Support arts programs for youth in Chicago

UG Creating Art, Creating Change Challenge - Colin Keeler A Project of Urban Gateways

As you may be aware, I've been involved with a great organization, Urban Gateways, for over a year as a member of the Associate Board.

Urban Gateways' mission is to educate and inspire young people by delivering high-quality, accessible arts experiences that advance their personal and academic growth. Urban Gateways delivers high-quality arts programs led by trained and experienced professional artists in music, dance, theater, literary arts, visual arts, and digital media to engage youth in grades pre-K through 12, their teachers, families, and communities. Urban Gateways teaching artists collaborate with school teachers, administrators, and art specialists to develop and deliver engaging, integrated curricula for all types of learners.

Urban Gateways accomplishes its mission by providing multi-disciplinary arts experiences for 70,000 participants in over 220 locations across the Chicago Metropolitan area.

In May, we are striving to raise $10,000 to support some great initiatives. I personally am seeking to raise $300 as part of this effort. I hope you will contribute!

Special initiatives you would be supporting:


Urban Gateways is launching a city-wide initiative aimed at creating open access and equity for the 270,000 youth ages 13-19, connecting them to Chicago's wealth of live performances for only $5 cash. This $5 Teen Ticket Initiative enables all teens to purchase available day-of-show tickets to music venues, theaters, and other cultural institutions at an extreme discount, effectively providing a passport to the city's cultural treasures. This program will be made available to every teen regardless of their neighborhood, gender, ethnicity, and economic status. Through this initiative, youth will be empowered as new arts consumers while arts partners cultivate a new and important audience segment, filling houses with future audience members
and arts advocates.

More than ever, Chicago youth and their families are inundated with traumatic incidents of violence and loss. Traumatic exposure to gun violence, domestic abuse, sexual assault, and substance abuse is experienced both directly and indirectly - as victims, perpetrators, witnesses, and afflicted community members. Urban Gateways recognizes that it often engages the very same youth and families who have been exposed to trauma and has witnessed firsthand the importance of becoming a trauma-informed organization. Without intervention, the life expectancy of youth trauma victims decreases by 20 years.

Supported by a $90,000 matching challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts Healing Trauma combines Urban Gateways' expertise in high-quality arts education with the clinical services of UCAN (Uhlich Children's Advantage Network), a community-based organization that works with North Lawndale youth and families to recognize the impact of violence and trauma in order to create safety and healing.

Urban Gateways has acquired Street-Level Youth Media to be reconstituted as its digital media and creative youth development program portfolio. Street-Level Youth Media educates Chicago's urban youth in media arts and emerging technologies for use in creative self-expression, communication, critical thinking and social change. Using video and audio production, digital arts, and the Internet, Street-Level's young people address community issues, access advanced communication technology, and gain inclusion in our information-based society.

Any and all gifts are truly appreciated!

Here are a few examples of what different amounts of money can do!

  • $10 provides one week of transit for a teen artist apprentice.
  • $25 provides script copies for a theater class.
  • $50 provides paint supplies for a visual arts residency.
  • $100 provides 2 hours of an artist residency for up to 30 students.
  • $250 can provide a professional development workshop for school teachers on arts integration strategies.
  • $500 can provide a full set of arts supplies for a school-wide visual arts residency.
  • $1,000 can provide an educational and artistic live performance by one of our touring groups in music, dance or theater for 500 children.

THANK YOU for supporting Urban Gateways!

- Colin

$380 Raised
126% towards $300 Goal

Supported by 9 Donations: