Arts + Public Life's Youth Programs cultivate teens' creativity, social development, and leadership, while inspiring them to make a positive difference in their community through the arts. Teens work alongside professionals to develop original work using real-world processes. All program areas—whether design/build, arts/culture administration, or performance—have a community stewardship and civic engagement focus.

Our youth programs include the Design Apprenticeship Program, Community Actors Program, and the Teen Arts Council. Thanks in part to our partnership with After School Matters, all programs are free, and participants are eligible to earn a monetary award.

Teens often participate in multiple sessions of the same program, or multiple program areas across APL. Especially engaged teens have also been hired as interns, teaching assistants, and more.

To stay updated on these and other education programs, join the Youth Programs email list


For questions or to learn more, please contact Quenna Barrett (773.834.0224,


Check out our teen programs video to hear from past participants!


pin301 E Garfield Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60637

Wed-Fri 12:00pm-6:00pm
Extended hours during events