Teachers Overview Page

Apply for the 2015–16 Teacher Institute! Learn more

The MCA offers free programs and resources designed to help educators incorporate contemporary art and culture into their teaching and learning. Join us to:

  • Infuse the spirit of inquiry and innovation inherent in contemporary art into your curriculum
  • Form communities of practice with fellow educators and artists
  • Be inspired and inspire your students to make meaning of the art and ideas of our time

Keep in touch

Visit the MCA often! The MCA offers free admission to Illinois elementary and high school teachers. Simply present a valid teacher ID at the admissions desk. Can’t carry your ID with you? Email us to request a teacher pass.

To keep current with exciting opportunities for educators at the MCA, all you need to do is sign up to join our educator email list.

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Partake in our educator programs

The MCA offers free teacher programs for Illinois teachers. Participants receive CPDUs. Vouchers for free parking in the MCA garage are provided pending availability.

Click here for a schedule of upcoming programs.

Teacher Tours

The MCA galleries echo with lively voices every day. Join the conversation on a Teacher Tour. Teacher Tours are led by MCA Artist Guides who are experts at using inquiry and dialogue to engage students in learning about contemporary art and ideas. On Teacher Tours, explore some of what’s new at the MCA and learn what’s next, talk about works of art with other curious educators and learners, and learn strategies to take back to the classroom to ignite dialogue with your students. Upcoming Teacher Tours.

Teacher Workshops

Looking for fresh ideas for your curriculum? Join us for a Teacher Workshop. Practicing artists design and lead these programs, using exhibitions and works of art at the MCA serve as fodder. At Teacher Workshops you will investigate works of art in the galleries, make art, and connect these experiences back to your classroom. Upcoming Workshops.

Educator Salons

What’s happening in art, teaching, and learning right now? Salons tackle timely issues, provide access to provocative speakers, and promote an open exchange among peers and colleagues. Upcoming Educator Salons.

Teacher Institute

Looking for a deep and sustained professional development experience? In our year-long Teacher Institute, teachers and artists engage in rich dialogue and inquiry about contemporary art and contemporary teaching and learning; create innovative, contemporary curriculum; and build a dynamic and collaborative community of creative practitioners. Click here for more information.

Art Education Symposium

Offered bi-annually, the symposium brings together educators with leaders from the fields of education and contemporary art for lively and critical discourse about the role of contemporary art in education. Stay tuned for the 2016 Symposium!

Bring your students to the MCA

Learn more about our artist-led tours for students in grades 1–12 in our Schools section.

Tap into resources for your teaching

Take advantage of all that the MCA has to offer. In addition to our programs, we invite you to find inspiration in the MCA’s rich and wide-ranging collection of art, access to the voices and ideas of living artists, and more.

Click here for resources.


MCA Teacher Advisory Committee
The Teacher Advisory Committee is made up of Chicago-area teachers who work together to create and advise on projects that make connections between contemporary art and other subject areas. The committee is comprised of Chicago Public School teachers, suburban teachers, private school teachers, art teachers, non-art teachers, and MCA Education Department staff members.

Current Members
Troy Authement, Daniel Zizumbo Charter School
Susan Dardar, Advanced Art Program at Gallery 37, retired
Bridget Doherty, Taft High School
William Higgins, Lakeview Elementary School
Marcia LaPorte, Proviso East High School
Marina Lopez, Spry Elementary School
Kristal Pacheco, UNO Major Hector P. Garcia MD Charter High School
Lisa Wax, Whitney Young High School
Matt Winkelman, Lake Zurich High School
Zachary Wisser, Cary-Grove High School


Support for teacher programs at the MCA is generously provided by the Polk Bros. Foundation. Additional generous support is provided by Crown Family Philanthropies and Discover.


Discover Grayscale 2014