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. 

Upcoming Programs


Join the Kemper Teen Arts Council and teen community to hear from a variety of speakers with careers in art from both Kemper Museum & the KC arts community. Listen to each presenter share about their current careers. Following these talks, speakers will rotate throughout small groups for more in-depth conversations. Email to register for the event by April 6th.


It’s an Earth Day celebration at the museum hosted by the Kemper Teens! Join the council for a night filled with sustainable art making, a movie screening, treats, and free seeds to take along with you. We hope to see you there! Please email to register for the event by April 21st.

Online Exhibition Call for Submissions: Once Upon a Teen


WHO/WHAT: The Kemper Teen Arts Council is organizing an exciting opportunity for teenagers to showcase their artwork in our upcoming online exhibition: Once Upon A Teen...

Inspired by Natalie Frank: Unbound at Kemper Museum, the Kemper Teen Arts council created a series of prompts centered around personal storytelling.

  • Imagine your life as a story, what does one scene look like?

  • Portray the villain (physical, mental, objective) of your personal story in art form.

  • What does your happily ever after look like?

HOW: To participate, teens can submit artwork based on ONE of the prompts above.

Email your submission to All mediums that can be put in a digital format are welcome! Send in 1-3 high quality resolution images. Tell us which prompt you chose, and share a few sentences about your work. Please also include your name, title of the work, high school, and age/year in school. You must be of high school age to enter.

The Kemper Teen Arts Council will select a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner. Each will receive a gift card to Blick Art Materials. 

WHEN: Submissions are due May 16th, 2022
WHERE: The exhibition will be visible on on May 19th! Check out last year’s exhibition here.

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.”


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.