ArtsXIII was a neighborhood multi-arts initiative that fostered the exploration of identity and community through engagement in visual, literary, performing arts, and digital media, as well as exposure to professional artists, experiences, and materials. ArtsXIII promoted skill-building in the arts, collaboration and fun in equal measure, and was attuned to the social and creative interests of young people ages 12 -14. From 2015 – 2017 the program was co-run by Leah Woldman and Mallory Muya. In the year 2018, ArtsXIII evolved into the Young Cultural Stewards Fellowship program co-run by Irina Zadov and Mallory Muya.


Who and what are Chicago’s ghosts and what continues to haunt this city? Who and what are the ghosts of my family? What has been left behind for us to deal with? What very ghosts lurk within me?

In the Spring and Summer of 2016, ArtsXIII was shaped around the theme of Hauntings by looking to ghost stories, Chicago’s history, and the ghosts we carry with us.  Through creating time capsules, creating alters of past selves, and setting up confessional booths to Chicago’s ghosts we looked at neighborhood histories, resources, and legacies left behind. Youth conversed with the ghosts from police brutality, the Great Migration, gentrification, and the ghosts and ancestors of their own families and communities. Field trips included the Burnham Wildlife Gathering Spaces, the Kerry James Marshall exhibit at MCA, the Experimental Sound Studio, as well as landmarks that hold ghosts in each of the parks neighborhoods through a bike ride with Slow Roll Chicago. Young people’s work was exhibited in the Fine Arts Building during a night of open studios. 

Made Possible by the creative and dedicated work of: Jazmin Dua, Patsy Diaz, Juarez Hawkins, Art Devour, Free Street Theater, Slow Roll Chicago, Inferno Mobile Recording Studio, Leah Woldman, and Mallory Muya

Make and Shake

Made Possible by the creative and dedicated work of: Patsy Diaz, Maria Ambriz, Free Street Theater, Inferno Mobile Recording Studio, and Mallory Muya

Naming Our Powers

In 2017, youth took a deep look into the superpowers within themselves, their neighbors, and the spaces they occupy. The curriculum was rooted in the work of Chicago artists and aimed to introduce young people to artists from their very own neighborhoods.

A key component to ArtsXIII was the planning and facilitating of field trips in which the three separate camps, geographically spread across the city, had opportunities to come together to experience arts and culture across a hyper-segregated Chicago. In 2017, this took the shape of each camp group taking the responsibility of hosting the other camps to decide which aspects of their neighborhood and their park identity they wanted to share.

Made Possible by the creative and dedicated work of: Juarez Hawkins, Natalia Smirnov, Dominique Chestand, Amina Ross, Silvia Inés Gonzalez, Laura Sáenz, AMFM, Irina Zadov, and Mallory Muya