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Collaboraction’s turbo-charged Chicago youth artist-activist ensemble The Light will bring its 2022 Summer Nights Out in the Parks Tour to an end this weekend with three consecutive performances on the city’s south and west sides:

Thursday, August 18, 6 p.m.
Douglass Park, 1301 S. Sacramento Ave. in North Lawndale

Friday, August 19, 5 p.m.
LaFollette Park, 1333 N. Laramie Ave. in Austin

Saturday, August 20, 5 p.m.
Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd St. in Englewood

The Light is a growing ensemble of outstanding youth artists and change-makers of exceptional message, skill and craft eager to be immersed in a deep artistic and scholarly mentorship as part of Collaboraction’s year-long, paid creation and performance mentorship program.

All six members of Collaboraction’s inaugural 2021-22 cohort – dancer/actor Nate Buescher, spoken word artist Marcus Jackson, dancer/athletes Phallon and Kyra Pierce, and singer-songwriter Ella Rae – will perform this weekend and continue with the program in 2022-23.

New members making their Light debuts are Earl Hester, CJ Dahgod, Sydney Sanaa and Bigg Ceno.

This weekend’s shows, presented as part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks series, are the finale of The Light’s 2022 Summer Tour, following successful stops at Kidzapalooza, the Silver Room Block Party and Navy Pier’s Fresh Fest.

Starting this fall, The Light will continue to meet, develop and bring their art and activism to the stage with the guidance of Collaboraction Company Member Carolyn Hoerdemann, lead mentor for The Light, and rapper and community activist F.U.R.Y., aka Samantha Jordan, teaching artist for The Light.

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Four leaders in Chicago’s performing arts and social justice community – F.U.R.Y., Robert Cornelius, Nashon Holloway and Jeronimo Speaks – are also serving as mentors for The Light.

The Light is presented as part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks series, supported by the Mayor’s Office and Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Celebrating 10 years, the 2022 Night Out in the Parks program presents cultural events year-round in neighborhood parks throughout the city. The Chicago Park District in partnership with over 100 local artists and organizations, present engaging events and performances that enhance quality of life across Chicago and amplify the artistic and cultural vibrancy in every neighborhood. Through multiple disciplines, which include theater, music, movies, dance, site-specific work, nature programs, and community festivals, the series aims to support Chicago-based artists, facilitate community-based partnerships and programs, cultivate civic engagement, and ensure equity in access to the arts for all Chicagoans.

Alva Adams-Mason, Toyota’s Group Manager of Multicultural Business Alliance and Dealer Relations – Social Innovation shares, “Unique STEAM programs like The Light are at the forefront of inspiring youth to become society’s next leaders. Collaboraction’s work to embrace and celebrate diversity works in tandem with our efforts to bring people and organizations together to improve access to opportunity and affect change.”

Join Collaboraction’s new member program that supports live programs and digital workshops, helps pay artists equitably, and provides a brave space for diverse voices who create transformative performances on critical social issues. CollaborActivists receive exclusive invitations to social events (virtual and in-person), free or discounted tickets, special swag, and updates on Collaboraction’s community impact. Become a CollaborActivist for as little as $1 a month at collaboraction.org/memberships.

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About Collaboraction: Changing the map and removing barriers within the theater industry

Collaboraction is a 25-year-old, ethno-diverse company that uses theater and performance to incite social change on Chicago’s most critical issues. Collaboraction produces live and digital performances, anti-racism workshops, and youth programs that incite change and grow equity in Chicago.

Since its founding in 1996, Collaboraction has pushed artistic boundaries working with more than 4,000 artists to bring over 100 productions and events to more than 150,000 unique audience members, and has inspired measurable positive change on social justice in Chicago and beyond.

Collaboraction’s work includes Sketchbook, Peacebook, Trial in the Delta: The Murder of Emmett Till, Moonset Sunrise, The Light Youth Ensemble, Crime Scene, Forgotten Future and Gender Breakdown. In addition to live performances, community building and video production, the company centers and presents its work in Chicago neighborhoods historically overlooked like Englewood, Austin and Lawndale.

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Collaboraction, under the leadership of Executive Artistic Director Anthony Moseley, has been acknowledged for innovation and inclusivity by using theater as a tool for social change with numerous awards including, most recently, a 2020 Foster Innovation Award from Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the 2020 Multi-Racial Unity Award from the First Unitarian Church-Chicago, a 2018 Stand For the Arts Award from Comcast and OvationTV, and an Otto Award from New York’s Castillo Theatre.

Collaboraction is supported by The Chicago Community Trust, the National Endowment for the Arts, Illinois Humanities, Paul M. Angell Foundation, Marc and Jeanne Malnati Family Foundation, Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation, the Bayless Family Foundation, Spreading Hearts, AV Chicago, and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Collaboraction is supported by a grant of U.S. Department of Treasury funds through the City of Chicago.

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For more information, visit collaboraction.org, or follow the company on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or YouTube.

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