Passion to Profession Happy-ish Hour

  • The Commons
    Second Floor, East Side
    220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Anisa Olufemi performs Parachute, a performance about black femme safe space, at 21Minus, curated by the Teen Creative Agency, Jun 16, 2018. Photo: Grace DuVal, © MCA Chicago.

About the Event

I love making art but how do I make a living?

Anyone who has ever asked this question is invited to this space for creative teens and local practicing artists to meet up, share perspectives, and discuss creative pathways! Think happy hour but with free, non-alcoholic refreshments, plenty of rapid-fire interviews, icebreakers, and special guests, including artists Shawnee Dez, Daniel Stewart, and Mia Ghogho.

Passion to Profession is a workshop series created by artist Anisa Olufemi that aims to create a welcoming, informative, and productive space for youth ages 14–18 to work with practicing artists, both established and up-and-coming, in imagining pathways for pursuing a sustainable career in the arts.

Youth-led events, highlighting youth voices and open to visitors of all ages, are organized by Chicago artists under 21 with the support of the MCA’s Manager of Youth and Family Programs Grace Needlman.


About the Artists

Hailing from Chicago’s South Side, the emerging vocal performing artist Shawnee Dez wants nothing more than to share her god-given vocals and consciousness among vast audiences. Currently in the early stages of her career, Dez intently engages her listeners, encouraging energy exchanges by immersing herself in public meditation translated by way of a dynamic multiranged alto-melodic sound.

Mia Ghogho is a mixed-media artist currently pursuing her BFA in studio arts at the University of Illinois. Her work is grounded in cultural history and the metaphysical; through it she explores civilization, consciousness expansion, mythology, and healing. Pivoting between painting, collage, and garment construction, she creates dialectic works influenced by the bodily adornment, health disparities, and ways of life throughout the indigenous American and African diaspora.

Anisa Olufemi is an independent curator and interdisciplinary artist pursuing her BFA with a focus in art histories of the African Diaspora. She hopes to contribute to the ongoing conversation around arts education accessibility and POC art space inclusion through the series of workshops, Passion to Profession.

Daniel Stewart, also known as Danny Photo, is a full-time photographer and occasional DP. He is experienced in portraiture and fashion photography, shooting primarily on film. He has been photographing for the past six years and freelancing for two. Stewart has worked with competitive brands such as Nike, Jordan Brand, Interscope Records, GQ, and more.