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

Students meet weekly after school to collaborate with professional artists, including composer Paris Ray Dozier, librettist Derek McPhatter, acting coach and director Tony Santiago, and returning 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.

Applications for the program open in the fall. For information on future sessions of the program, contact Jimi Orange, Director of the Center for Student Development, at