TeenTix has expanded to the fabulous city of Los Angeles! As the launch date of TeenTix LA approaches, we sat down (virtually) with Allison Whorton, the brain behind establishing TeenTix LA. As the program director of TeenTix LA and the only full-time employee, she wears countless hats to prepare for the launch of the organization. Some of her jobs include partnership building, as well as facilitating and cultivating relationships with community-based arts, cultural, and youth-serving organizations. In addition to strengthening these important relationships, Whorton is also in charge of marketing and outreach, guiding fundraising, and most importantly, getting TeenTix passes into the hands of LA teens. She described the process of establishing TeenTix LA as, “an exciting roller coaster!”
Whorton is not alone on this journey. Along with an intern, there is an Advisory Board team of people who were a part of the earliest conversations of bringing TeenTix to Los Angeles. The idea of TeenTix LA initially began prior to Whorton being a part of the team. There were a series of round-table discussions about the sustainability of LA arts culture. The group brainstormed ways that organizations could include the next generation of Angelenos and cultivate a group of art lovers. Some members of the discussion brought up the model of TeenTix Seattle and believed that this model could ensure a future for the arts community in LA. Ultimately, TeenTix was described as being able to address audience development through a holistic lens and empower teens to take advantage of their art experience on their own terms, which was exactly what they were aiming to accomplish. Those who continued to look into TeenTix’s Seattle model became the Advisory Board and they immediately began surveying those in multidisciplinary arts and education communities. From the teens surveyed, they learned that almost 70 percent of teens felt unwelcome at an art space and almost 40 percent of teens believed that cost was a barrier for them to experience art. The TeenTix model would address both of these concerns and more.
As the board brought Whorton onto the team, the next goal was to establish partnerships. For the launch of the organization, they honed in on four geographic hubs in Downtown LA, Mid-City/Hollywood, San Gabriel Valley, and West Los Angeles. While the team is still solidifying the partnerships, they are aiming to include four to five arts/cultural organizations per hub, as well as around four youth-serving organizations or schools within each hub to partner with. Whorton and the Advisory Board chose these four hubs because Advisory Board members already had connections to other organizations in these areas and the regions have public transportation nearby (addressing the issue of cost and accessibility of the arts). While it has been difficult to finalize the partnerships with the organizations, due to COVID impacting the consistency of events, the partnerships that are formed represent diverse backgrounds and different cultural identities. For example, the first official partner, and one of Whorton’s favorite theaters, is the Pasadena Playhouse, a 686-seat historical performing arts venue.
Whorton has received overwhelmingly positive feedback and interest from arts organizations, explaining that they, “are enthusiastic about bringing teens into their space, being equitable, accessible, and inclusive and including teens within their programming.” In the future, she has goals for TeenTix LA to establish a teen council to further engage teens in seeing, talking about, and responding to art. As her ideas continue to percolate, she shared that she essentially wants to “take the core of what TeenTix is all about and make it really exciting [in LA]” and “become recognizable in the [LA] arts and teens’ community.”
Los Angeles is where Whorton first discovered her love for the arts community and she is thrilled to share the love with LA teens of the next generation and be an avid patron of arts in LA. She hopes that teens will be able to name ten arts organizations off the top of their heads and be able to visit them using their TeenTix pass.
If you are in LA, you may find TeenTix LA postcards left in places that teens frequently visit. Share the great news with your friends and family that the TeenTix Pass will now work in both Seattle and Los Angeles! To follow along on TeenTix LA’s road to launching and view the amazing arts events and opportunities in the city, find them on Instagram: @teentixla !
The TeenTix Newsroom is a group of teen writers led by the Teen Editorial Staff. For each review, Newsroom writers work individually with a teen editor to polish their writing for publication. The Teen Editorial Staff is made up of 6 teens who curate the review portion of the TeenTix blog. More information about the Teen Editorial Staff can be found HERE.
The TeenTix Press Corps promotes critical thinking, communication, and information literacy through criticism and journalism practice for teens. For more information about the Press Corps program see HERE.