Here's what's happening!
Cultural Celebrations are held each year at various sites and bring the community together for innovative activities. Our teaching artists provide workshops prior to culminating events (parades, performances, interactive exhibitions) drawing an average of 500 community members. These out-of-school time community workshops focus on three main cultural themes: Carnaval (spring), Hip Hop (summer) and the Day of the Dead (fall).
ElevArte is a community-based organization that uses the arts as a means for youth development. We create youth-activated safe spaces within each of our three core programs: In-School Residencies, Out-of-School-Time Programs, and Community Celebrations. Our culture-oriented fundraisers help continue the tradition of offering free art classes to children in the community. Learn about our signature fundraisers like La Pozolada or here's how you can get involved.
Cultural Celebrations are held each year at various sites and bring the community together for innovative activities. Our teaching artists provide workshops prior to culminating events (parades, performances, interactive exhibitions) drawing an average of 300 community members. These out-of-school time community workshops focus on three main cultural themes: Carnaval (spring), the Hip Hop Culture (summer) and the Day of the Dead (fall).
ElevArte's "Muertos de la Risa" event is the longest running Day of the Dead event in Pilsen. During the fall, ElevArte hosts cultural workshops and programs on the tradition of Dia de Muertos. Teaching over 150 families and youth about making mojigangas (giant puppets), papel picado, street-level ofrendas.
In a community beset by poverty and violence, fractured by issues of immigration and gentrification, the tradition of Dia de los Muertos provides a cathartic and liberating occasion to honor the dead and celebrate the resilience of the Pilsen community.
The free culminating event is a multi-disciplinary spectacle that includes community installations of street-level ofrendas, and a community procession with large puppets, ElevArte Circus youth, Aztec dancers and hand-pushed carts.
During the spring we have over 40 children ages 5 to 12 working with teaching artists in the creation of costumes, props and dance routines for our Pan-Latino Carnaval celebration. This program introduced children to the cultural traditions and history of Carnaval and encouraged them to apply this knowledge to a community Carnaval celebration. Students used mixed media techniques to produce authentic costumes, floats and other art pieces.
The We Are Hip Hop Youth Festival continues as a freeevent open to the public every summer! The only program of its kind with a complete schedule of activities completely curated by Chicago youth.
Since 2005, the "We Are Hip Hop" program has worked to coordinate this arts and community festival to preserves and celebrate Hip Hop culture in Chicago. Youth participating in the program work to plan the event while exploring the history of Hip Hop, controversial issues directly affecting their communties, conflict resolution and peace making techniques. The event is to empower our young individuals,prepare them for their futures and bring the Hip Hop community together.
ElevArte hosts several fundriasers throughout the year. Our signature fundraiser La Pozolada takes place every December and it's a fiesta like no other; it starts with 30+ all-you-can-eat pozole varieties. Your ticket also includes all your celebration favorites: open bar, music, friends, and family. Everyone goes home with a unique party favor: a one-of-a-kind handmade bowl created by ElevArte youth, artists and community members! Other fundraisers include Noche de Loteria, taking place every Spring all in support ElevArte Community Studio's vital art programs and youth development work in communities.