Urban Gateways launches Teen Arts Pass, providing access citywide

Urban Gateways launched Teen Arts Pass, a program that allows young people ages 13 to 19 to experience live arts performances all around Chicago for only $5. This ground breaking new initiative was designed by teens for teens via the TAP Teen Council. There are 25 participating partners including the Goodman Theatre, Black Ensemble Theater, and UChicago Presents.

TAP registration is free for any teen; they can access the free signup form at teenartspass.org and register for the program in a matter of minutes. Upon registering they receive a temporary pass and later a mailed physical pass; they will also be able to access program info on the TAP app, set to launch within a few months of program start date. TAP is a day-of-show program, so teens are encouraged to call the box office of the show they wish to see ahead of time to ensure tickets are still available. If tickets remain, teens should arrive at the venue at least 30 minutes ahead of curtain, present their proof of TAP membership at the box office, and they will be able to purchase a $5 cash ticket to the show (including tickets valued at upwards of $200) - giving them access to many of Chicago's premier performance organizations in music, theater, dance, and more.

The first TAP event will be held today, Friday May 4, with a pre-show reception in the Malott Room including snacks, socializing, and a Q&A with staff from the Lyric Opera House creative team. Then teens will experience "Jesus Christ Superstar" live and in person! Additional information is available at: http://teenartspass.urbangateways.org/event/launch-event-jesus-christ-superstar/.

It is the first of six TAP launch events to celebrate the kickoff throughout the month of May. To see their event calendar, click here.

TAP was co-developed for teens, by teens through the TAP Teen Council. As TAP Teen Council member Jamani explained, "Teens in Chicago witness and go through so much in our communities and homes that it is hard to remember what being special feels like. This card will make a lot of teens feel special. Who do you know that's 15 years old and going to see a show that's (normally) $85 for only $5? This program will hopefully bring more art programs to the city and teach the city how to value performing arts. Also hopefully teach Chicago and other places around the world that art can change and will change society."

"The Teen Arts Pass is a formal invitation for all young people to engage in the civic and artistic discourse of our city," said Urban Gateways Executive Director Eric Delli Bovi. "This far-reaching initiative is designed to be for teens and by teens, where youth input and ideas inform the direction and growth of the Teen Arts Pass, and ideally influence the future vitality of Chicago's arts and culture sector. We are thrilled to be partnering with such an extensive list of inaugural arts partners who are opening their doors and welcoming in new generations of artists, arts patrons, and arts appreciators."

The 25 inaugural partners include: Auditorium Theatre, Barrel of Monkeys, Black Ensemble Theater, Chicago Philharmonic, Chicago Sinfonietta, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Court Theatre, Dance Center at Columbia College Chicago, eta Creative Arts, Fulcrum Point New Music Project, Goodman Theatre, Harris Theater, The Joffrey Ballet, Reva & David Logan Center for the Arts, Lookingglass Theatre, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA Stage), North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, Northlight Theatre, Old Town School of Folk Music, Ruth Page Center for the Arts, Steep Theatre, UChicago Presents, Victory Gardens Theater, Writers Theatre.

Through TAP, Urban Gateways and arts partners welcome teens into the arts community and expose them to art forms that open their minds and expand their creativity. We hope to see more and more teens utilizing this exciting initiative and experiencing our performances for many years to come.

Urban Gateways engages young people in arts experiences to inspire creativity and impact social change. TAP is a program of Urban Gateways; with the Teen Arts Pass, teens can experience live arts performances all around Chicago for only $5. Sign up or learn more at teenartspass.org.
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