Collaboraction Announces New Ensemble, The Light

The Light to debut with free performances from youth artists, August 19-21 at Douglass Park, LaFollette Park and Hamilton Park as part of Night Out in the Parks

By: Aug. 05, 2021

Collaboraction Announces New Ensemble, The Light

Collaboraction, an ethno-diverse social justice organization that uses theater and performance to incite social change in Chicago, announces The Light, a radical new program dedicated to recruiting, mentoring, introducing and inspiring exceptional Chicago youth artists and activists over the course of a full year.

The Light is Collaboration's debut of its youth education program, focused on outstanding youth artists and change-makers of exceptional message, skill and craft who are eager to be immersed in a deep artistic and scholarly mentorship as part of a year-long, paid creation and performance mentorship program.

The Light, Class of 2020-21, includes Nate Buescher, 13, a talented young TV and stage actor, singer and dancer, and a member of the Chicago Bulls, Bulls' Kidz for five years, from Lincoln Park High School, whose social justice focus is celebrating our differences; Marcus Jackson, 17, a southside student from Lindblom focusing on community apathy and acting; identical twins Phallon and Kyra Pierce, 14, from Bolingbrook, who have a bill on the Illinois House Floor, called The Pierce Twins Law, that would ensure K-12 curriculums throughout Illinois will include books written by diverse authors; Ella Rae, 18, a singer/storyteller from Wicker Park named a Rising Star of Chicago by the City of Chicago in 2019, who is focused on mental health awareness; and Ava Lynn Trpeski, 15, from Crown Heights, Indiana, whose focus is body positivity and confronting the stigma of what a dancer should look like. i??

"These six outstanding young people have the potential to impact generational shifts in attitude and behavior around critical social issues," said Anthony Moseley, Artistic Director, Collaboraction. "Our plan is to invest heavily into their development so they will illuminate social change in Chicago with their talent and activism, while inspiring their fellow youth to find their own voices as well."

This project is partially supported by the Marc and Jeanne Malnati Family Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks and sponsored by Toyota, USA.

"Collaboraction is a unique change agent, located in the city of Chicago, that inspires and provokes independent thinking and creativity in the arts community," says Alva Adams-Mason, Group Manager, Multicultural Business Strategy and Dealer Relations for Toyota Motor North America. "Toyota Motor North America recognizes the exceptional students thriving in the many diverse neighborhoods of the Chicagoland area and seeks to support the elevation of those creative voices, by expanding access to opportunities to strengthen those communities with the artists and activists of tomorrow."

The Light will premiere their new works August 19-21, 2021, with free, live, outdoor performances on three consecutive nights at three Chicago Park District locations around the city: Thursday, August 19 at 6 p.m. at Douglass Park, 1401 S. Sacramento in North Lawndale; Friday, August 20 at 5 p.m. at LaFollette Park, 1333 N. Laramie in Austin; and Saturday, August 21at 5 p.m. at Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd St. in Englewood (followed by a free movie). Collaboraction's world premiere performances of The Light are presented as part of the Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks program.

In keeping with Collaboraction's Equitable Pay for All policy, all six members of The Light will be fully compensated for their time, including creation, mentorship, rehearsal, and performances. For more information on The Light and all of Collaboraction's social change work, visit collaboraction.org.



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