The Phenomenal Teaching Artists of the Chi~Voices & Institute For Positive Living Collaboration

Presenting the incredible Teaching Artists of the Chi~Voices +IPL Collaboration which begins today! (Workshops run from Dec.6, 2013-Jan.10, 2014) For more information, contact the Chi~Voices Creative Producer, Jessica Estelle Huggins at


Ayinde Cartman

Ayinde Cartman is a poet, aspiring actor, and West African percussionist. He currently instructs a spoken word and theatre after school program for teens while simultaneously pursuing a career in performance in the Chicagoland area. All of his work is centered on uplifting people, and increasing social consciousness and activism through the arts. Through this collaboration, Ayinde hopes to inspire young people to use spoken word as a tool to challenge illness inherent in oppressive structures, and also for their own personal healing, which in turn will inspire healing in others.


Joy “Melodic” Heard

Joy, also known to poetry as “Melodic”, is a newbie to the poetry scene. Coming from a family of grand musical talents, Joy gravitated more towards using words to emphasize her feelings and her perspective of the world. Born and raised in Chicago, she first started performing her poetry, testing her chops at YCA’s Louder Than a Bomb Youth Poetry Competition in 2010. A recent 2013 graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Arts Management, Joy continues to share her social – political poetry intertwined with song at local poetry and open mic spots throughout the city in her spare time. Her influences include Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Gil Scott Heron, Angela Davis, James Weldon Johnson, Nikki Giovanni and Maya Angelou. Through this collaboration, Joy’s goal is to inspire a young mind and make them think about life and its situations in a different perspective and to be able to express those thoughts in written and spoken form poetically. Joy believes that there is power in spoken word and once our youth begin to understand their power, we can begin to change the world as we know it.
Brandon Daurham
Brandon Daurham is a chicago (cook county native). Student, Educator & organizer currently working on Changing the World. His intent with working on the Chi Voices + IPL collab is to connect & learn from the youth & share with them ideas & perspectives that will help them to build a bolder & brighter chi city.
Frankiem Mitchell 
Frankiem Nicoli Mitchell: 24 Years; Black, Cuban, Haitian;  Born in Madison, WI. Raised in Chicago, IL; Writer; He’s always wanted to be a zoologist. He knows a lot of random animal facts. He can’t bowl well. Frankiem intends to begin reworking the mentality of the students in the program. He understands and will be assisting with creative writing but the true art is ever present in them, already. Frankiem expects to show them how to translate their art into creativity and words. He is also seeking to build some relationships so that students can reach out to him outside of the program. Life, writing, art, creating, that’s all constant. Frankiem wants to let the students know that he understands it doesn’t end in the classroom. Lastly, Frankiem expects to help bring the students to the production of a craft unique to them, a craft they will own and be proud of. He expects them all to see that all he’s doing is pulling it out, but they are teaching themselves they’ve had it all along.


Brea Harris

Brea Bandy-Hughes is a 20-year old poet, writer, actor and director. From Douglasville, GA but currently is going to school at Columbia College Chicago. As a sophomore she has already been in three short films and is currently filming a web series titled, “Lisa”. She hopes to continue creating socially responsible pieces of art to foster change.


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