Community programs

Lyric partners with community organizations throughout Chicago to use the arts as a lens for sharing experiences, for expressing creativity, and for reflection.

Through collaborative programming, Lyric seeks to understand and respond to the needs and interests of communities around the city. The resulting programs, events and activities expand the boundaries of storytelling, ask important questions, and seek to redefine the audiences for opera. 

EmpowerYouth!

EmpowerYouth!: Igniting Creativity through the Arts is a groundbreaking partnership, launched in 2017, with the Chicago Urban League that immerses Chicago teenagers in the creation of an original performance. In the 2020/21 Season, EmpowerYouth! continues virtually, and consists of members of the 2019/20 ensemble. As in previous years, participants work with professional artistic staff and program facilitators in learning how principles of performance, the written word, music, and dance can translate to their everyday lives.


learn more

EmpowerYouth!

EmpowerYouth!: Igniting Creativity through the Arts is a groundbreaking partnership, launched in 2017, with the Chicago Urban League that immerses Chicago teenagers in the creation of an original performance. In the 2020/21 Season, EmpowerYouth! continues virtually, and consists of members of the 2019/20 ensemble. As in previous years, participants work with professional artistic staff and program facilitators in learning how principles of performance, the written word, music, and dance can translate to their everyday lives.


learn more

Public programs inspired by Blue

Inspired by the Chicago premiere of Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s opera Blue, Lyric has developed a slate of public programs geared toward engaging audiences in conversations around contemporary issues relevant to the opera. 

Learn more

Caminos a la ópera

Caminos a la ópera was a Lyric Unlimited - Learning and Creative Engagement initiative that developed and expanded Lyric's commitment to Chicago’s Latinx communities through partnership, engagement, and collaboration. Through Caminos, Lyric created and presented new and culturally-relevant works, hosted events with partner organizations in community venues, and fostered enduring relationships with Latinx audiences.

Learn More

Caminos a la ópera

Caminos a la ópera was a Lyric Unlimited - Learning and Creative Engagement initiative that developed and expanded Lyric's commitment to Chicago’s Latinx communities through partnership, engagement, and collaboration. Through Caminos, Lyric created and presented new and culturally-relevant works, hosted events with partner organizations in community venues, and fostered enduring relationships with Latinx audiences.

Learn More

Chicago Voices

Chicago Voices was an exciting initiative that celebrated the stories of Chicago’s communities and the diversity of the city’s vocal traditions. Through Chicago Voices, Lyric expanded the traditional role of an opera company within the cultural ecosystem of its city, and engaged audiences through participatory arts experiences and dynamic cross-genre programming. 

Learn more

Lyric Unlimited - Learning & Creative Engagement Sponsors

The Beaubien Family

The Grainger Foundation

Robert and Evelyn McCullen

Charles and M.R. Shapiro Foundation, Inc.

Rose L. Shure and Sidney N. Shure

Wintrust Community Banks

Anonymous Donor

Photos: Kyle Flubacker, Todd Rosenberg, Jaclyn Simpson