Wednesday, July 20, 2022
The First Presbyterian Church of Chicago
6400 S. Kimbark Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637
The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, in partnership with Stories Matter Foundation and The First Presbyterian Church of Chicago, will offer a one-day workshop with acclaimed Southside author, poet and educator Tara Betts. The workshop, open to young people between the ages of 12 and 18, expects to draw attendees from the greater Woodlawn community. Stories Matter Foundation will lead students in discussing and creating original creative work, using, in part, readings from some of our great Chicago writers. The First Presbyterian Church of Chicago is one of, if not the, oldest churches in the city, and for well over a century and a half has been a leader and innovation in issues regarding education, social justice, and multi-culturalism. "Woodlawn is rich with wonderful stories from its deep heritage of Black immigrants from the Great Migration, along with many more recent immigrants from around the world," says Rev. David Black of First Church. "This partnership with Stories Matter Foundation and the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame is an important initiative to harness the voices and stories of young people and to share it with the world." SMF Youth Programs Manager Sahar Mustafah said that SMF's goal is to provide access to young Chicagoans so that they can become storytellers who "question, explore, celebrate, and change their worlds using the power of story." Betts is the author of the poetry collections Refuse to Disappear, Break the Habit and Arc & Hue. She was also commissioned to write the Illinois Bicentennial poem by Illinois Humanities. In addition to her work as a teaching artist and mentor for young poets, she has taught at Rutgers University, University of Illinois-Chicago, DePaul University, Northwestern University, and at Stateville Prison via Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project. she is the inaugural Poet for the People Practioner Fellow at University of Chicago. Tara is the Poetry Editor at The Langston Hughes Review and founder of the non-profit organization The Whirlwind Learning Center on Chicago's South Side. Spaces for this special free workshop are limated and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, participants or their parents must complete a registration form. For further information, please contact Rev. David Black (717.608.1710), Randall Albers or Sahar Mustasfah.