Young Chicago Authors
heykiller sits down with Toaster to discuss all the different programing that Young Chicago Authors has to offer the City of Chicago.
Presented by Young Chicago Authors (YCA), Founded in 2001 by Kevin Coval, Anna West and a group of educators, Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB) celebrates its 20th year with a festival that honors the vibrancy, diversity and energy of Chicago’s young writers while showcasing local talents and engaging very necessary intergenerational cross city dialogue.
What started with a handful of teams in the basement Chopin Theater has grown into over 5 weeks of over 100 competitive bouts and special events with hundreds of participants. Now, more than 13 cities across the country and Canada use the LTAB Chicago model to educate and organize.
This year for our theme we are channeling the spirit of the late great Muhammad Ali who in 1975 was invited to give the commencement ceremony speech at Harvard University. Ali, known for his outspoken and humorous rhetoric, spoke candidly about community. At the end of this speech, an audience member asked for a poem to which Ali responded, “Me. We.”
LTAB and YCA is cited by well-known Chicago artists, including, Jamila Woods, Jose Olivarez, Fatimah Asghar, Saba Pivot, and Noname as the awakening of their artistic abilities and source for their success.
More About Young Chicago Authors (YCA)
The heart of YCA’s mission is the idea that everyone is an expert of their own experience. We ask the question, “Where are you from?” and the answers lead to an investigation of the worlds we inhabit, and the places and people around us that provide ingredients for our poetic inquiries. Our practice encourages a deep kind of listening that leads to radical empathy. We believe that youth voices must be at the center of civic discourse, from classrooms to city hall.
Every year, YCA serves at least 9,000 young people in the Chicago area through various workshops, residencies and projects in writing, publication, journalism and performance education.