MCA to Host 21Minus, Youth Program Focused on Teens, on June 15

MCA to Host 21Minus, Youth Program Focused on Teens, on June 15

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CHICAGO—The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago is excited to announce its 2024 iteration of 21Minus, themed Love & Liberation, which will take place on June 15, 2024, from 1–6 pm. During 21Minus, museum admission is free for people ages 21 and under and their families.

“For over a decade, this art festival has empowered youth,” Lead Artist Miguel Limon said. “This year’s 21Minus, inspired by exhibitions such as Nicole Eisenman’s What Happened and Arthur Jafa’s work, reflects the teens’ needs, activating the MCA with their voices.”

A celebration of creativity curated by Chicago teens for Chicago teens, 21Minus is an annual takeover of the MCA that showcases performances, workshops, art installations, film screenings, and more. Organized by the MCA’s Teen Creative Agency (TCA), 21Minus invites visitors to engage with the museum and others in unexpected, exciting ways.

This year, participating youth artists will display work that considers different forms of love and care, and their impact. Visitors will be invited to explore art made by young people on all levels of the museum, watch performances, participate in giveaways of TCA merchandise, and engage in various art making activities including a photobooth, button making and paper weaving. Health-related resources provided by Lurie’s Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine and Asian Health Collective will also be available for families.

“The Teen Creative Agency has curated an exhibition inspired by feminist writer and thinker bell hooks. Urgently, the teens tell us that love and domination cannot co-exist, and that ensuring the freedom and dignity of all people is a joyous project that we are all invited to take part in,” said Lead Artist Olive Stefanski.

“As a former member of the Teen Creative Agency and participant in 21Minus, I am grateful that the MCA offers space and resources for young artists to express their ideas and artistic responses to contemporary issues,” said TCA Apprentice Ari Karafiol. “Cultural institutions must take the voices and perspectives of young people seriously to remain culturally responsive and responsible to their communities.”

The Teen Creative Agency is the Museum of Contemporary Art’s cultural leadership program for teens ages 15–19 years old. TCA members come together from all over the Chicago area to gain access to artistic resources and transform the MCA into a place that builds community, namely through events like Zinefest and 21Minus.

21Minus is a one-day showcase curated and produced by TCA with support from Lead Artists Olive Stefanski and Miguel Limon, TCA Apprentice Ari Karafiol, and Ahmad Bracey, Manager of Youth and Schools.

For media inquiries, or to schedule live, on-site coverage, please contact the MCA media team no later than June 10, 2024.


1st floor & Edlis Neeson Theater

  • 1:30–1:45 pm: Dimensions by Kayla Gilmore
  • 4:45–5 pm: My Wonderous Gifts: Shadow Puppet Play by Daniela Loza
  • Marisol Restaurant

2nd floor

2D art displays

  • Crime of Passion by Amanda Giron
  • Where She Stares by Sammi Caldera
  • The Fool and The Tower by Maaha Webb
  • Distress by Angela Lim
  • Interwoven; Daydreams and Vulnerabilities by Indigo Field
  • We Go On by Selah Payne
  • Mind Eat Self Eat Mind Eat Me by Mac Rapach

3D art displays

  • Old Hands, New Eyes by Amanda Smithivas
  • Again by Charlotte Chilton
  • Clowns by Olive Merrill
  • SEAMLINES by Maggie Fan
  • A Broken Record by Mimi Moore
  • Embrace by Misa Yo


  • Strands by Heaven Hill
  • Absence of a Hug by Evelyn Hernandez


  • 3–3:30 pm: Saw Dust Overdrive: Intuitive Audio, A Performance About Irene by Edana Lynch
  • 3:45–4:00 pm: EVC Creations Fashion Show by Eliana Cano


  • 2:30 and 4:30 pm: Giveaway of TCA merchandise
  • 4:00—5:00 pm: Friendship Bracelet Workshop
  • Free Button making
  • Snacks
  • Love & Liberation photobooth
  • Gender-neutral bathrooms

3rd floor

  • 1:30–2:15 pm: TCA Workshop: Shrinky Dinks
  • 2:30–3:15 pm:  Analog Meme-Poem-Collages: A Cyanotype Workshop by Emma Verano
  • 3:30–4:15 pm: Intro to Paper Weaving Workshop by Hull-House Museum
  • 4:30–5:15 pm: TCA Workshop: Letter Writing
  • Gender-neutral bathrooms


4th floor (Community organizations and installations)

  • Intro to Paper Weaving by Hull House Museum
  • Resources from Lurie’s Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine
  • Stories of Us by Asian Health Collective

Art installations:

  • UR – PEACE FOR PROTEST by Guerrilla Art Collective at Curie HS
  • UR PEACE IN PROTEST by Luzadale at SPACE/ARTivism


Lead support for Learning programs at the MCA is provided by Jana and Bernardo Hees.

Major support for Learning programs at the MCA is provided by Carol Prins and John Hart/The Jessica Fund and an anonymous donor.

Additional generous support is provided by the Friends of Edwin A. Bergman Fund, the Hulda B. & Maurice L. Rothschild Foundation, Diane Kahan, The Marshall Frankel Foundation, D. Elizabeth Price and Lou Yecies, and The William Randolph Hearst Foundations.


The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The MCA interweaves exhibitions, performances, collections, and educational programs while providing a place for audiences to contemplate and discuss contemporary art in pursuit of a creative and diverse future. The MCA believes in the values of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) as a platform to enact structural change. The museum is generously supported by its Board of Trustees; individual and corporate members; private and corporate foundations, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; and government agencies. Museum capital improvements are supported by a Public Museum Capital Grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The MCA is a proud member of Museums in the Park and receives major support from the Chicago Park District.

The MCA is located at 220 E. Chicago Avenue and is open 10 am to 5 pm Wednesday to Sunday and Tuesdays (free for IL residents) from 10 am to 9 pm. The museum is closed on Mondays.  Admission is free for all youth 18 and under, members of the military and veterans, and MCA members. Find more information about MCA’s exhibitions, programs, and special events at or at 312.280.2660.

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