For Teens


Teen Portrait Competition

The Teen Portrait Competition invites artists between the ages of 13 and 17 to submit portraits to a juried competition in the medium of photography. Local teenagers design the competition for their peers under the supervision of the museum’s education department. The competition is designed to introduce teenagers to the concept of representing identity through portraiture.

The call for entries has closed for the 2022 National Portrait Gallery's Teen Portrait Competition. Grand prize winners and finalists have been contacted.

Please check back in 2024 for information on the next Teen Portrait Competition.

Teen Opportunities

Teen Museum Council

The National Portrait Gallery invites you to join its Teen Museum Council. Teen Museum Council is an intensive program for D.C. area teens (grades 9-12) who are interested in developing leadership skills, learning about themselves through portraiture and art, and making the Portrait Gallery an engaging place for teenagers. Teen Museum Council, also known as TMC, is a program for teens by teens to foster more interest in museums and create a community for local teens.

TMC members have the opportunity to work on a variety of activities such as creating teen-centered events, participating in workshops and training sessions with museum professionals, and gain experience at the museum while developing creative and critical thinking skills. Teen Museum Council is a year-long commitment that meets once a week on Wednesdays during the school year.

The Teen Museum Council is on hiatus for the 2021-2022 academic year. Please check back in spring 2022 for updates.

Group photo of the Teen Museum council - a young diverse group of 13 students

For Teens, By Teens

Teen-Led Tours

What does our Teen Museum Council have to say about the Portrait Gallery? Join us for a special tour of our museum as teens share our collection from their perspective. Check our calendar of events (linked) to find out when you can catch the next one!

Two teens in the museum galleries, presenting a video portrait of musician Esparanza Spalding

Teen Night

The annual Paint Ball, created by the Portrait Gallery’s Teen Museum Council, is a teen-only night at the museum with music, food, photo booth, arts and crafts, and many more activities. Teen Museum Council plans this event during the academic year.

Group portrait of teens at the Paint Ball gathering