Wed-Thu: 11AM-5PM | Fri-Sat: by advance appointment
Wed-Thu: 11AM-5PM | Fri-Sat: by advance appointment
Chicago Artists Coalition helps people connect with opportunities including calls for artists, jobs, grants, and art advising


Part-time ,
submitted by

Just-Us Teaching Artist


SkyART is a permanent fixture in the vibrant cultural landscapes of Chicago's South and West Side communities. Founded in 2001 with a mission to provide youth with an accessible, safe place to participate in quality visual arts programs at no cost, SkyART continues to fulfill its mission by reaching over 3,000 young people a year through our three pillar programs: SkyWAY, Project 3rd Space and Project Impact. Driving our mission is a deep understanding of the transformative power of art and its capacity to enhance intellectual, emotional and social development. SkyART acts as a foundation from which creativity grows and individuals flourish. Participants are invited into a world of imaginative possibilities and connections that go beyond the individual, to positively impact all of the communities where we work and the city as a whole.


The communities where SkyART works and the young people we serve exemplify the resilience and the beautiful diversity of our city. Our free programs are open and accessible to youth from communities that have been impacted by historic marginalization, generational trauma and systemic racism, and who may lack access to cultural programming that affirms their identity and places them front and center as creators of their own futures. The majority of Black and Brown youth we serve are impacted by Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) which can negatively impact their ability to be successful in relationships, school, higher education or the workplace. Many are directly impacted by violence, incarceration and/or the foster care system. For all these reasons, SkyART prioritizes the wellbeing and healing of our participants using art as a platform for self exploration, reflection and Social Emotional Learning (SEL).


Founded by an Art Therapist, SkyART uses art to communicate, to connect and to heal. Through interdisciplinary, process-based projects, skill-building workshops and large-scale collaborations, SkyART encourages critical thinking and inspires creative expression for youth ages 7 to 24.

SkyART’s Just-Us program serves youth ages 14-21 who are involved in the juvenile justice system. Through Just-Us, SkyART staff, Teaching Artists and Art Therapists seek to humanize the struggle of incarcerated youth by acknowledging them as whole individuals and artists. In a system and society that all too often sees these youth as criminals first and children last, the Just-Us program empowers them to imagine new possibilities for their future and develop healthy self regulation and coping mechanisms. SkyART provides open-studio style art therapy groups for youth involved in the criminal justice system and dually-involved youth who are involved in both the justice system and the foster care system. Through our sessions, youth gain self confidence, self esteem and empathy for others. SkyART collaborates with the mental health teams at partner organizations to help create safe spaces where youth behind bars are able to “escape” their circumstances if only for a short time and just be kids. SkyART enters each partnership with the intention of being there longer than any one youth, creating a powerful sense of stability and connection that incarcerated youth so badly need.

SkyART has partnered with organizations such as the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC), the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) Illinois Youth Center (IYC) Chicago and the Manuel Saura center to provide art therapy groups for youth involved in the justice system.


With creativity and expression at the center of everything we do, the Just-Us Teaching Artist will work with current and previously incarcerated youth alongside Just-Us Art Therapists in a non-traditional setting that focuses on using forms of art to engage young people in their ability to self-regulate, communicate and connect. You will help educate and inspire expressive art making in young people incarcerated, in aftercare (returning to their community), or currently involved in the justice system. We aspire for the Just-Us teaching artists to contribute in creating an environment where we can show up as our whole self — centering young people as the driving force behind what we do — and where the diversity of individual lived experiences and cultures adds to the richness of our programs. We are seeking an innovative, creative, and compassionate teaching artist to assess and provide individual and group art instruction, and support trauma-informed and social and emotional regulation needs as they come. We encourage you to not only come as an artist working in your honed expertise, but an artist who is curious and explores a variety of mediums and ideas spanning experience, age, race and gender. We ask all employees to practice vulnerability and to hold each other accountable, even those who supervise us, through compassionate calling-in and sensitive communication. Core competencies required for any position include: connection, collaboration, communication, creativity and consistency.


Plan and establish a safe, learning environment for all participants

Create a culture of learning that reflects the organization’s values and supports youth in their development as artists

Develop process‐based lesson plans that challenge our participants to get out of their comfort zone by focusing on the exploration of art-making

Develop process-based curricula that aligns with the SkyWAY methodology

Guide participants to research and create independents projects for future gallery exhibitions

Maintain the upkeep of working space during sessions

Communicate with program staff in a timely and professional manner

Gather and organize necessary materials for each session

Respond to participant interest to adjust lesson plans in a collaborative manner

Guide participants in creating individual projects for SkyART exhibitions or special projects

Collaborate with SkyART staff, Teaching Artists, Art Therapists, etc. to address participants' individual needs and provide necessary support, mentorship, etc.

Present artworks from artists of varying backgrounds, mediums, nationalities, etc. to expose participants to increased diversity and new ways of making

Communicate with institutional administrators in order to receive clearance for all supplies and materials brought into facility



Bachelors and/or Masters in Visual Art, Art Education (preferred but not required)

Experience working with youth who are directly impacted by the justice system

Cultural competency to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds

Be flexible and manage multiple priorities

Detailed-oriented with excellent communication, organizational, interpersonal and writing skills

Practicing artists encouraged, with specializations in drawing, painting, ceramics, digital tools, cooking, animation, multimedia art, video, photography and sculpture preferred

Experience working inside of incarceration settings strongly preferred

Must pass a background check

Individuals directly impacted by incarceration are encouraged to apply


$35-$55/hour/Part-Time & Contractual


Please submit a cover letter with your resume by email to with ”Just-Us Teaching Artist” in the subject line. Do not mail or fax.

Contact Info:
Job Type: Freelance/Contract/Temp
Location: Chicago