Teen Dream

Art Institute of Chicago now free to local teens

Art Midwest
(Arnold Gatilao/Flickr)
(Arnold Gatilao/Flickr)

Thanks to a major gift, admission to the Art Institute of Chicago is now free for Chicago high school students. Philanthropists Glenn and Claire Swogger of Topeka, Kansas, gave the undisclosed gift to ensure that Chicagoans between the ages of 14-17 can visit the Art Institute for free for at least the next 25 years. Children 13 and under are already admitted free of charge.

As a teen, 81-year-old Glenn Swogger was a student at the School of the Art Institute. The gift will help bring more teens into the museum, introducing them to the collection of masterpieces. Along with viewing art, the museum provides many programs for young adults. After-school labs, workshops, and events match teens up with artists and mentors, all while providing space to create art.

Teens looking to visit the Art Institute need only a student I.D. from a Chicago school, a report card, or a piece of mail to establish residency to get in for free. Everyone over 18 can visit the Art Institute for no charge every Thursday afternoon from 5pm to 8pm.

The second largest art museum in the United States, the Art Institute is home to a massive architecture and design collection. Special architectural exhibitions will soon be joined by permanent architecture and design gallery, which is currently being organized. Currently on show, Who Builds Your Architecture? follows the politics behind what it takes to build around the world. The museum also contains the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries, a repository of hundreds of thousands of drawings, renderings, and publications.

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