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Opportunities for Teens


Work at the museum for a semester, summer, or school year. Make art, get hands-on museum experience, and design events and resources for teens.
Teens discussing art in the galleries

Are you interested in an extended studio, leadership, or mentorship experience at the Art Institute of Chicago? Apply to our Teen Council leadership program, after-school art-making program, and school year and summer internships.

As a part of each of these programs, you’ll work with museum mentors, go behind the scenes at the museum, connect with our world-renowned collection, and gain professional skills. All internships are paid.

Teen Council


Apply for the Art Institute Teen Council to activate the museum with your voice and perspective. Join a group of 15 creative high school teens to design programs and resources that make the Art Institute a more welcoming, accessible, and relevant space for Chicagoland youth. Previous Teen Council projects include teen art exhibitions, teen museum overnighters, teen parties, and a teen audio guide. Join us and produce the next big thing for teens at the Art Institute.

Applications open in June; interviews take place in July.
For Chicagoland high school teens

“Working with the museum has been one of the most fulfilling activities I’ve ever done. It has made me see that teens have a place here, and I can help make that place a little bit larger with every meeting we have.”

—Mia, Teen Council member

Teen Lab

October–December and February–May

Are you passionate about art and building community with other creative teens? Apply to Teen Lab to spend time in the museum studios making art and exploring the museum with contemporary artists, go on field trips to local art spaces, participate in exploratory workshops with visiting artists, and share your work in a public reception at the Art Institute. Chicago high school teens interested in any artistic practice and with all levels of experience are welcome to apply.

Applications open in August for the October–December session and in December for the February–May session.
Apply through After School Matters.
For Chicago Public School high school teens

“Teen Lab changed the way I thought of myself. Not only did I gain a family and close friends, but an opening to explore new mediums that I otherwise would not know of. Teen Lab also taught me to have confidence in presenting my work to others. The program was just a great outlet for me to connect with visual artists my age and learn about them as well as myself.”

—Sarai, Teen Lab member

Marwen Internship


Are you taking classes through Marwen and want to learn more about careers in museums? Participate in this internship during the school year and work with museum staff to activate public spaces and design programming for family and youth visitors, including workshops, festivals, and drop-in artmaking. Plus, go behind the scenes at the museum, build a network of museum mentors, and spend time getting to know the museum and its collection.

Applications open in July; interviews take place in August.
Apply through Marwen.
For Chicago high school teens currently taking classes at Marwen

“The internship allowed me to explore creative grounds I would not have otherwise and, best of all, allowed me to collaborate with other creative individuals who have ultimately contributed to my personal well-being.”

—Samara, Marwen intern

Summer Internship


Do you have a passion for art? Are you curious about museums? Apply for a summer internship to work with other teens at the Art Institute and support festivals, gallery tours, and workshops that serve thousands of local and international visitors. As an intern you’ll engage with museum professionals, go behind the scenes, connect with our world-renowned collection, meet local artists, and plan and host creative programs.

Applications open in March; interviews take place in early May.
Apply through After School Matters.
For Chicago high school teens who will be at least 16 at the start of the internship

“This internship made me so much more extroverted. Learning interpersonal skills was pivotal to my life. Learning how to talk to people … I don’t know where else I could have learned it. I never spoke in class before and I was able to find a voice in classes after being in this internship.”

—Gus, Summer intern

The Art Institute’s establishment of multiple paid internship opportunities for teens and college students and a more cohesive, networked program for learning about museum careers is made possible, in part, through the Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative, funded by the Walton Family Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

Support for Summer Learning at the Art Institute of Chicago is generously provided by The Jane and David M. Stone Charitable Trust.

Teen Programs are partially supported by an IncentOvate grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Teen Lab is funded by a grant from the Efroymson Family Fund.

Teen Lab and Summer Internships are offered in partnership with After School Matters.


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