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Two Kansas philanthropists with ties to Chicago have chosen to benefit that city and its youth for 25 years to come with a gift extending eligibility for free admission.

Matt Masterson writes at Chicago Tonight, “Chicago teens won’t have to pay to visit the Art Institute again for quite a long time. [City] residents under the age of 18 will no longer be required to pay the $14 admission fee at the Loop museum thanks to a donation from a pair of Kansas donors.

“The gift comes courtesy of Glenn and Claire Swogger of the Redbud Foundation, a Topeka-based nonprofit … The Swoggers’ gift specifically allows Chicago teens between the ages of 14-18 to enter the museum at no cost. Guests under the age of 14 already receive free admission.

“Glenn Swogger began attending the University of Chicago on scholarship at age 16, according to Hicks, and though he has since moved away, he has maintained a strong connection to the city and wanted to provide a gift that would reflect the impact his teachers and education have had on him.

“Though the actual amount of the donation has not been released, Hicks said museum staff reviewed attendance projections with the Swoggers and believe the gift will cover every Chicago teen for the next 25 years. …

“The Art Institute already consults with a five-member teen council of volunteers who represent different schools and neighborhoods across the Chicago area. They meet weekly to advise and brainstorm with various departments within the museum about how to make the museum more engaging and meaningful for young people.”

More here.

Photo: Art Institute of Chicago
Whitney Young Magnet High School senior Rosario Barrera, right, and Kenwood Academy High School Junior Walela Greenlee, both members of the museum’s teen council, in the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing.

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