TCA Gets Political

2010s Chicago Community Education Youth

After the 2016 election, the Teen Creative Agency used the MCA as a platform for unheard voices.

And the election happened last year. And we knew that we had to address that with the young people in whatever way we could because it was an urgent problem that the world felt needed to be talked about. And everyone felt like they needed to talk about it at the time. So we were like, how can we use the skills of TCA? How can we use the platform of the museum in a way that empowers people and lets people speak their mind? So we collected—we went to the Women's March in Chicago. It was just a spontaneous thing that we weren't planning, we couldn't plan for.

We went to the Women's March, and we sent TCA out with speech prompts. And we asked them to write speeches to either the youth or the elder. So TCA members with stacks of paper, walking around to the people of Chicago, asking them what they had to say to either the youth or to the elders of this country. Which was a really rewarding experience for them: getting to hear from other people, getting to test the waters of Chicago and see how people were reacting to this big change in the world. And then they took those speeches, and we delivered them anonymously in the atrium of the MCA the next week. So they could get up on the stage and put some real weight behind the voices of these anonymous people who were just walking around the street.

They could really use the platform. They could step up on a stage and amplify the voices of people who felt like they weren't being heard. And so that was rewarding for them because they often feel like they're not being heard. But they also got to—in empowering themselves, they got to empower other people.

Kopano Muhammad, Black Women Spec, 21Minus, Jun 2017. Photo: Mikayla Delson.

Kopano Muhammad, Black Women Spec, 21Minus, Jun 2017. Photo: Mikayla Delson.

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