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Art & Storytelling

February 10, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm

Virtual Event

ART & Storytelling is the first event in a six-part speaker series (ART &), part of Urban Gateways’ 60th Anniversary celebration in 2021.

Through the ART & Speaker Series, Urban Gateways invites our supporters and community members to explore connections between the arts and a variety of timely and thought-provoking topics. Presented in a virtual speaker series format, ART & events feature creative and insightful contributors including artists, arts and community leaders, art enthusiasts, and more; a live talk-back following the premiere of each event will help audience members dive deeper into the conversation with artists.

The ART & series is free to the public, although a $19.61 ticket donation is suggested for those who are able to contribute (in honor of Urban Gateways’ founding year, 1961).

Each event runs approximately 45 minutes + a 30-minute live talk-back with the artists. ART & events will also be made available as recordings for on-demand viewing.

ART & Storytelling
Wednesday, February 10 @ 7pm Central (Virtual Event)

This event has passed – view the recording here! >>
…and support us any time by making a contribution.

Everyone has a story to tell. Discover how people illustrate and build narratives in creative bodies of work. Join us as we hear from storytellers across artistic disciplines: from a natural hair stylist storyteller to visual and music artists, these speakers will share their stories with you and discuss how they view their craft, how they amplify their message, and how they look to change our world.

ART & Storytelling Featured Artists:

Jillian Gryzlak (upper left): Urban Gateways Teaching Artist, Visual & Literary Arts
Jillian will facilitate a live talk-back with the three panelists below!
Jillian Gryzlak is a maker of costumes, ceramics, textiles, and installations. Working with a multitude of materials, Jillian’s process is often one of discovery and intuition. Across Chicago, Jillian also works as an educator with youth of all ages and leads professional development sessions with classroom teachers to integrate arts within their teaching. She has been part of the Urban Gateways community since 2006, working with youth to explore visual and literary arts.

Mo G (upper right): Chicago-based Natural Hair Artist
Mo G is a Chicago-based hair artist most known for her ability to bring hair to life. Specializing in natural hair for 20 years, her unique eye for design and passion for braiding has allowed Gotothemo LLC to build an influential clientele. Her work has been seen in publications like buzzfeed, Paper Magazine, ELLE, Refinery29, ORS Hair Care, Crwnmag, and more.

Bill Eller (lower left): Retired Urban Gateways Teaching Artist, Visual Arts
Bill started working for the Chicago Public School Art Society (later re-named Art Resources in Teaching or A.R.T.) in January 1980; A.R.T. merged with Urban Gateways in 2013, after which Bill taught with Urban Gateways until his retirement in 2020. He has taught in more than 200 Chicago schools over the course of his career. Bill is an established practicing artist with a long history of exhibitions, commissions, and collaborative projects with museums and performing arts production teams.

Zahra Baker (lower right): Urban Gateways Teaching Artist, Music
Zahra has worked as a drama and vocal music Teaching Artist in Chicago Public Schools for the past 25 years, and has taught in partnership with Chicago arts organizations including eta Creative Arts Foundation, Steppenwolf Theatre, Albany Park Theater Project, and many more. Zahra is an accomplished performer, recognized for her work as a folk and jazz vocalist, dramatic actor, and an engaging storyteller.

Urban Gateways has been engaging young people in arts experiences to inspire creativity and impact social change since 1961. Visit our 60th Anniversary page to keep tabs on more events & celebrations, and view the full speaker series schedule at our ART & page.

Additional ART & events:

ART & Storytelling: February 10th
ART & Race: April 14th
ART & Resistance: June 9th
ART & Healing: August 11th
ART & Changemaking: October 13th
ART & Looking Ahead: December 8th

Special thanks to our ART & Speaker Series sponsors:

Interested in sponsoring the ART & Speaker Series?
Learn more here >>


February 10, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:15 pm


Virtual Event