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Current Teen Programs

Thursdays, 1:30-4:00 p.m.

High School students

Meeting weekly, students from Chicago Public High Schools are invited to attend the honors class in Art History and Museum Studies at the Art Institute. Funded by the Chicago Public Schools Gifted Program, the Museology class meets with two volunteer educators, curators, and staff. Sessions take place in the galleries and storerooms of the museum, offering participants a unique insider's perspective each week.

For more information about the program and how to apply, please contact the coordinator of teen programs at the Art Institute at or (312) 857-714

Wednesdays, 1:00?3:00 p.m.
7th and 8th graders

Art and Stories is organized around the museum's special exhibitions and curatorial departments. Selected 7th and 8th graders explore art and literature and take field trips that emphasize the cultural resources of the city of Chicago.

For additional information, please contact the coordinator of teen programs at the Art Institute at or (312) 857-7142.

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at an art museum? Wanted to ask a curator about what they do? Have you ever wanted to spend time in the museum when no one else is around? Are you an artist who likes experimenting with new techniques and processes? This is what Teen Lab is all about.

Teen Lab meets after school during the week at the Art Institute. Members make visual art and audio pieces, write, design museum guides, have gallery discussions, and experiment with new ideas and media. In the future, Teen Lab members may play a role is designing public programs for other Chicago teens. Sound interesting? To find out how to join, contact the coordinator of teen programs at the Art Institute at or (312) 857-7142.

Check out the Project Gallery to see what members of current and past Teen Lab programs have made.

Teen Lab is run in partnership with After School Matters and is currently open to Chicago Public School enrolled students.

After School Matters® is a nonprofit organization that offers Chicago public high school teens high quality, out-of-school-time opportunities to explore and develop their talents while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond. Our hands-on, project-based arts, science, sports, technology, and communications programs are delivered at Chicago public high schools, community locations across the city, and downtown at Gallery 37 Center for the Arts. After School Matters programs are developed and delivered through a network of public and private partnerships, including Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Park District, the Chicago Public Library and a wide range of community organizations.

Get a head start preparing for your visit with our video “When You Arrive.”

Is there a designated drop-off or special parking available for buses?

The suggested drop-off location for the museum is the southwest corner of Monroe Street and Columbus Drive. While parking on site is not available, the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau offers parking options.

Where should groups enter the museum?

The main group entrance is at the Modern Wing, located at 159 East Monroe Street, across from Millennium Park.

Is it possible to take pictures in the museum?

The permanent collection and selected exhibitions may be photographed without flash, for private use only, and not for publication. No tripods, lights, video cameras, or "selfie sticks" are allowed. Please respect the posted signage prohibiting photography of specific works of art.

Will I be allowed to lead my own lecture in the galleries?

The museum does not permit lecturing within special exhibitions. However, you are more than welcome to lecture to small groups throughout our permanent collection galleries.

Can visitors sketch in the museum?

The museum permits drawing with pencils in the permanent collection galleries. Please consult with the security officer in the appropriate gallery. Paper and pads must be no larger than 13 x 17 inches. Drawing and sketching are not not allowed in special exhibitions.

Will I have to check my bags or can I bring them with me into the galleries?

Personal items may be checked for $1.00 per item. The following items must be checked before entering the galleries: any parcel, purse, bag, or tote more than 13 x 17 inches, backpacks, baby carriers, long umbrellas, and briefcases. Food and drink are not allowed in the galleries and cannot be checked. The Art Institute of Chicago reserves the right to refuse checking services for any items at any time.

What happens if we have to cancel our group tour?

Payment of all group fees are nonrefundable and nonexchangeable. All sales are final. If there are any questions, please contact Group Sales by phone at (312) 857-7104, fax at (312) 541-9480, or e-mail.

Learn more about the museum’s general guidelines.