For Teens

With guidance from the Kemper Teen Arts Council, the Museum offers a variety of free programming created specifically for teens throughout the year.

Scroll down to learn more about the Teen Arts Council at Kemper Museum, upcoming special events, and the role these talented teens play!

Kemper Teen Arts Council

Our Teen Arts Council is a youth development program for Kansas City-area teens, in both Kansas and Missouri. A competitively selected group of up to fifteen teen leaders with a shared passion for the arts work with Museum Education staff to develop and manage teen programs for Kemper Museum. Over the course of the year, based on the evolution of the group, they plan teen-focused events, participate in workshops with local artists, train to be a Teen Docent, take part in leadership building opportunities, and plan an end-of-program art exhibition. 

2021–2022 Teen Arts Council: 
Rishabh Barve, Hadiyah Bayan, Andrew Cho, Ella Conner, Ashlee Dureka, Davis Hoffman, Leyna Jurco, Henry King, Katie Murphy, Aurora Nicol, Ysabella Olsen, Julia Schnittker, Eilish Ye, Kalvin Verner Jr., Arisha Vishnani

Mona Ingersoll-Qureshi (TAC Mentor)

Contact Teen Arts Council Coordinator Ellie Closen with any questions or further information. 

Second Annual Zine Project: "Here We Are"

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art’s Teen Arts Council (TAC) is pleased to announce its second annual zine, titled “Here We Are.” Initiated in fall 2020, the project began as a way for the TAC to safely produce a collaborative, creative project during the height of the pandemic. The new edition builds on this initial idea and invites creative submissions from local teens.

In spring 2022, the zine will be available on the TAC website, and a limited quantity of printed zines will be available in the Kemper Museum Shop at no cost.

Featuring original poetry and photography, the first zine, “Remember This Place” was inspired by the exhibition, “Dawoud Bey: Selections from Night Coming Tenderly, Black,” comprising a series of photographs that reimagine sites along the Underground Railroad and borrows its name from the Langston Hughes poem, “Dream Variations.”

The second zine, “Here We Are” invites submissions of original photography and poetry inspired by community, culture, music, and individuality, themes found in the current exhibition “Aliza Nisenbaum: Aquí Se Puede (Here You Can).” The exhibition is the sixth annual Kemper Museum Atrium Project installation and features a series of painted portraits of members of local salsa and dance communities that was commissioned by Kemper Museum as part of the annual Atrium Project.

Also new this year is the addition of a page-making night on Thursday, Feb. 3 where teens who are interested in contributing to the zine will have the opportunity to gather to work on their pages and connect with their peers at Kemper Museum.

“This project has become a wonderful opportunity for the Teen Arts Council members to engage with the work of contemporary artists on view at Kemper Museum to inspire their own artmaking,” said Ellie Closen, multigenerational programs coordinator at Kemper Museum. “The result is a creative publication that documents this unique time in history through the eyes of Kansas City teens.”




Open to anyone ages 13–19

Make one or more original photograph(s) and write an original poem inspired by the exhibition, “Aliza Nisenbaum: Aquí Se Puede (Here You Can).”

Common themes: Community, Culture, Music, and Individuality


  • Who do you love? Where do you feel loved?
  • What community inspires you? What community do you feel connected to and why?
  • Who are you in your community that you are not elsewhere?
  • What makes you who you are?
  • What challenges has your community overcome?


Page-Making Night

Thursday, Feb. 3, 6–8 p.m.

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Join your peers to create pages for the zine and exchange feedback on poetry and photography. Email by Feb. 1 to register. With your registration, email your photos and poems if you would like them printed, or bring your own prints. Art supplies for page-making will be provided.



Now, Then, and Tomorrow

Now, Then, and Tomorrow explores themes of past and future in response to the year 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic. Curated by the Kemper Teen Arts Council, this virtual exhibition explores connections among works in Kemper Museum’s Permanent Collection that speak to our past and current realities as well as our hopes for the future.  

Council members have selected works based on formal elements that evoke feelings reminiscent of time spent in isolation and confinement. For example, Council member Katie Murphy notes the dizzying color and movement in Paycheck to Paycheck (1991) by Arthur Tress (American, born 1940), and ties this work to periods of quarantine, where days quickly blurred into weeks.

Works have also been selected with subject matter in mind to represent both shared experiences and dreams for the future. Council member Shahday Bayan selects Edvard Munch (1863–1944), Tanz de Lebens (1994), a painting from The History of Art series by Frederick James Brown (American, 1945–2012), to anticipate the return of maskless gatherings and carefree dancing with strangers. 

Featuring works in a variety of media and movements that resonate with a wide array of audiences and ideas, Now, Then, and Tomorrow speaks to our collective and individual experiences over the past year and a half.

View the virtual exhibition.


In the Fall of 2018, Full Slate Studios visited Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art at the request of Ovation television to learn more about Kemper Museum's Teen Arts Council, which led to the program being featured in a national documentary taking an intimate look at how cities across the country are making a difference in their communities through the power of art.


The Kemper Teen Arts Council is made possible through the generosity of Stan Bushman and Ann Canfield, Charles Helzberg and Sandra Baer. We are also grateful to the members of Kemper Museum whose support allows all of our educational programs to be always free of charge.