Monday, October 12, 2015

Auditions at Better Boys Foundation


Do you want to sing? Critically acclaimed Poet, Bandleader and Songwriter, Marvin Tate will be holding auditions for his project, “Singing in Public Spaces” at The Better Boys Foundation.

Singing in Public Spaces will choose young men and women between the ages of 15-19 to sing and perform songs written and workshopped by Marvin Tate; with performances performed in public spaces in and around the city landscape.  All Singers must be capable of harmonizing. Please bring ID and contact info. You will be expected to sing (one song) acapella and answer questions regarding your willingness to sing and perform publically.


Auditions: Singing In Public Spaces

Where: The Better Boy’s Foundation (2nd floor)

Why: I want to give back to the community.

1512 south Pulaski

Chicago, Il. 60623

Time: 10am to 12:00 pm

Audition Dates:
November 7th & 21st
December 5th & 19th











Monday, October 5, 2015

Knowledge Share

Arts Infusion Knowledge Share
Monday October 12th
10am - 2:00pm
Loyola University
McCormick Lounge
Coffey Hall
I have include the overview, agenda and link to a campus map below. Parking passes will be provided.
Workshop Overview:

Based on recommendations provided by the Urban Institute independent evaluation of the Arts Infusion Program, the focus of the 15/16 knowledge shares will be on improving system fitness to expand the knowledge and effectiveness of the participants.  Our main concentration for the October Knowledge Share is connecting and engaging youth, specifically approaches for youth being released from the detention center.


Given the importance of relationships in all aspects of the initiative’s success, it is critical that a human element be involved in helping youth connect to and engage with arts programming in their community. One suggestion is the creation of a third party “arts engagement specialist” who is unconnected from the justice system but uniquely positioned to interact with detention and arts program staff and youth—both behind detention walls and in the community”


“Further, programs could attempt to establish a memorandum of understanding with JTDC to find out youths’ release and contact information whenever available. Given the ubiquity of youths’ use of digital technology and presence on social media (Pew Research Center 2015), it also appears critical to expand recruitment and retention efforts using the most appropriate forms of social media; Facebook and Twitter may reach the most diverse audiences (Family and Youth Services Bureau 2014). Distributing the DRIVE website material via social media and incorporating it into a cell phone app should prove promising for increasing arts programs’ connections to and engagement of at-risk youth.”

 Urban Institute

Projected Agenda


9:30am – 10:00am                                                                                             Breakfast/ Meet and Greet


10:00am – 10:15am                                                                                          Introductions


10:15am – 10:45am                                                                                          Review of Arts Infusion Independent Report

Review of JTDC Jump Drive 


10:45am – 11:45am                                                                                          Panel Discussion

Improving communication with students in and out of the detention        


12:00pm – 12:30pm                                                                                          Lunch – (Provided by Loyola)


12:30pm – 12:50pm                                                                                          Restorative Justice Hub Presentation


12:55pm – 1:30pm                                                                                             Breakout Discussions

                                                                                                                                Building/improving internal communication systems


1:30pm – 2:00pm                                                                                               Report findings/Closing remarks


Friday, September 18, 2015

And We Are Back

Hello all and welcome back,  


I trust you all had a happy and productive summer.  By now most of you are in full-swing, and enjoying time with your students.  At this time I would like to share with you a few updates.


1.       The Independent evaluation of the Arts Infusion Initiative is complete. You can access both the long and short versions of the report with the links below. 


Long Version


Short Version


2.       We have finished preliminary planning for the next two knowledge shares.  I will be reaching out to many of you over the course of the next few weeks seeking individuals to lead panel discussions and breakout sessions.  This year our focus will be rooted the connection principal of the Arts Infusion model.  The schedule is below and I will have more detailed information and agendas posted to the blog soon. 


I’m looking forward to another productive year!


2015/2016 Knowledge Share Schedule


Monday October 12th

10am – 2pm

Loyola University

Parking passes will be provided


Monday February 15th

10am – 2pm

Location TBA


Monday April 18th
10am -2pm

Location TBA



Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Chicago Track Launches 10/15 @ The Cultural Center

View this email in your browser
10/15, Chicago Track Kickoff
5pm-8pm/ Chicago Cultural Center

Join Free Spirit Media, Young Chicago Authors & DCASE as we launch year two of The Chicago Track
a professional networking & workforce development program for young adults breaking into the film and music industries.

Learn more about how YOU---as an industry professional, emerging creative in music or film,
organizational leader
in Chicago’s arts community
can help build and become the next generation of Chicago Talent!


IFP Master Series 

"Seeing your Destination from the Start"
w/ Adam Leipzig 

9/16, 6pm
DePaul Communication Theater 247 State Street, Lower Level LL102

$5 student rate, ENTER 814271M under member # and  Chicago Track under Student ID. 

Adam Leipzig is the COO of Creative Future, a nonprofit advocacy organization for the creative community, distinguished author, previously CEO of Entertainment Media Partners, a senior executive at Walt Disney Studios, and president of National Geographic Films. As producer, distributor and financier, Adam has been responsible for more than 30 films. 

Profound Dope Sounds 

John the Author Presents: Artist EXPO



9/18, 7pm-10pm
Refuge LIVE
416 S. Clark 

Free Spirit Media Alumni Survey

FSM ALUMNI - Get a chance to win a $25 Visa Gift Card by taking our Alumni Survey - Only takes 5 minutes!

Take the Alumni Survey Now!


Chicago Social Change International Film Festival
Roosevelt ICON Theater
Sept. 18-20th
World premieres and other inspiring films that highlight untold stories of struggle from all over the world.

Robust post-film discussions with expert panelists and filmmakers

Informal networking opportunities and brainstorming sessions with business, community and industry leaders

Direct action opportunities brought to you by organizations who fight to address the issues relevant to the films featured every day

If you are interested in attending the festival for FREE
email The Chicago Track with your DOB.

The Chicago Track is an industry school for film and music, hosted by Free Spirit Media, Young Chicago Authors and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events with support from The Chicago Community Trust.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Kuumba Lynx - Chicago Teen Dance Festival

"Run" at the Chicago Teen Dance Festival

Check out this amazing piece "Run" that we was presented at the Chicago Teen Dance Festival.  Choreographed by Arts Infusions' very own Chris Thomas aka Mad Dog and performed by the teens at Kuumba Lynx.  Congratulations this is simply amazing.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Free Grant Writing Workshop

Black Ensemble Theater
The African American Arts Alliance of Chicago

When: Monday, September 14, 2015 - 6:00pm
Where: 1809 East 71st Street (MAP)
Free admission - refreshments will be served
Sponsored by
The Department of Cultural Affairs,The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and The Illinois Arts Council, a state agency​
African American Arts Alliance of Chicago • 4450 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640,  773-754-3923

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Free Write Jail Arts

 Fifteen Years of Free Write Through Icons, Imagery and Poetry

at 6:00pm - 10:00pm in CDT
1932 S Halsted St Suite 100, Chicago, Illinois 60608

The Work: Fifteen Years of Free Write Through Icons, Imagery, and Poetry presents the work of students who are currently or were recently detained in the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (CCJTDC). The exhibition is the fourth annual exhibition of Free Write student work hosted by Chicago Art Department. Since 2000, Free Write has facilitated creative writing workshops, one-on-one literacy tutoring, and arts programming for youth in the CCJTDC. 

The Work: Fifteen Years of Free Write Through Icons, Imagery, and Poetry will occupy both Chicago Art Department’s east and the west gallery spaces. The east gallery will feature a retrospective of fifteen years of student work organized by visual tropes. The west gallery will feature work created during the 2014-2015 school year including projections of run cycle animations, a listening station featuring recordings of students reading their poetry, and print publications of student writing and art. There will also be live performances by Free Write teaching artists and Free Write alumni.

Quite often, our students come to us with iconographic illustrations such as prayer hands, roses with thorns, and “Laugh Now, Cry Later” masks. By artistically representing and re-imagining these icons, our incarcerated students directly connect themselves to these strong cultural tropes that are resonating with them during a time of crisis. The presentation of these icons seeks to show our students’ connection to their communities and their rich artistic heritages, as well as the resilience, hope, and optimism found through connecting to something larger than them. In the broader context, the exhibition interrogates the role of iconography, relating to the canons of religious, cultural, and pop culture.

Gallery attendees will be given the opportunity to write notes and record video responses to the artists, which will be brought back to the incarcerated students after the show.

The title of the exhibition, The Work, is drawn from conversations between Free Write staff about our daily efforts inside the CCJTDC. The work, as we often describe it, is to facilitate intellectual, artistic, and socio-emotional growth so that the youth we serve can become the narrators of their own stories and authors of their own futures. The work is co-creating with our students a classroom community, the principles of which extend out into their lives when they leave detention, as well as our own. The work is in the risk-taking that our students do as they try new artistic techniques, literacy skills, and performance opportunities. The work is, alongside the youth we serve, studying the socio-economic conditions that create and perpetuate places like the CCJTDC so that we can best work within, around, away from, and ultimately without them. All of this, as presented through this exhibition, is The Work.

Free Write student art and writing provides a foundation and framework for community dialogue on issues of juvenile justice, family engagement, conflict resolution, unfair sentencing and much more. Therefore, Free Write and Chicago Art Department is inviting community allies to co-sponsor special events in the gallery. Individuals or organizations that would like to host an event in the gallery while the show is open, please contact Mathilda de Dios - 

The Work: Fifteen Years of Free Write Through Icons, Imagery, and Poetry is curated by Chicago Art Department resident Chelsea Ross along with Free Write staff members. Free Write Jail Arts and Literacy Program is a program of Chicago Lights.

Links: : : : : :