The Teen Arts Program strives to level the playing field by providing high-quality arts and youth development programs to teens who do not have the economic privilege to access them. Youth are paired 1 on 1 with an experienced mentor to guide them through the complicated process of applying to art schools, visiting artist studios and cultural institutions, and exploring professions in creative fields.


Individualized portfolio development for teens interested in applying to a specialized arts high school and/or college. Over the course of 8 months, teens and mentors work 1 on 1 to research perspective schools, develop a visual arts portfolio, and prepare for the rigorous application, interview, and audition process.

Mentors are experienced creative professionals with a BFA or MFA. They assist youth in developing their portfolio with over 60 hours of mentorship and support.

Become a mentor


Creative Lab offers teens an introduction to the many facets of the creative industry.  Youth and mentor pairs meet monthly, to visit artists’ studios/museums, participate in professional development workshops, and build visual literacy.  Teens work to build communication, networking, resume writing, interview and digital literacy skills. Over school breaks, teens visit top creative companies, meet employees, learn about their jobs and the paths they took to get there.

Past Company visits  include: Bustle, Downing Frames, Luhring Augustine, Penguin Publishing Group, Pioneer Works, Phillip Lim, Sotheby’s, Swarovski, Uniqlo, Velocity/Viacom and Warby Parker.

Past Artist visits include: Sheree Hovsepian, Matthew Day Jackson, Curtis Kulig, Taryn Simon, Lawrence Weiner,  and Christopher Wool.

Host a career visit


Teens can continue to build invaluable skills and relationships over the summer through month-long paid internships at creative businesses throughout the city.  Internships applications are available in the Spring and are open to current Teen Arts Program participants. Application and training is required.

Interested in hosting a career visit, intern, or becoming a mentor?

Contact the TAP team

Teens can engage with TAP through one or more of our tracks, but must be enrolled with one of our Community Partner Programs.  Check the list here.