Engage! Teens, Art & Civic Participation: Creating Compelling Discussion through Art

Learn about the Engage! programming resource for teen audiences, which uses the arts to inspire civic engagement. 

The Engage! Teens, Art & Civic Participation webinar series will introduce a program model that targets young adults, using visual art as a springboard to civic engagement. Originally piloted in ten Illinois libraries in 2010, Engage! Teens, Art & Civic Participation is an activity- and discussion-based program model featuring a selection of curated and compelling images of American art.

During these three free webinars, participants will:

•   Hear from librarians who participated in the Engage! pilot program, who will share what worked and what didn’lt with teens.

•   Be introduced to a free PDF guide to the Engage! model, featuring detailed instructions on how to get started.

•   Learn how to formulate effective “looking questions” that will elicit participation and engagement with art and thematic content.

•   Learn how to select images that will illuminate relevant civic participation issues for teen discussion and learning.

Please be sure to register for all three sessions. This project was inspired by the National Endowment for the Humanities’l Picturing America project. Funding for Engage! is provided by the Searle Funds at the Chicago Community Trust and from the Terra Foundation for American Art.

This second session will delve in to how to present and look at art. Sarah Alvarez, Director of Teacher Programs at the Art Institute of Chicago, will discuss how to ask looking questions and frame issues and activities. Brandy Morrill, an Engage! pilot librarian at the Chinatown Branch of the Chicago Public Library, will share how this adaptable approach worked in her library.


Can’t make it on April 17? You can still register for the webinar, and we will notify you as soon as the webinar is archived and available for on-demand viewing at your convenience!


Angela Thullen Baker, ALA Public Programs Office

Sarah Alvarez, The Art Institute of Chicago

Brandy Morrill, Chicago Public Library (Chinatown Branch)