Cultivating creative teens since 1996!

Part of the City of Austin Parks & Recreation Department, Totally Cool Totally Art (TCTA) is a unique enrichment program providing free classes to Austin's teen community. Teens learn various art techniques by working directly alongside professional artists. The program reinforces positive choices by offering art appreciation in a mentoring environment. Scroll down to learn more, view a Virtual Exhibit Video, and see a sample of all they accomplished.

TCTA is built to help give teens new experiences, build respect and trust, keep them out of trouble during high-risk after school hours and improve their skills in creative expression, communication, teamwork and arts appreciation.


With a brush and palette in hand, or hand making tools for sculpture, students are exploring the history of art with all the personal touches of their own self-expression. Simple yet effective techniques are taught to enhance individual skills. They explore styles from the streets to the highest reaches of fine art to tell stories through paint, pen, cardboard, and foam.

This last year, TCTA turned to the virtual world and continued to support student artists by hosting classes online. The shift in structure did not hinder their creativity but instead promoted a new wave of collaboration and innovation.


Students learn the basics of improv comedy and the foundations of script writing to create funny and quirky videos that can be performed together but from their own homes. They develop characters, lines, and film themselves over Zoom. The projects are then edited together and uploaded to YouTube on the TCTA Film channel. This class has given teens first-hand exposure to the vast world of virtual art making.

Want to see more? Hit play to enjoy TCTA's first ever virtual exhibit video!

Image credits top of webpage to bottom: Abstract Banner by Sadiamariama. Swirled Mannequin Head by Ivy. Hand, Foot, and Shoe by Ivy. 100% painting by Carlysia. Heart Hat by Carlysia. Two Vampires, a clip from Ocean City Vamp Camp.

We'd love to hear from you!

This virtual exhibit page is hosted by the Dougherty Arts Center.

Created By
Dougherty Arts Center