Young Chicago Artists Named Rising Stars For Year Of Creative Youth

Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) will honor 35 outstanding young artists selected for the city's 2018 Rising Star Honor Roll at a private reception tonight, August 8, at the Chicago Cultural Center. Recognized for their creative leadership and exceptional artistic talents, the young artists were nominated directly by their mentors from arts organizations, school arts programs and community organizations in the following areas: music, theatre, dance, visual arts, media arts, literary arts and culinary arts. The full list of 2018 Rising Star honorees and nominating organizations follows.

This year's Rising Star honors are held in conjunction with Chicago's Year of Creative Youth-a citywide celebration of Chicago's young artists and the mentors who inspire them, presented by Allstate Insurance Company. The creative talents of hundreds of young artists from dozens of Chicago cultural organizations and programs will be on display during the Creative Youth Festival, the new youth arts showcase event on Saturday, September 22 from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. throughout the Millennium Park Campus. For more information and the most up-to-date festival schedule, visit cityofchicago.org/YOCY.

"Through the Year of Creative Youth, we are shining a light on the immense artistic talent of Chicago's young people," said Mark Kelly, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. "We celebrate this year's Rising Stars as the artists and arts leaders of the future. They inspire other young people to take a creative path."

"When young people believe in themselves and are encouraged to bring their ideas forward, we know they'll create the kind of society that uplifts us all," said Vicky Dinges, Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Allstate. "That's why Allstate is focused on empowering our next generation of leaders by investing in programs like the arts that help young people build critical social and emotional skills. We care about the future of Chicago and our youth and are proud to recognize them as problem solvers, change agents and artists."

2018 Rising Star honorees and nominating organizations

  • Brittany Alexander
    • Nominated by Gary Comer Youth Center for honor in Visual Arts
  • Kanyinsola Anifowoshe
    • Nominated by Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago for honor in Media Arts
  • Steven Baloue
    • Nominated by Merit School of Music for honor in Music
  • Brian Blanco
    • Nominated by The People's Music School for honor in Music
  • Michelle Boens
    • Nominated by Roosevelt High School for honor in Culinary Arts
  • Steven Bowman
    • Nominated by Jazz Institute of Chicago for honor in Music
  • Joselyn Corona
    • Nominated by Marwen for honor in Visual Arts
  • Ileana Ericksen
    • Nominated by Chicago Public Schools All-City Program for honor in Dance
  • Ciara Evans
    • Nominated by After School Matters for honor in Dance
  • Nicole Fanelli
    • Nominated by Art Institute of Chicago for honor in Visual Arts
  • Esther Figueroa
    • Nominated by Puerto Rican Arts Alliance for honor in Music
  • Joserik Figueroa-Duran
    • Nominated by Mariachi Arts and Culture Academy for honor in Music
  • Eric Flores
    • Nominated by After School Matters for honor in Visual Arts
  • Semira Garrett
    • Nominated by Chicago Public Library YOUmedia for honor in Media Arts
  • Nicole Ginard
    • Nominated by Chicago Architecture Foundation for honor in Media Arts
  • Elaina Huang
    • Nominated by Lane Tech High School for honor in Music
  • Adero Johnson
    • Nominated by Chicago Park District Kenwood Park for honor in Visual Arts
  • Patricia Joyner
    • Nominated by Free Spirit Media for honor in Media Arts
  • Lucy Mangalapalli
    • Nominated by Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras for honor in Music
  • Yamaris Martinez
    • Nominated by Chicago Architecture Foundation for honor in Visual Arts
  • Deondre McDuffie
    • Nominated by Little Black Pearl Art & Design Academy for honor in Literary Arts
  • Brianna Medina
    • Nominated by SkyART for honor in Visual Arts
  • Sylvia Merie Meraz
    • Nominated by Yollocalli Arts Reach of the National Museum of Mexican Art for honor in Literary Arts
  • Abigail Mosquera
    • Nominated by Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater for honor in Dance
  • Antoinette Mpawenayo
    • Nominated by CircEsteem for honor in Theatre
  • Sajdah Muhammad
    • Nominated by Musical Arts Institute for honor in Music
  • Isaiah Ortiz
    • Nominated by 826CHI for honor in Literary Arts
  • Georgia Pauley
    • Nominated by South Chicago Dance Theatre for honor in Dance
  • Daniela Reyes
    • Nominated by Chicago High School for the Arts for honor in Theatre
  • Yailin Rojas
    • Nominated by Guitars Over Guns for honor in Music
  • Jalin Ross
    • Nominated by After School Matters for honor in Music
  • Jessica Ross
    • Nominated by Chicago Park District Kenwood Park for honor in Literary Arts
  • Hallie Spolarich
    • Nominated by Beverly Arts Center for honor in Theatre
  • Ania Wellere
    • Nominated by Kenwood Academy High School for honor in Media Arts
  • Noah Wilson
    • Nominated by Kenwood Academy High School for honor in Visual Arts

About the Year of Creative Youth

Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) have designated 2018 as the Year of Creative Youth - a citywide celebration of Chicago's young artists and the mentors who inspire them. Presented by Allstate Insurance Company, the Year of Creative Youth will feature young artists and their work at City of Chicago festivals, exhibitions and events throughout the year and a new Creative Youth Festival. The year will also include cultural grants and convenings for youth arts organizations, a marketing campaign and more-representing an over $2 million investment by the City of Chicago.

Additional grant support for the Year of Creative Youth is provided by The Chicago Community Trust, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, and support from the Chicago Transit Authority.

About the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is dedicated to enriching Chicago's artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago's non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City's future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City's cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.



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