EmpowerYouth! Igniting Creativity through the Arts


EmpowerYouth!: Igniting Creativity through the Arts is a groundbreaking partnership with the Chicago Urban League that immerses high school students in the creation and performance of an original opera.

Drawn primarily from Chicago’s South and West side communities, students meet weekly after school to collaborate with professional artists, including composer Damien Sneed, librettist Ike Holter, director Jess McLeod, and music supervisor Kedrick Armstrong on the creation of an original opera that tells their stories as young people in Chicago. EmpowerYouth! participants work to develop skills in areas such as singing, acting, dance, and visual arts in collaboration with a roster of local artists and mentors.

Tickets are available now for the upcoming finale performance of Empower at the Lyric Opera House on May 31, 2018! 


A group of students band together to change their south side neighborhood and fight against the negative media representation of a thirsty reporter obsessed with corruption.

Thursday, May 31
Lyric Opera House



EmpowerYouth! Igniting Creativity through the Arts is made possible by leadership support from the Centene Charitable Foundation, with additional support from the Lauter McDougal Charitable Fund, Eric and Deb Hirschfield, and the Eisen Family Foundation.

Lyric Unlimited was launched with major catalyst funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and receives major support from the Caerus Foundation, Inc.

Photos: Geoffrey Black