Youth Programs

Youth Programs


Want to work with state-of-the-art robotics equipment? Learn how to make your own videos? At CHICAT, we want to unleash your imagination, help you discover unknown talents, and envision where they can take you in the future.

The Chicago Center for Arts & Technology’s free youth arts programs focus on the intersection of art and technology through project-based learning and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math). We strive to meet the academic and social-emotional needs of our students by offering postsecondary advising, individual counseling, and mentorship services. Our no-cost programs will enable youth to realize their creative potential and share it with their communities and the world.

Central to the success of CHICAT’s youth programs are curricula rooted in storytelling; allowing youth to share their perspectives of the world through their own lens. CHICAT aims to develop young people’s self-worth and community awareness through storytelling projects created in its state-of-the-art studios: Design Arts, Digital Arts, and 3D Maker Arts. We work with middle school students (6th, 7th, & 8th grade) and high school students. Courses and workshops for middle school and high school students are now available.

Our Space

Youth Lounge

The Youth Lounge is open before classes start for students in CHICAT’s youth arts program. In the lounge, students can complete homework, spend time with their friends, play games, and watch movies. Instructors will meet students in the Youth Lounge once class begins and head to their respective labs together.

Performance Space

The Performance Space at CHICAT is located on the 2nd floor, just past the main entrance. It is a bright and open space for students to gather and make new friends.

Design Arts Studio

The Design Arts Studio is a versatile space encompassing both traditional and digital media. The Design Lab currently has sixteen ThinkPads with Adobe Creative Suite software, a silkscreen exposure unit and t-shirt presses, an etching press for relief and mono printing, a combination press for lithography and other print processes, in addition to a range of materials for drawing, painting, and book-making. Classes focusing on traditional media include drawing, painting, printmaking, illustration, and graphic novel development, while classes focusing on digital media include a range of graphic design applications.

Digital Arts Studio

The Digital Arts Studio is outfitted with hardware and software that will be used in photography, video, animation, and design courses. The studio’s Mac computers are loaded with Adobe Creative Suite software, including Photoshop, After Effects, and Premiere, stop motion Dragonframe software, and audio software for post production mixing and mastering. Additionally, the studio contains hardware suitable for top-of-the-line production capabilities, including Canon DSLRs and lenses, video tripods, a full green screen sweep, and professional studio lighting gear. Coursework covered in this class spans the spectrum of video, sound, animation, and design capabilities

3D Maker Arts Studio

The Maker Lab at the Chicago Center for Arts and Technology houses six MakerGear M2 3D Printers, four TAZ 6 3D printers, a 50-watt ZING laser cutter, a Carvey CNC router, an X Carve CNC Router, 1 Roland GS-24 Vinyl Cutter, 3 Silhouette Cameo Vinyl Cutters and laptops for all the students, complete with an array of 3D modeling and printing software. The classes taught will focus on the use of these cutting-edge technologies for creative and professional outcomes. Some of the specific courses offered in this lab include 3D modeling and printing, digital fabrication, creative coding, and game design.


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