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Amplifying Authenticity: Teens on the Chicago Arts Landscape

August 24, 2021 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Virtual Event

Teen leaders from Chicago’s arts sector engage in a virtual panel about the lives and needs of young people as we imagine the other side of one of the most challenging periods in recent history. How do adults in the field ensure they are following the lead of youth and centering the authentic perspectives of young people? Topics may include: belonging, safety, live experiences, challenging or defining “the new normal,” ageism, and more. Free to attend – please register in advance!

Tuesday, August 24, 2pm Central
Register to join us via Zoom Webinar >>

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

This event is presented by Urban Gateways / Teen Arts Pass and is supported by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Meet the Amplifying Authenticity Panelists:

Malcolm Banks (Moderator)

My name is Malcolm Banks, and I’m excited to be working with Urban Gateways / Teen Arts Pass again as a moderator! With everything that has been unraveling around the world, I have committed myself to doing my part in making it a better place. I’ve recently earned my Associate’s degree in Theater and I can’t wait for what the world has to offer us all. I believe in our future!



Isabella B.

Isabella B. (she/her/hers) is a Junior in the Omega Program at Lane Tech College Prep. She is a part of the Urban Gateways, Steppenwolf Theatre, and Old Town School Of Folk Music teen councils. She is also currently on the Loft Opening Committee at the Steppenwolf Theatre. She has played the piano for 12 years and has sung for 9 years (2 years competitively) and has been involved in theater for 9 years. She also has interviewed artists by helping to create the “Hello, I Am…Conversations with Arts Professionals” series with Urban Gateways. She enjoys performing, singing, cosplaying, and playing animal crossing.

Miles Chong

Miles Chong (he/they) is a junior in the theater program at Senn High School. Outside of school he is an actor, activist, and educator. Credits include “South Pacific” (Drury Lane), “Ward 9” and “Patient Watcher” (Lookingglass Theatre), and “Saved By the Bard” (Northlight Theatre). Miles is also part of the Goodman Youth Arts Council (GYAC), the Steppenwolf Young Arts Council (YAC), the Lookingglass Young Ensemble, and the CPS Works of Art Steering Committee. He is also writing curriculum for high school classes across CPS for Steppenwolf’s upcoming production of “The Red Folder”, and serving as a member of Steppenwolf’s “Loft Opening Committee” where he is designing an engagement campaign centering Steppenwolf’s new Arts and Education Center. Miles is very passionate about arts accessibility within communities and educational systems, and is excited to be on this panel!

Angel Mendoza

Angel Mendoza (he/him) is a Chicago based multi-interdisciplinary artist and high school student. Angel is an involved community member at Marwen Arts Center with involvement in numerous classes and programming. Some highlights include being a part of the Lab Residency and exhibition as well as being the Summer Studio Intern in recent months. Outside of Marwen, Angel is a junior cohort member of the CAAP Program at SAIC. Angel plans on going into the field of arts education after high school to pursue their dream of assisting others in their own artistic practices.

Jada Wordlaw

Jada Wordlaw (she/her) is a rising senior and currently attends Walter Payton College Prep. Academically, Jada is most interested in social science-related topics, as well as the intersection of social justice and the arts. She loves to travel, and can often be found biking somewhere new in Chicago, discovering a new animated series, reading a graphic novel, and is willing to talk about anything related to the Avatar series and Jungian cognitive functions. The performing arts have always played an important role in Jada’s life; she trained in classical ballet for over ten years and more recently has transitioned toward drama and theater arts.

Register here (free) to join us for the panel on August 24 at 2pm Central. All are welcome!

Thanks to our event sponsor!



August 24, 2021
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Virtual Event