Art Resources for Teachers Chicago Featured

7 Incredibly Free Resources for Art Teachers

Written by:
Keith Contorno
Oct 29, 2019

As we head into the final days of October, the Chicago Public School strike continues. The Chicago Teachers Union is fighting for the addition of nurses and social workers and against overcrowded classrooms. We’d like to lend our support! Here are seven FREE resources for teachers to utilize now and when they’re back in session. 

ART21

ART21 is an award-winning nonprofit that specializes in film and digital content about contemporary art. They provide unparalleled close-ups of artists and their work, and they have a television broadcast series on PBS titled Art in the Twenty-First Century. Their expert footage and screening guides combine to create a potent tool for teaching.

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA)

The MCA offers free workshops for K-12 Illinois students and teachers, where they encourage the exploration and reflection of ideas that lie at the heart of contemporary art. Teachers will also find a community of local art teachers and MCA Education staff that makes it a one-stop spot for curricula and professional development. Chicagoans can check out the MCA’s free-for-families hypertext workshop on Saturday, November 9th!

Arts Institute

This online resource is great for all teachers. The Arts Institute is committed to making sure that the arts aren’t thrown away with the bathwater. Their free workshops and lessons show teachers how to integrate the arts into any discipline. 

The Art of Education

The Art of Education has a plethora of content for art teachers. Their website includes lesson plans, podcasts, and videos and allows users to filter by topic. It’s a simple way to access how-tos on every subject. 

Walker Art Center

This Minnesota-based contemporary art museum has an online magazine named Primer. Its educational articles range from the intersection of art and social issues to insights from influential artists. It’s a great publication for inspiring a curriculum.

National Gallery of Art

Teachers can borrow teaching packets and DVDs through The Gallery’s free loan program. They also have plenty of content available on their website They sort lessons and activities by grade level, so it won’t take long to find something for your classroom. 

Art Experiences

An old fashioned field trip is always a great source of wonder and encouragement for young minds. Here are free and local art experiences to excite your students.

  • All Star Press Gallery (Logan Square)
  • Miles of Murals (Rogers Park)
  • National Museum of Mexican Art (Pilsen)
  • Museum of Contemporary Photography (South Loop)
  • Chicago Cultural Center (Loop)
  • Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park (Northside)
  • Smart Museum of Art (Hyde Park)
  • Arts Incubator (Southside)
Written by:
Keith Contorno
Oct 29, 2019