The future lies in the hands of the youth and to ensure that, at least in the theatrical sense, one of Chicago’s major cultural institution, committed to diversity and inclusion, continues to do its part in helping youth programming through its own younger member board–The Goodman Theatre’s Scenemakers Board.
Their 5th annual Scene Soirée, held at the Ovation venue space (2324 W. Fulton) in West Loop, July 29, raised over $50,000 that will help support PlayBuild Youth Intensive–a comprehensive seven-week intensive program designed to further critical thinking, literacy and storytelling skills in 14 to 18 year-old students. PlayBuild is led by Walter Director of Education and Community Engagement Willa J. Taylor in collaboration with Goodman Theatre teaching artists; the program introduces participants to theater using ensemble building, object work and writing exercises.
Upon arrival guest headed for the bar replete with drinks from sponsor Kobrand Wine and Spirits, before YouTube beatboxing sensation Yuri Lane took over the mic to drop some beats. As guests mingled among friends and noshed on bites, some checked out the different silent auction items on display including.
As the evening rolled on, guests were treated to a special performance of “Black Girl Magic” by Joss Green, Ariya Hawkins, Tina Calhoun and Aisha June, members of Goodman’s Youth Poetry Ensemble; you can see video here and here.
Elliott From, the abstract expressionist performance artist who many know from the charity circuit was on hand to make a special piece that would later on be auctioned off. Past events had From painting while the Blackhawks’ “Chelsea Dagger” would play in the background but this time, beatboxer extraordinaire Yuri Lane provided the sounds as he painted the skyline with the Willis (still Sears to us) tower prominently displayed. The piece was won by Deborah and Jason Knupp.
Scene Soiree 2016 was chaired by Scenemankers board members Elizabeth M. Balthrop, Heather M. Grove and Megan McCarthy Hayes. The Scenemakers board, consisting of young professionals serving as ambassadors of Chicago’s premier theatre, is led (in 2016) by President Gordon C.C.Liao.
If you would like to get involved or know more about Scenemakers Board, head over here.
Photo credit: John Reilly Photography