YOUmedia at Chicago Public Library to be Part of Year-Long Art Design Chicago Initiative

Categories: YOUmedia

Terra Foundation for American Art awards the Chicago Public Library Foundation a grant for YOUmedia teen program as part of Art Design Chicago.

This generous grant will support a new YOUmedia project: a 12-week printmaking workshop launching in summer 2018 and culminating with a public exhibition.

About the Terra Foundation and Art Design Chicago

Art Design Chicago is an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art together with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. This initiative is dedicated to helping people in Chicago and around the world experience, understand, and enjoy America’s extraordinary artistic legacy.

About the Project

Starting next summer, this new YOUmedia project will empower teens to become cultural ambassadors for their peers and for Chicago. Young adults participating in the project will explore our city’s rich history in printmaking, its applications today, and how they may apply their own creative skills to the medium. Printmaking has been central to the history of Chicago since the 1890s, when the city and its artists established themselves as leaders in the space. An enormously adaptive medium used in fine art, popular art, and commercial work, printmaking is ideal for capturing teens’ interest.

A core group of ten teens, working out of YOUmedia at the Harold Washington Library Center, will collaborate with practicing local artists and YOUmedia mentors to plan, create, promote, and evaluate the 12-week project. This model gives participating teens significant leadership as well as portfolio-development opportunities, and meaningfully incorporates the perspectives of our youth.

Throughout the project, teens will research the craft of printmaking by using the Library’s archives, research tools, and Special Collections department. They’ll work with guest artists as well as visit print shops, local museums, and other cultural sites throughout the city. The participants will then curate their own traveling exhibit, which will feature reproductions of works from local collections, as well as their own interpretations of printmaking trends, themes, and techniques. This exhibition will travel to six of Chicago Public Library branches, and will be supplemented by a series of 12 workshops taught by the teens. In this way, teens will gain a deeper understanding for the printmaking process and the project will reach more teens city wide. The project will culminate in a Gallery Open House in late fall 2018, which will showcase the original traveling exhibits and present the project as a whole to the public.

The goal of this project is that our young participants’ learning will go beyond the accumulation of printmaking skills to a broader appreciation of Chicago’s unique contributions to art and design, and new connections to local cultural resources and organizations. Perhaps more importantly, teens will come away with a greater awareness of the arts and their applications in various industries – and possible opportunities for exciting and creative future careers.

About YOUmedia

YOUmedia is a dynamic 21st century teen learning lab located in 12 CPL branches across Chicago. It also serves as a national model that has informed the work of similar spaces in more than 30 libraries and other public spaces throughout the country. Drawing on the Connected Learning approach—which emphasizes youth-driven, project-based learning led by mentors—the program empowers teens to explore a wide range of digital media, STEM, and creative programs that open new pathways to college, career, and civic engagement. Launched in 2009 with a major grant from the MacArthur Foundation, YOUmedia at Harold Washington Library Center in downtown Chicago was the first CPL space specifically devoted to high school-aged teens. Over the following eight years, YOUmedia has opened in 11 more spaces, most recently the Chinatown site in 2015. To learn more about YOUmedia, click here.

YOUmedia’s reach and impact is made possible by donations from donors like the Terra Foundation, as well as from individuals like you. To become a supporter of your Chicago Public Library, donate here.