A select group of African American high school students in the Windy City, along with Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Chicago Urban League are collaborating for a noteworthy cause.
The organizations recently launched a joint, two-year after-school program, “Empower Youth! Igniting Creativity Through the Arts,” which begins October 4. The program will involve over two dozen Chicago teens from Bronzeville, Englewood, West Englewood and Roseland communities.
These students, who are part of the Urban League’s life and career prep program, “Project Ready,” will share stories about growing up in their neighborhoods with a team of theater pros, including a composer and librettist. Their personal experiences will be molded into an original production that incorporates “storytelling, music, drama, and dance,” according to the Urban League.
“EmpowerYouth! will include leadership development, weekly rehearsals led by professional teaching artists, and exposure to careers in the arts including marketing and promotion, wigs, makeup, wardrobe, lighting, stage management, and performance.”
The student-produced opera will debut May 31, 2018, at the Lyric Opera House.