biographies as grist for dramatic monologues

CK teens have been researching musicians, visual artists and writers who have strong connections to Chicago — such as Ana Castillo, Sandra Cisneros, Carlos Cumpián, Herbie Hancock, Vivian Maier, Marianne Moore, Archibald Motley and Gordon Parks. They are using that research for dramatic monologues they are writing.


“Underwater You Are” by Faith S.


Underwater You Are. I like how the leaves look

like they’re waving at me. The water birds are gripping

each other like a family. The flowers are growing,


growing into a beautiful lovely flower. How much I wish

to be as pink as you are. The birds are flying higher and higher,

flying wherever they want to go.


Fly, fly away, but please come back, I will miss you.

Bloom, my big and beautiful flower.

Underwater You Are.


This ekphrastic poem by Faith was inspired by Philip Hanson’s painting Poem without Words: Blue Swallows.



Above: Poem without Words: Blue Swallows (2007) by Philip Hanson. Credit: Corbett vs. Dempsey.



Our Field Trip to Fermilab

We’re getting ready for our field trip to Fermilab, which happens next Wednesday. Our field trip also includes a walk through the Fermilab Art Gallery; the On that Note visualization of music exhibition is currently on display in the gallery. One of the purposes of this field trip is to explore meaningful connections between the arts and science.

Chicago Kaleidoscopes looks at key aspects of Chicago’s identity via creative writing, and one aspect of this city is the scientific research that happens in the Chicago area. Italian born physicist Enrico Fermi taught at the University of Chicago; in 1942 Fermi created the first controlled nuclear reaction at UC.

Really looking forward to this field trip!



"X and Y Axis" by Lindsay Olson
X and Y Axis by Lindsay Olson

Our Field Trip Downtown

We’re going on a field trip downtown next Wednesday, July 15th. We will begin in the Chicago Cultural Center, and then we will walk to the Harold Washington Library Center. Here are more details of our field trip:

We will meet in the cafe on the first floor of the Cultural Center. From there we will walk upstairs to spend some time in the House Music exhibition. Then we will walk into the G.A.R. Memorial Hall and explore the two adjoining rooms. After that we will walk into Preston Bradley Hall and check out the Tiffany Dome. After that we will go to Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist and Love for Sale: The Graphic Art of Valmor Products — two art exhibitions that are on the fourth floor. Then we will walk back downstairs.

From there we will walk southward along Michigan Avenue, and then we will walk into the Harold Washington Library Center. We will go on a tour of YOUmedia, and our field trip will conclude with a F.L.O.W. Open Mic event hosted by YOUmedia. Chicago Kaleidoscopes teens will have the opportunity to perform during this event.

stained glass dome in the Chicago Cultural Center
stained glass dome in the Chicago Cultural Center