Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

At the risk of preaching to the choir, here’s the rationale for expanding the Arts Infusion programs to include technology, especially at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. 


Perhaps Van Jones describes it best in this brief video.


The demand for talented tech professionals with skills in coding, web and app development, cyber security, etc. affords unprecedented opportunity for digitally-native teens in a growing field that is also stressing both racial and gender diversity.     The Chicago-Cook Workforce Partnership has compiled  profiles on five areas of job growth in the information technology sector here.


Based on this and other data, the Mayor and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) set a 5-year goal in 2013 to add computer science as a graduation requirement for all high school students.  With the overwhelming support of the tech sector, this goal was attained years ahead of schedule when, on Feb. 24th, the School Board voted to institute the computer science requirement with freshmen entering high school this Fall.  This makes Chicago the first major District in the nation to take this step, positioning the region as a potential hub for young people of color in tech.


Local tech companies and nonprofits are playing a key role in this movement by providing equipment, labs, boot camps, hackathons, internships, and incubators for enterprising teens with an interest in coding, gaming, website development, apps, and tech start-ups.  Examples of these out-of-school offerings include: Youth-Led Tech, Blue 1647, Black Tech Mecca, and Coding While Black.


The Steering Committee of the Arts Infusion Initiative is committed to ensuring that our young people who are ensnared in the criminal justice system are not left out of this promising trend.  Arts Infusion has proven the effectiveness of exposing teens at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center (JTDC) to digital music and other arts instruction that connects them to new skills and interests.  The 5-year evaluation by the Urban Institute confirms that a common motivation for participants is the desire to translate their newly-acquired knowledge and networks into a career. Examples of successful Career and Technical Education (CTE) projects are gaining recognition, such as the Chicago Math and Science Academy students who recently launched Rogers Park Creators, a student-run web design and multi-media company. Teens are also eager to apply tech skills to problems they face, such as the two Holy Trinity High School students who won a national contest by creating an app designed to reduce teen suicide.


Inroads are also being made with adults at the Cook County Jail through a pilot project undertaken by Edovo which provides specially-designed tablets to inmates to expand digital learning with funding from the MacArthur Foundation and the Chicago Community Trust.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Save The Date

Mark your calendars for the up-coming Knowledge Share.  

February 15, 2016 

10am - 2pm 

614 W Lake St., Chicago, IL 60661
"Roombinson Crusoe" conference room

Thursday, December 3, 2015

DCASE News - Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events
Lake FX 2016 Call for Program Proposals and Expo Exhibitors
Deadline extended to December 14!

Lake FX Summit _ Expo Chicago 2016
Lake FX Summit + Expo 2016 is accepting proposals for high quality professional development programming and creative services exhibitors. Taking place May 13-15, 2016, Lake FX is the region's largest free conference for artists and creative entrepreneurs and is designed to connect, inform and inspire emerging and established producers working in the film, music, dance, theater, design, fashion, culinary and arts fields. To apply, visit  http://svy.mk/1Msz0z0.

Lake FX 2015 Highlights 
Lake FX 2015 Highlights

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Community RJ Hub Information Session

Community RJ Hub Information Session

Come learn about what it means to be a Community Restorative Justice Hub!
There is an information session coming up on Tuesday, November 10th, 2015 from 10:00am – 12:00pm at Lawndale Christian Legal Center, 1530 S Hamlin Ave. Chicago, IL.
Restorative Justice Hubs are a community-led approach to youth crime and conflict. Our vision is that RJ Hubs are safe spaces in the community where youth and their families are welcomed and supported in building healthy relationships, expressing themselves, addressing trauma, and developing necessary skills and competencies.  Importantly, the RJ Hub model is directly informed by the latest science on childhood trauma. It is designed as a strategy for helping people to move beyond the effects of adverse childhood experiences, guiding them towards sustainable healing and growth.

This information session will discuss what it means for an organization to be a Community RJ Hub and what the process looks like for interested organizations to become a hub and join the documentation and evaluation process, and the learning community that meets regularly to share best practices and guide the movement to decriminalize our youth.
Free and open to all interested organizations

Posted on

Grammy Camp

Don’t Just Watch The

GRAMMY Awards®...

learn what it takes to be

in the music industry at

Best Buy GRAMMY Camp®

– Weekend in Chicago Powered by Chicago City of Learning

For High School Students Only, GRAMMY® Camp is a day-long workshop where working with industry professionals you’ll gain skills in audio, visual and music creation, better understand the business side of music – and learn more about how to create your own path to success.


Saturday, December 5th

9:00am to 6:00pm

DePaul University Loop Campus

Participation is limited, apply for GRAMMY Camp now!

More information and application forms are available at

or 312.362.6159 or jkelly@digitalyouthnetwork.org

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