- December 1, 2014

Exciting Opportunities for Teens at The Contemporary Austin


Calling all teens! The Contemporary Austin has several FREE exciting teen opportunities on the horizon, including a free teen night at the downtown location and the spring semester of Young Artists, a FREE pre-professional arts development course. Read on for more information!

The Contemporary Austin is a contemporary art museum offering exhibitions, commissions and education along with its collection. And all this isn’t just for adults — The Contemporary Austin values the teen voice and encourages teens to visit by offering free admission to teens (under 18) every day, and more! Teenagers are encouraged to explore contemporary art and culture from many angles, with a wide array of offerings for teens by teens.


Free Teen Event, Thurs. Dec. 4, 6–9 PM: OPEN THE HOUSE — Teens take over the museum! Teens ages 13–19 (be sure to bring a school ID) and their families are invited to the roof deck at the Contemporary Austin’s downtown location (Jones Center, 700 Congress Ave., Austin 78701) for a live DJ set, a “home movie” lounge, improv games, make-your-own buttons, a community art wall, and more throughout the museum — all inspired by the fabric house of artist Do Ho Suh.

Interested in attending Open the House? Check out the Contemporary Austin’s teen Tumblr blog, and RSVP (and Share!) on Facebook.

Applications are NOW OPEN for Young Artists, a pre-professional arts development course — be sure to apply by December 19! This program is open to twenty high school students (ages 14–18) who will meet over ten consecutive Saturday afternoons in the spring, from Feb. 7 – May 16. For students with a strong interest in the arts, Young Artists introduces creative careers, explores contemporary culture, provides portfolio development, and fuels a curiosity about the arts. Participants attend workshops and activities designed to foster creative and critical thinking skills. This program is also the prerequisite of Advanced Young Artists, an annual mentorship program at The Contemporary. Join Young Artists and develop your art through a lens of contemporary culture!

Note that select spaces are reserved for students from underserved areas with limited access to arts opportunities in Austin, and free bus passes and art supplies are provided. Young Artists will meet from 1–4 PM on ten consecutive Saturdays, from Feb. 7 through May 16, at the Jones Center.


  • Receive one-on-one portfolio reviews
  • Participate in a public display of your portfolio on the final day
  • Walk away with a CD of high-quality images of your portfolio
  • Talk with local artists during guest artist workshops and studio visits
  • Attend field trips to local arts institutions, colleges and studios in Austin
  • Receive free bus passes to aid in transportation
  • Explore new art mediums and techniques
  • Have snacks provided at each meeting
  • Can apply to work with a local artist-mentor for seven months in 2015!

There are also volunteer opportunities at the Contemporary through the Teen Volunteers program, available at the Art School (located at Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th St, Austin 78703for young people ages 13–18 who are interested in seeing firsthand how an art classroom works, interacting with students, and learning leadership skills.

For more information about Open the House, the Young Artists program, or the Contemporary’s other programs and opportunities available for teens, email [email protected].

Catherine A. Morris is a romance novelist and freelance writer as well as a once-and-future teacher, musician, jogger and triathlete living in southwest Austin, Texas. Yes, many of her former passions and pastimes have given way, at least for now, to her current, main passion and pastime: caring for her two toddlers, Pearl and Zephyr. Pearl and Zeph make Catherine and her husband laugh (and cry) on a daily basis, and give Catherine plenty of good reasons to seek out free, fun activities to keep everyone alive, engaged and happy from one moment to the next.