EmpowerYouth! Igniting Creativity through the Arts


EmpowerYouth!: Igniting Creativity through the Arts is a groundbreaking partnership with the Chicago Urban League that immerses high school students in the creation and performance of an original opera.

Drawn primarily from Chicago’s South and West side communities, students meet weekly after school to collaborate with professional artists, including composer Paris Ray Dozier, librettist Derek McPhatter, acting coach and director Tony Santiago, and returning music supervisor Kedrick Armstrong on the creation of an original opera that tells their stories as young people in Chicago. EmpowerYouth! participants work to develop skills in areas such as singing, acting, dance, and visual arts in collaboration with a roster of local artists and mentors.


EmpowerYouth! Igniting Creativity through the Arts is made possible by leadership support from The Beaubien Family, Lauter McDougal Charitable Fund, Eric and Deb Hirschfield, the Eisen Family Foundation, and the Estate of Pierrete E. Sauvat.

Photos: Geoffrey Black