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 are currently closed for the Spring 2023 season. Check back this summer—applications for the Fall/Winter 2023 season will open in July.


  • Students in grades 6–8 are eligible to apply
  • The program will be held onsite with Covid protocols in place including required mask use, social distancing, and capacity restrictions
  • Participants must live in the greater St. Louis area
  • Selected students are expected to attend all sessions (see schedule below)

Spring/Summer 2023 Schedule

  • LEAP meets for ten weeks on Thursday afternoons, Jan 19–Mar 23, 4:30–6:00 pm at CAM and offsite locations that are to be determined.

Resident Teaching Artist