Community Programs

Students in school residency working n collaborative sculpture project


Our community outreach programs are at the heart of our organization’s mission. For the past 40 years, Art Encounter has developed original outreach programming that develops visual literacy, nurtures an appreciation of contemporary art, and provides enriching explorations in art-making. We seek to offer extensive initiatives that serve public school students, older adults, individuals with special needs, and other populations in need.

Our programs fall into the following categories:


Our signature approach of discussing original artworks by local artists embraces individual perceptions, while our hands-on art-making workshops build self-confidence and a deeper understanding of the creative process. Our school programs include:

  • In-School Programs: ARTiculations, Language of Art, Insight On-Site
  • After-school Programs: Art Clubs, Mural Clubs, Special Projects
  • Custom Programs: One-Day Workshops or Visiting Artist Talks


Our programs in assisted living facilities, memory care facilities, and senior living centers bring creativity and connection to older adults through hands-on and discussion-based programs of artworks from our professional collection. Our hands-on workshops provide cognitive stimulation, motor coordination, and joy to seniors in the Chicago area with limited resources. Our programs include:


Art Encounter is an organization founded by and made up of working visual artists. We are happy to offer the following resources for local artists:

  • Critique Series
  • Teaching Artist Training Program
  • Open your studio: host a tour


  • Linking Generations
  • Adaptive Art Program for Keshet Gadol


We have a history of creating custom programming for children, older adults, groups with special needs, and even travel groups. Do you have an idea for a custom program? Please reach out to our Community Outreach Manager Leslie Luning at or visit our Custom Programs page and fill out our inquiry form.