TeenTix Provides Entertainment Options for Teens

Clara Malone, Staff Writer


The arts are a way for teens to express themselves, but sometimes it can be hard for teens to access the arts in affordable and easy ways. “Teens need access to the arts because the arts allow for expression, which god knows all teens need,” says Kaylyn Ready, a member of the TeenTix New Guard.

TeenTix is an organization that gives opportunities to teens in the Seattle area to get tickets for $5 to art shows in the area. This includes passes into museum exhibits, music or dance performances, and more. TeenTix can help all types of teens to bring people together to experience art and music.

“TeenTix is a Seattle-based nonprofit with the mission of providing equitable arts access to teenagers. People between the ages of 13 and 19 can sign up for free on teentix.org, and will receive a pass in the mail which opens up $5 tickets to any of Teentix’s 75 partner arts organizations,” explains Tova Gaster, the Director of Outreach on Teentix’s teen leadership board, called the New Guard. TeenTix brings people all over Seattle together for fun around music and arts

“TeenTix benefits the majority of teens in the greater Seattle area who want to see art but are often unable to due to financial reasons. Art shows are often expensive, and that has created a somewhat elitist vibe surrounding formal arts. TeenTix helps break down that barrier and makes it simple more accessible to teenagers, an often forgotten audience,” says Neha Gupta, who is a part of the New Guard Leadership area of TeenTix.

Monique Courcy, executive director at TeenTix adds that “All of our programs are for teens ages 13 – 19! Teens from all over the world have signed up for the TeenTix Pass Program, not just teens in Seattle, King, or even Pierce County. Even though teens can only use their Pass in Seattle at our TeenTix Partners, there is no other restrictions on signing up for a TeenTix Pass other than being a teen! Since 2004, more than 59,000 teens have signed up for a TeenTix Pass, and last year alone, more than 19,000 $5 tickets were bought by teens with Passes.”

TeenTix can be used all over the greater Seattle area and has a broad spectrum of places where their passes can be used. “There are 75 – so quite a few! Improv, dance, visual art, cultural/heritage museums, theater, film, music, opera – you name it and there’s probably an organization in the city that offers TeenTix!” says Courcy, of the types of places that are partnered with the TeenTix program.

Behind the scenes, a lot of work goes into making this program run smooth and helpful for teens who are getting their passes. “Send out the TeenTix Passes – we work with lots of volunteers, interns, and TeenTix staff. We get an average of 200/250 Pass requests per week, so we have to make sure all those teens get their Passes! After teens sign up, we make sure their mailing addresses are correct, and then we physically put a welcome letter plus a TeenTix Pass into each envelope and take that to the mail room!” says Courcy. As executive director, Courcy is “one of the many leaders at TeenTix, helping to steer the ship. As an Executive Director, I have a hand in all program work, get to talk with teens all the time – I mentor the New Guard – and I make sure everything is going smoothly on the business side of things – filing taxes, paying people’s salary, ‘keeping the books’ etc. Fundraising is also a big component of my job – I’m always talking about arts advocacy and youth empowerment for young people in every conversation I have – whether it’s with teens, or adults. Another big component is simply story-telling – making sure people know we are here, what we do, and how they can get involved.”

Sometimes, art can seem unavailable to teens because of the audience usually associated with art. However, the truth is that the arts should be available and celebrated by everyone because the next generation of teens should get an equal amount of access so they can be inspired for the future.  “Without the conscious effort to make art available, it can seem dominated by privileged voices and patrons. It isn’t an environment that all teens find welcoming or interesting, because it doesn’t always feel like it’s for us. But the culture around art isn’t always that way, and it doesn’t have to be that way. Making the arts welcoming and accessible is important to breaking down those barriers and creating an inclusive creative community. Art is so valuable for processing life critically and for finding beauty and humor in our circumstances, and that is an experience that should be available to everyone,” says Gaster