LEAP Middle School Initiative

LEAP is an after school program for middle school-aged artists who are interested in an in-depth exploration of contemporary art practices and mediums. We refer to participants as “artists” (rather than “students”) to reinforce the idea that the learning space is one of a studio, rather than a classroom. The Teen and Adult Programs Manager and a Resident Teaching Artist provide a project-based curriculum that focuses on various contemporary practices and mediums each semester.

This ten-week-long after school program allows students to work closely with professional St. Louis-based artists and educators in an atmosphere of focused attention and mentorship. Fifteen students from the greater St. Louis area are selected to focus on one particular artistic practice or medium each semester.


Applications for Fall/Winter 2024 season are now open. The deadline to apply is August 26, 2024 at 11:59 PM CT.


  • Students in grades 6–8 are eligible to apply
  • The program is held onsite with potential field trips
  • Transportation support is available where needed
  • Participants must live in the greater St. Louis area
  • Selected students are expected to attend all sessions (see schedule below)


LEAP meets for ten weeks on Thursday afternoons from 4:30–6:00 pm on the following dates:

Fall/Winter 2024: Sep 12–Nov 14

Spring 2025: Jan 16–Mar 20

Classes take place at CAM and offsite locations that are to be determined.

Resident Teaching Artist