Teens Unpack Social Media at Back of the Yards Branch

Critiquing and Creating Socially-Engaged Art and Media

Over the winter and spring, Jaime Bravo at Back of the Yards Branch said he started exploring themes of personal growth and civic engagement with his teen patrons by actively helping them create websites, make and edit videos and develop Audio-Logues.

This summer, Jaime and a special guest community artist, Jose Luis Benavides, are particularly interested in challenging teens to not only create, but also to critique and curate digital and physical art, which is just what they'll be doing in the Are YOU on Snapchat? program series.

Beginning June 19, teens will be learning about archive and research-based art practices with Benavides, who has an MFA in Studio and Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Working alongside Bravo and Benavides, teens will be encouraged to explore daily social media tools, such as Snapchat, Twitter and Tumblr, to examine larger social issues, including racism, immigration concerns, homophobia and sexism.

Teen projects will include blogging, video-making, chapbooks, comics and traditional print media, and will culminate in a teen-organized end-of-summer art gallery exhibit in the library as well as at a local coffee shop.

All teens who are interested in building and improving new skills, creating art, helping host a community art gallery and identify local artists making a difference are welcome to participate!