Urban Gateways Launches $5 Ticket Program for Teens

Urban Gateways (Chicago, IL) just launched the Teen Arts Pass (TAP) program, which allows anyone aged 13-19 to register for free online to get a pass that allows them to buy $5 tickets at arts and culture organizations around the city. Some participating organizations include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and more.

Tarah Ortiz Durnbaugh, a performance programs manager at Urban Gateways and co-ambassador for the Guild’s Emerging Leaders Network, noted that TAP was inspired by a similar program in Seattle. “Our executive director, Eric Delli Bovi, found out about this idea at a national conference over 2 years ago, and he said, ‘We need to figure out how to make this happen in Chicago.’ So we started with a survey for Chicago teens to see if this would be of interest to them.”

According to WFMT, the 2017 survey polled 1,117 Chicago-area teens. Nearly 70% said that the number one barrier to attending performances in Chicago is that they cost too much; 81% reported that they would be more likely to buy a $5 ticket for an arts event in Chicago.

“Based on this data, we took it as the greenlight to initiate the Teen Arts Pass,” Ortiz Durnbaugh said. WFMT goes on to report that, “Before the launch of the pass, Urban Gateways created a teen council to get direct input from Chicago youth. Teens were influential in all aspects of the pass, from choosing the program colors to piloting the use of the TAP website.”

Read the full article and learn more about the program here.

About Urban Gateways

Urban Gateways engages young people in arts experiences to inspire creativity and impact social change (mission). The organization works to overcome social and economic barriers for youth to access Chicago's artistic and cultural vitality, fostering a more creative and artistically responsive society. Urban Gateways was founded in 1961 to connect youth to the city’s many arts and culture institutions as a vital tool for personal growth and expanded opportunities. Through a range of initiatives, young people acquire and refine artistic skills, demonstrate their talents, engage in critical thinking, explore new possibilities, and contribute to the civic discourse of our community. The organization conducts Arts Education, Creative Youth Development, and Civic Engagement initiatives that reach over 80,000 youth across 250 locations annually. Programs are 100% free to participants.


Published: July 30, 2018