Use Your Words Workshop Keeps Teens Engaged in Arts, Media and Community Building on a Day Off from School


The Chicago Park District keeps youth active on Lincoln’s birthday, Tuesday, Feb. 12, with the Use Your Words workshop hosted by the TRACE: Teens Re-Imagining Art, Community and Environment program from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr.  Admission is free.

The keynote speaker for the event is teen poet Malcolm London from Young Chicago Authors.  Presenters for the workshops include: Columbia College, Arts/Entertainment/Media Management;; Red Clay Dance Company; Intonation Music Workshop; ElevArte Community Studio; and many others.  The event will be hosted by activist and emcee TehRay “Phenom” Hale with performances from Austin Town Hall Park dancers, Kuumba Lynx and Psalm One.

In addition to performances, teens can participate in dialogues about how media and modern technology affect youth, as well as visual arts presentations.  There will also be discussions on social justice, community building and environmental leadership.  

Presenters for this year’s workshops will base their content on the guiding question, “Who else but us?”  The question is aimed to spark dialogue and draw attention to youth agency and self-advocacy for issues affecting them and their communities as a whole, as well as opportunities for youth to support positive change.

Participants in the 2013 Use Your Words workshops will be provided lunch and service learning hours are also available.  Youth can register online here or call 773-947-9603 for more information.

TRACE is a jobs-focused teen leadership program run by the Chicago Park District.  It cultivates young creative activists to advocate for and create change within their local and wider communities.  TRACERs do this by using art processes to engage in dialogue, bridge-building and problem-solving.  TRACE defines creative activism as a process that engages the public on an issue, employs the arts to bring people together, and uses the art event/moment as an opportunity for connection and further action.


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