Skip to main content

WBEZ News

Chicago Teens Will Now Have Free Access To The Art Institute Of Chicago

A University of Chicago alumnus and his wife have made it possible for some Chicago teens to visit the Art Institute of Chicago for free for at least the next 25 years.

Glenn and Claire Swogger are a philanthropic couple from Kansas who gave the undisclosed gift to the museum.

“We try to find programs that will help people have educational and cultural experiences that will be useful to them and good for society,” Glenn said.

Currently, children under 14 years old get free admission into the museum. But starting this week, the Swogger’s foundation will expand that to any Chicagoan under 18 years old.

“There’s still the problem of (the teenagers) getting there, they might not have enough money jiggling in their pockets for them to come routinely to the Art Institute,” Glenn Swogger said.

He added the museum offers more than just art, including a variety of programs open to youths.

“We just wanted to make it a little easier for young people to take advantage of that,” he said.

Art Institute spokeswoman Amanda Hicks said the donation was in the works for about a year, and the museum hopes it will help boost attendance from Chicago’s youth.

Illinois art seekers who are over 18 years old can still visit the museum for free every Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m.

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.

CLOSE X