Calling all teachers: Apply now for Teacher Institute 2.0! Applications are due June 29.

Teaching artists lead all MCA school programs. Through active dialogue, students and artist guides explore, debate, and reflect upon the important ideas that lie at the heart of contemporary art.

Tours support Illinois Learning Standards in the Fine Arts, Language Arts, and Social Sciences. Hands-on art-making workshops and in-gallery writing and drawing exercises are also available.

All school programs for grades 1–12 are free for Illinois schools and nonprofit organizations. Chicago Public Schools are also eligible for free busing. Each student receives a free pass for a return visit.

Artist-Led Tours

Grades 1–12

Driven by inquiry and discussion, this 50-minute tour enables students to explore the creative process, hone critical thinking skills, and make connections between their lives and the art of our time. Tours are offered at 10 am and 11 am, Tuesday through Friday. Tours are typically available for a maximum of 30 students; however, we can accommodate up to 60 students on certain dates.

Off the Beaten Path Tours

Grades 5–12

Offered Friday mornings at 11 am, this innovative 90-minute tour engages students through thought-provoking dialogue, in-gallery writing activities, and drawing exercises.

Self-Guided Tours

Grades 9–12

50 minutes not enough? Starting at noon, Tuesday through Friday, high school teachers may independently lead groups of up to 30 students through the museum if they schedule a visit through the MCA’s Education Department and follow the guideline for self-guided visits. Self-guided visits may be scheduled on weekends during regular museum hours, as well. Download the MCA’s Face to Face: A Self-Guided Tour for High School Students (PDF).

Creation Labs

Grades 3–12

Students join a practicing artist for an in-depth art-making experience during a two-hour visit. Creation Labs are offered at 10 am Tuesday–Friday for up to 30 students. Due to high demand and a limited number of slots, a maximum of two classes per month and four visits per school per year are permitted.

Out-of-State School Tours

Grades 1–12

Out-of-state elementary and high school groups may schedule a tour for a fee.


Support for school programs is generously provided by the Efroymson Family Fund; Reyes Holdings, LLC.; the Crown Family; Bank of America Charitable Foundation; Grosvenor Capital Management, LP; the Helen Brach Foundation; Northern Trust Charitable Trust; and The Siragusa Foundation.

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