CNN Profiles Chance The Rapper On Chicagoland

From Complex:

Chicago has birthed a new generation of rappers that have been growing in the industry for the past two years in the midst of the turmoil within the city. The stressful environment in Chicago has been at the forefront of national news, and is now the topic of CNN’s new documentary series Chicagoland. 

Last night’s episode contained a profile on Chance The Rapper. CNN gets a candid interview about Chance’s experiences growing up on the southside of Chicago, and his music which puts a spotlight on the area. 

The piece also highlights Chance’s history with the Chicago Public Library, and shows an early gig he performed at the YOUmedia Center in our Harold Washington branch. 

Chance, you continue to be an amazing ambassador for the city of Chicago. Everybody at the CPL is so proud of your work, and honored that we were a part of your journey. 


“Chicago is a Black Woman that forgot her roots.”

-Kush Thompson


Humble Beginnings: YOUmedia Summer Soul Session Chance

Before he was Chance the Rapper, he was just Chance…a Chicago teen in our YOUmedia program, rapping for our YouTube channel.

See him — and a bajillion other great artists — at this weekend’s Lollapalooza! 


A young Chance the Rapper’s dedication to Chicago.


Pivot Gang @ YouMedia. 

Here is an amazing photo by YOUmedia Photographer: Katie


Falling Victim to Technology

Artist Statement: My old computer monitor that stopped working, I decided to smash it with a sledgehammer, put on some fake cuts and blood and stick my arms in it. Multiple pictures put together in this one, one each for the arms, one for the ground where I forgot to hide my cup of blood, two for the fingertips on the sides of the screen, and the original. Cropped it, played with the levels and the colors and voila.

*Click photo to see a video of the set up.


Dedication to the YOU in Media. Poem by Malcolm London. 

Watch on

I saw Dr. Nicole Pinkard give a talk about her work with YouMedia and Digital Youth Networks in Chicago. I am sure that there will be more posts and thoughts about their work in the future but I wanted to pass along the presentation. You can see her full presentation here. It is worth a watch, you can skip the introduction and the panel after if 2 hours is too long of a committment and just watch Dr. Pinkard’s 45 minute presentation.

Above, you can watch an interview with Dr. Pinkard from a tpt produced special on learning in the 21st century. (Which was embed-able unlike the presentation linked above)

YOUmedia and TMBP

YOUmedia has been approaching Mark Bradford and his work from a critical perspective. Who is Mark? What is his art trying to say to us?

We’ve been analyzing who Mark Bradford is as an artist and we’ve been diving deep into his works of art. We are working to understand and trying to deconstruct the works with questions about authorship, format, audience, message, and purpose. We believe this breakdown of the artist and his work are critical keys to better connecting the living artist to art. It makes for a landscape of learning that is real, engaging, and socially connected.

The Mark Bradford Project happens on Mondays at YOUmedia. YOUmedia students are free to create project proposals and/or pick from a series of project prompts presented by various YOUmedia mentors. Students can work directly with these mentors throughout the duration of the project and through various media (digital design, spoken word, music, and video production).

YOUmedia has a social learning network ( where The Mark Bradford Project exists in a virtual group space online: mentors, the MCA, and Mark Bradford himself can support, critique, and provide resources to students anytime and virtually any place. As for the students, YOUmedia Online is a safe space to present works in progress, critique, and communicate with the resident artist from the MCA.

 YOUmedia is a creative space where students can take their understanding of Mark Bradford and his art to create new works of contemporary art. These new works can be inspired by the artist himself, or themes, critical questions, and/or responses to the works presented. Our librarians support students by helping them research and reference the great wealth of resources in the library.

The Mark Bradford Project is a model for how students should be able to connect to artists and institutions for the purpose of engaging in serious critique and supported creativity. They will make these fulfilling learning experiences real world pathways to express ideas and new forms of art in the community.

Students at YOUmedia will focus on the following themes: *Mapping *Collage *Video *Layering *Mixed Media

— Mike Hawkins, YOUmedia Coordinator, YOUmedia and Digital Youth Network;                  Photo by Mike Hawkins.

Invincible's Workshop on Women in HopHop & Change

Detroit’s Invincible rocked YOUmedia yesterday with 16 students deep for the Ladies Do It All Festival and they were so engaged that they didn’t want to leave!  She worked with them on various exercises to get them to think on their feet…. a must for lyricists.  She showed them a film about women in HipHop and did a few writing exercises.  At the end, they recorded short lines about issues in their community.  The students were inspired! Be sure to follow Invincible on Twitter: @invincibleDET





This summer I was blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of Pro-jectUS Style Suite, a program in conjunction with Kanye West’s Donda’s House, powered by COMMONWEALTH Foundation and YouMedia/CPS. I had so much fun and definitely learned a lot along the way. This program helped me to jump start my brand and gave me the opportunity to receive guidance from people in my field. I appreciate everyone for their love and knowledge. At our last event all of the participants showcased their work at the ‘NERD PROM’. I among other students were awarded for our hard work. Thank you to everyone who was a mentor/supporter/guest speaker. Every little bit made a big difference.