T.A.P. into the arts

Illustrated by Nora Miller

Olivia Stitley, Staff Writer

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Initiative, Teen Arts Pass, creates further accessibility to the arts for teens in the Chicagoland area.
Urban Gateways–an enterprise working towards overcoming social and economic barriers prohibiting youth from accessing Chicago’s cultural and artistic offerings– is the creator of the Teen Arts Pass (T.A.P) initiative. The T.A.P memberships are accessible to anyone between the ages of 13 and 19 living in the Chicagoland area, including Evanston.

“As kids, especially young artists, I think it’s really important to absorb as much live performance as possible. I would be psyched to have something like [a T.A.P membership],” senior Jackson Hamrick says.

The program is designed to offer five dollar tickets to teens for a variety of music, dance
and theater performances in Chicago. Tickets often reach over 200 dollars in value but remain the five dollar price for any T.A.P member and often times, a guest of the member as well.

With tickets often being costly, accessing arts performances can be unrealistic for many. Limiting the sharing of expression and the arts to only one demographic–those who either have the money themselves or who have financial support from families–is unaligned with the spirit of art, in that it should be available for creating and sharing with anyone. Urban Gateways works to create a community in which the arts are available to all.

“The arts are beautiful and no matter who the person is or what their situation is, they should be able to witness them,” says sophomore Serena Brown.

The initiative partners with performers like Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Lookingglass Theater Company and many more, offering multiple shows a day/night. The full calendar of performances is available on the official Teen Arts Pass website: teenartspass.urbangateways.org

Becoming a member is easy and the benefits are significant. To join as a member, teens take a quick, standard information survey on their website, and they will be shown a temporary, printable pass for use until their official T.A.P member card comes in the mail shortly after.

Chicago has some truly amazing art to offer and prices can be unrealistic which makes the T.A.P initiative just as exciting as the city.