few of the many opportunities available in the Chicago area. Please look to your local arts centers, museums and community colleges for classes and exhibitions opportunities. Select a category below to view opportunities in specific areas of interest:

Summer Programs

  • Early College Program – High school students come to this program to strengthen their commitment to the study of art and design and develop a strong portfolio for college admission.
  • After School Matters – Providing Chicago teens opportunities to explore and develop their talents, while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond.
  • Camp Interlochen –  Offers an intensive, supportive and enthusiastic arts curriculum in the pristine surroundings of Michigan’s north woods.
  • West Communities YMCA Summer Arts Program – FREE 10-week arts immersion program.  There is NO registration involved; it is open to the community and you don’t have to be a member of the YMCA to participate.  Also, there is a swimming component that youth can participate in during the program.


  •  Young Arts – discovers the next generation of visual, literary and performing artists and contributes to the cultural vitality of the nation by nurturing their talent.
  • The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers – identifies teenagers with exceptional artistic and literary talent and brings their remarkable work to a national audience through The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.
  • The Black Creativity program – established to present the creativity of African-American artists bridging the arts and science.
  • The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards – These awards recognize teens in grades 7 through 12 from around the nation. Student works are evaluated by industry leaders and exhibited in New York City venues as well as cities across the country.
  • Louder Than a Bomb – LTAB is the largest youth poetry festival in the world, featuring over 100 zip codes within the Chicago-land area. LTAB was created to give youth around the city of Chicago a platform to share their stories. The festival has since become a “bridge” for young people from many different backgrounds to come together and find a common ground through their narratives.


All Arts Disciplines: