The Art Institute is the coolest place for Chicago teens this spring

Any parent of a teenager, myself included, can tell you that they are all about discovering the world and their place in it. The Art Institute of Chicago gets that, as evidenced by their tag line phrase “Find yourself here.” They host special events just for teens, the latest being the very cool series, Free Thursday Night Hangs. The Hangs are for teens, hosted by fellow teens, and feature artist performances and experimental programs. 

A chance to be with peers trying new things and interacting with amazing artists at no cost, with snacks provided in one of the greatest museums in the world? All the teens say, “Yes, please!” 

(But shhhhh, don’t tell them parents approve of them exploring art and themselves in such an amazing space. And definitely don’t tell them that we would like to be teens again ourselves just so we could attend* because we recognize how awesome this is.)

Free Thursday Night Hangs at the Art Institute take place in in the Ryan Learning Center, Studio C, from 5-8 p.m. (The Ryan Learning Center is right off the Modern Wing entrance at 159 East Monroe Street.) Here are the next two Hangs:

March 15 – Performance Artist Barak ade Soleil

Performance Artist Barak ade Soleil will explore the intersections of race and disability

April 19 – Music to Sketch to with DJ Kid Koala

Free drawing in the galleries is always an experience. Doing so to the sounds of world-renowned scratch DJ Kid Koala, who has toured six continents, elevates it to a whole other level. Some teens may balk and say they aren’t artists or that they’re not good at drawing or sketching, but teens of all ages, abilities and skill levels are welcome.

Also, let your teens know that Exuberus, the Art Institute’s annual teen night, takes place in June. Details will be announced a bit later in the spring.

And if you can’t make those, the Art Institute is still a great place for teens to explore. All kids under age 14 get in free, and Chicago teens under 18 are free.

*Note to parents: The Art Institute is free for all Illinois residents on Thursday nights from 5-8 p.m. so you can enjoy the rest of the museum’s treasures for free. I have faith in you to make your own fun, even if snacks aren’t provided for us grown-ups.

If you go:

The Art Institute of Chicago 

111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago

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