Teen Arts Pass opens new, cheap entertainment avenues for students


Maria Shaughnessy

AFFORDABLE ART. Teen Arts Pass is an initiative by Urban Gateways. The program is meant to bring young people ages 13-19 to professional performances at the 27 partner organizations. Tickets are typically $5 for TAP members.

If you are looking for a live performance to keep you entertained over spring break, a local organization could get you a lot of options for not much money. Teen Arts Pass allows teenagers to gain affordable access to theater productions and other performances of the arts in Chicago.

Teens who join TAP can attend select events from its 27 partner organizations, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Joffrey Ballet and Lyric Opera of Chicago. For any event to which TAP has access that is not sold out, members are able to present proof of membership at the door and purchase a ticket for $5 cash.

According to junior Mikaela Ewing, who got involved in TAP two years ago, the goal of the organization is to prevent the arts from dying out among teens by giving members access to certain events from its partners.

“Whichever shows that [our partners] allow to be open to us, we open that up to our members just to get teens more interested in the arts and keep them alive,” Mikaela said.

Mikaela said she joined TAP because she wanted to experience more of the art that Chicago has. 

“I thought it was an interesting program to broaden some of the things that I’m interested in,” Mikaela said. “It’s always an interesting experience to kind of get into new things.”

Source: Teen Arts Pass website

According to Mikaela, TAP offers an effective way for teens to explore a blossoming interest in the arts.

“A lot of times operas or theater productions sell for hundreds of dollars, so this is like a ‘for a limited time only’ opportunity,” Mikaela said.

On their website, TAP outlines the events that are likely to sell out. They encourage members to check with the box office of the event they are interested in to make sure tickets are available.

TAP has access to numerous productions that are going on during spring break such as “Schoolgirls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play,” “Dog Man: The Musical,” “Her Honor Jane Byrne” and the American Ballet Theatre.