The Light: Illuminating Exceptional Chicago Youth Artivists

Performances: August 2021

Submission Deadline: May 8, 2021 at 11:59 pm (CST)

Selection Process: Artists will be selected and notified by June 25, 2021 

Note: Youth that submitted to the February deadline will still be considered and are encouraged to resubmit.


A thousand lights will eventually drive out the darkness. Through this program, Collaboraction is superconducting five lights at a time with deep artistic and scholarly mentorship to develop five informed youth change-makers. 


Collaboraction will select a diverse group of 5 youth artists-activists who perform their original material and are of special message, skill, craft, and potential to engage in an $18/hr paid annual creation and performance mentorship program.


The youth will be paired with a professional artistic mentor, and there will be a panel of subject matter experts available to the youth as scholarly resources as they create their work. Through this professional mentorship and artist-activist training, the five (5) youth will develop an original solo performance of 7 minutes or less that showcases their artistic vision and activist voice. 


These pieces will tour Hamilton Park (Englewood), Douglass Park (Lawndale), and Lafollette Park (Austin) as a part of the Chicago Park District’s Nights Out in the Parks in late August.


Beyond this scheduled tour, the Light artists will each make a video of their performance and  be booked for additional public performances, appearances, collaborations, and activations throughout the year.  

We are interested in a diverse pool of artists that reflect the whole make-up of Chicago. Each performance will conclude with a Crucial Conversation around the themes of the performances. Each show is supported by an entire production team and artist stipends in line with our Equitable Pay For All Policy.

We are open to numerous submission types and formats, including: 
• A play that we assist in pairing you with a director and can help find a cast, as needed.
• A spoken word piece that you may or may not perform in.
• A vision or concept for a piece that will be created in rehearsal (a devised play).
• A dance piece that you are either choreographing and/or in.

Have questions about the festival or submission process?  Email