I was wasting time today on that social site where time goes to die, and came across an event for the Chicago Avenue Project, and so glad that I did because the performances are this week and I want to go!
The Chicago Avenue Project is an inner-city, after-school program for kids, and an extension of theatre classes the kids have been taking this Spring with Pillsbury House Theatre. CAP is a project that focuses on the kids, each kids getting a professional playwright, director and actor to work with in creating a short, 10-minute play—about the kid and the kid’s interest. After about a half-dozen rehearsals over a month or so, there are three public performances for family and friends.
A few years ago I was fortunate enough to be asked to direct a piece, and while it may not have been the most artistic project I’ve ever worked on, it became one of the most meaningful experiences I’ve had. These kids are awesome, energetic, and frankly, hungry for positive impact in their lives. They live in a tough part of town, and have few positive adult role models. This program gives them a sense of self and of import. The personal growth I saw in some of the kids over that short period of time was unbelievable.
The program is based on the 52nd St. Project in New York.
Every city should have such a thing.
I can’t wait to see the smiles, the excitement of those kids, and what they’ve done this year.