Press Release: Youth-Led Public Art Installation Highlights Need for Family Conversations

make art space public art stoppna

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (July 1, 2014) Youth leaders in Chicago are invited to participate in a public art installation called “Make/Art/Space.” The project will be led by youth from the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH) in partnership with Affinity Community Services, University Church and the Jane Addams Hull House Museum to explore how families talk about sexuality through public art. This public art initiative hopes to stimulate complex conversations connected to issues around sexuality, age, race, gender, and other vital parts of life and identity.

Over the past 6 months, Chicago youth leaders have collected stories from their peers across the state of Illinois about family-supported sexuality conversations. In the third week of July, ICAH’s Make/Art/Space summer program will help youth artists shape these narratives into murals, dioramas, sculpture and visual poetry. Their artwork will use the exact words from storytellers in order to amplify the real life narratives from youth.

The storytelling project was created in response to Illinois’ forced Parental Notification for Abortion Law (PNA), which requires medical providers to notify an adult family member of any person under the age of 18 seeking an abortion. ICAH fully supports conversations between youth and their adult family members about sexuality. We also recognize that when this isn’t safe for youth, they need the full range of confidential, safe, and legal reproductive options. Since forced notification mandates a conversation between youth and their given families about sex and reproductive services, we gathered both positive and negative experiences of talking to families about sexuality. The goal is to inspire a legislative repeal for this dangerous law.

The public is invited to join in for one or both of the following events to view youth-created artwork, explore family-centered conversations about sexuality, and eat! The first event will happen in partnership with Affinity Community Services and University Church on July 15. Join us for a second installation on the front porch of the Hull-House Museum on July 16 as a part of the museum’s Porch Project, a summer-long effort to engage in community on porches, stoops and sidewalks throughout the city.

Tuesday, 7/15- 3-4 PM 
University Church, Hyde Park
5655 S University Ave, Chicago, 60637

Wednesday, 7/16- 3-4 PM
Jane Addams Hull House, UIC Campus
800 S Halsted St, Chicago, 60607



Nikki Zaleski, Youth Education Coordinator

Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health | (312) 427-4460 ext. 234