News & Publications

For Our Communities and the Media

Latest News

Students + families,

In response to the possible CTU teachers strike and in solidarity with young people and their families, Marwen is opening its doors from 8:30 am to 5 pm each day of the strike to young people in our neighborhood as well as to Marwen students and their siblings in grades 2-12.

Marwen will provide free artmaking workshops, access to computers, movies, and other activities in our studios and gallery during the strike.

In partnership with Eats on Sedgwick restaurant member B.Good as well as the Greater Chicago Food Depository, snacks and lunch will be provided during the strike. Young people with dietary restrictions are encouraged to bring their own lunch and snacks.

All young people who are not currently enrolled in Marwen programming will need to have a signed parent or guardian permission form to participate. Forms will be available at the front desk.

Marwen after-school programming for our Fall Term will proceed as scheduled throughout the duration of the strike.

For additional resources related to the CTU teachers strike, please visit: https://cps.edu/contingencyplan/

Questions can be directed to Aurora Toshiko King, Marwen’s Director of Education, at aking@marwen.org.

In community,
Marwen staff

Marwen is open for young people during possible CTU teachers strike [October 16, 2019]
+

Students + families,

In response to the possible CTU teachers strike and in solidarity with young people and their families, Marwen is opening its doors from 8:30 am to 5 pm each day of the strike to young people in our neighborhood as well as to Marwen students and their siblings in grades 2-12.

Marwen will provide free artmaking workshops, access to computers, movies, and other activities in our studios and gallery during the strike.

In partnership with Eats on Sedgwick restaurant member B.Good as well as the Greater Chicago Food Depository, snacks and lunch will be provided during the strike. Young people with dietary restrictions are encouraged to bring their own lunch and snacks.

All young people who are not currently enrolled in Marwen programming will need to have a signed parent or guardian permission form to participate. Forms will be available at the front desk.

Marwen after-school programming for our Fall Term will proceed as scheduled throughout the duration of the strike.

For additional resources related to the CTU teachers strike, please visit: https://cps.edu/contingencyplan/

Questions can be directed to Aurora Toshiko King, Marwen’s Director of Education, at aking@marwen.org.

In community,
Marwen staff

MARWEN’S ART FAIR 2019 CELEBRATES

CREATIVE CHICAGO YOUTH WITH AN ART AUCTION OF

FRESH WORK BY STUDENTS & CHICAGO ARTISTS

 

Featured student work at Art Fair 2019

 

(Chicago, IL – October 2, 2019) Marwen announces Art Fair 2019, its 13th Annual exhibition and art auction. The event will be held on Friday, November 1, 2019, from 7-10 pm at Marwen, 833 N. Orleans Street in Chicago. Individual tickets to Art Fair are $40 in advance ($50 at the door) and include an open bar and heavy hors d'oeuvres. Tickets are on sale now at marwen.org/event/art-fair-2019. Group ticket sales are also available online.

 

Art Fair, which attracts nearly 400 guests each year, features three floors of artwork by Marwen students, teaching artists, alumni, and staff — all for sale through a silent auction. The exhibition includes photography, sculpture, painting, drawing, illustration, graphic design, fibers, and more. Guests will have the opportunity to use their phones to bid on artwork through a silent auction. Proceeds from each sale are divided equally, benefiting both the artist and Marwen's free programs. See photos from last year’s event at https://marwen.org/past-events/marwen-art-fair-2018.

 

“Art Fair is a culmination of work from all of our artist communities,” said Akilah Halley, Executive Director and alumna of Marwen​. “It’s the only time of year when we showcase original work by Chicago artists from across the city. There’s a wonderful variety of artforms represented, delicious food, and a building brimming with guests who share a love for creative expression. It’s a joyful event that helps us continue our work to provide a supportive space for creativity, skill building, and experimentation for Chicago’s young people.”

 

Art Fair 2019 is generously sponsored by the following individuals and companies: Accend, Kevin and Jane Berg, Better, Blick, Amy and Andy Bluhm, Cutter Studios, Executive Construction Foundation, ESD, Gary Lee Partners, Gensler, Havas, Katherine K. Scott Jimenez & James Jimenez, Robert Buchsbaum and Elyse Klein, Knoll, Limelight, Luum Textiles, Lee and Sharon Oberlander, Isa & Adam Pressman, Deborah & Stephen Quazzo, Tom Shapiro and Madeleine Grynsztejn, Skender Foundation, Stone Source, Whitehouse + Carbon

 

Photography and video are welcome during the event. You can find Marwen on Twitter and Instagram

@marwenarts and Facebook @marwenchicago. We also have high resolution images of student artwork

available upon request. Please contact Kennon Reinard at kreinard@marwen.org or 312.374.2941 with requests.

 

ABOUT MARWEN

Since 1987, Marwen has educated and inspired young people from Chicago’s under-resourced communities and schools through the visual arts. Marwen provides free visual art courses, college planning, and career development programs to 6-12th graders from across the city. For more information visit marwen.org

Marwen's Art Fair 2019 Celebrates Creative Chicago Youth [October 2, 2019]
+

MARWEN’S ART FAIR 2019 CELEBRATES

CREATIVE CHICAGO YOUTH WITH AN ART AUCTION OF

FRESH WORK BY STUDENTS & CHICAGO ARTISTS

 

Featured student work at Art Fair 2019

 

(Chicago, IL – October 2, 2019) Marwen announces Art Fair 2019, its 13th Annual exhibition and art auction. The event will be held on Friday, November 1, 2019, from 7-10 pm at Marwen, 833 N. Orleans Street in Chicago. Individual tickets to Art Fair are $40 in advance ($50 at the door) and include an open bar and heavy hors d'oeuvres. Tickets are on sale now at marwen.org/event/art-fair-2019. Group ticket sales are also available online.

 

Art Fair, which attracts nearly 400 guests each year, features three floors of artwork by Marwen students, teaching artists, alumni, and staff — all for sale through a silent auction. The exhibition includes photography, sculpture, painting, drawing, illustration, graphic design, fibers, and more. Guests will have the opportunity to use their phones to bid on artwork through a silent auction. Proceeds from each sale are divided equally, benefiting both the artist and Marwen's free programs. See photos from last year’s event at https://marwen.org/past-events/marwen-art-fair-2018.

 

“Art Fair is a culmination of work from all of our artist communities,” said Akilah Halley, Executive Director and alumna of Marwen​. “It’s the only time of year when we showcase original work by Chicago artists from across the city. There’s a wonderful variety of artforms represented, delicious food, and a building brimming with guests who share a love for creative expression. It’s a joyful event that helps us continue our work to provide a supportive space for creativity, skill building, and experimentation for Chicago’s young people.”

 

Art Fair 2019 is generously sponsored by the following individuals and companies: Accend, Kevin and Jane Berg, Better, Blick, Amy and Andy Bluhm, Cutter Studios, Executive Construction Foundation, ESD, Gary Lee Partners, Gensler, Havas, Katherine K. Scott Jimenez & James Jimenez, Robert Buchsbaum and Elyse Klein, Knoll, Limelight, Luum Textiles, Lee and Sharon Oberlander, Isa & Adam Pressman, Deborah & Stephen Quazzo, Tom Shapiro and Madeleine Grynsztejn, Skender Foundation, Stone Source, Whitehouse + Carbon

 

Photography and video are welcome during the event. You can find Marwen on Twitter and Instagram

@marwenarts and Facebook @marwenchicago. We also have high resolution images of student artwork

available upon request. Please contact Kennon Reinard at kreinard@marwen.org or 312.374.2941 with requests.

 

ABOUT MARWEN

Since 1987, Marwen has educated and inspired young people from Chicago’s under-resourced communities and schools through the visual arts. Marwen provides free visual art courses, college planning, and career development programs to 6-12th graders from across the city. For more information visit marwen.org

MARWEN'S "MAKE IT BIG" THEMED PAINTBRUSH BALL RAISES $580,000+ FOR
CREATIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
VIEW PHOTO GALLERY
(Chicago, IL - June 11, 2019)
 
Marwen is pleased to share the success of its 2019 Paintbrush Ball, which on May 18 raised more than $580,000 for free visual arts programming, college planning, and career development for Chicago youth from under-resourced communities and schools. Paintbrush Ball, which was held at Rockwell on the River (3057 N. Rockwell Street), celebrated Marwen's commitment to the artistic and personal development of our young people.
 
"Marwen is not possible without the generosity and passion of this community of advocates," shared Executive Director Akilah Halley. "I'm thankful for their belief in our work and deep commitment to help young people across Chicago become thriving adults through the arts." 
 
Event co-chairs and Marwen trustees James Hill III (President at ICL, LLC) and Chiara Wrocinski (Senior Director of Firmwide Legal Recruiting and Development at Kirkland & Ellis) emceed the evening, which included remarks from Executive Director Akilah Halley and Board Chair Marcy Carlin. Notable guests included Ann KaplanTony KarmanMadeleine Grynsztejn and Tom ShapiroCarol and Larry LevySteve and Karen BerkowitzKevin and Jane BergEmmanuel NonyBritt Nolan, and more.
 
The evening's lively auctioneers were Gary Metzner (SVP of Sotheby's) and Marwen Trustee Molly Morse Limmer. Event entertainment was provided by DJ Matt Roan, and catering was provided by Limelight. The event theme "Make it Big" was conceived by Leo Burnett, Department of Design.
 
2019 PAINTBRUSH BALL SPONSORS
 
Marwen's 2019 Paintbrush Ball was generously supported by the following sponsors:
 
Premier Sponsors: Kirkland & Ellis | Northern Trust; Inspiration Sponsors: Blick Art Materials | BMO Harris | FCB Chicago | Gensler | Grosvenor | McKinsey & Company | Power Construction | Merrill Lynch; and In-kind Sponsors: EFFEN | Half Acre | Heaven's Door | Limelight | Perman Wine Selections | Potluck Creative | Social Sparkling Wine
 
2019 HOST COMMITTEE
 
Marwen's 2019 Paintbrush Ball was generously hosted by the following individuals, foundations, and companies:
 
Ellen Alberding and Kelly Welsh | Matthew Bayer and Joyce Yaung | Barnett Capital | Kevin and Jane Berg | Steve and Karen Berkowitz | Heiji and Brian Black | Amy and Andy Bluhm | Robert Buchsbaum and Elyse Klein | Rob Buono and Liz Cicchelli | Marcy and Greg Carlin | Steve and Lois Eisen | Caryn Englander and Richard Bollow | John Ettelson | Marilyn and Larry Fields | Chris Paloian Fixler and Jon Fixler | James and Mary Hill / ICL, LLC | Leslie Hindman Auctioneers | InnerWorkings | Mary Ittelson | Andy and Karen Jacobs | Katherine Scott Jimenez and James Jimenez | Zachary Johnson | Anne L. Kaplan | Carol and Larry Levy | Kenny and Heather Mitchell | Lee and Sharon Oberlander | Sally and Scott Pofcher | Isa and Adam Pressman | Pritzker Traubert Foundation | Suellen and Philippe Ravanas | Elliot and Susan Rawls | Carmita and George Semaan | Tom Shapiro and Madeleine Grynsztejn | Shalini Sharma and Pradip Patiath | William Singer and JoAnne Cicchelli | Ruchika and Vik Sohoni | Rich and Lee Anne Stoddart | John and Jill Svoboda | Mark and Sue Thorndyke | Tom Wilson and Jill Garling | Chiara and Dan Wrocinski | Karen Zelden and Ralph Senst
 
ABOUT MARWEN
Since 1987, Marwen has educated and inspired young people from Chicago's under-resourced communities and schools through the visual arts. Marwen provides free art courses, college planning, and career development programs to 6-12th graders from across the city. For more information visit marwen.org.
Paintbrush Ball 2019 Raises $580K for Creative Youth Development Programs [June 11, 2019]
+
MARWEN'S "MAKE IT BIG" THEMED PAINTBRUSH BALL RAISES $580,000+ FOR
CREATIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
VIEW PHOTO GALLERY
(Chicago, IL - June 11, 2019)
 
Marwen is pleased to share the success of its 2019 Paintbrush Ball, which on May 18 raised more than $580,000 for free visual arts programming, college planning, and career development for Chicago youth from under-resourced communities and schools. Paintbrush Ball, which was held at Rockwell on the River (3057 N. Rockwell Street), celebrated Marwen's commitment to the artistic and personal development of our young people.
 
"Marwen is not possible without the generosity and passion of this community of advocates," shared Executive Director Akilah Halley. "I'm thankful for their belief in our work and deep commitment to help young people across Chicago become thriving adults through the arts." 
 
Event co-chairs and Marwen trustees James Hill III (President at ICL, LLC) and Chiara Wrocinski (Senior Director of Firmwide Legal Recruiting and Development at Kirkland & Ellis) emceed the evening, which included remarks from Executive Director Akilah Halley and Board Chair Marcy Carlin. Notable guests included Ann KaplanTony KarmanMadeleine Grynsztejn and Tom ShapiroCarol and Larry LevySteve and Karen BerkowitzKevin and Jane BergEmmanuel NonyBritt Nolan, and more.
 
The evening's lively auctioneers were Gary Metzner (SVP of Sotheby's) and Marwen Trustee Molly Morse Limmer. Event entertainment was provided by DJ Matt Roan, and catering was provided by Limelight. The event theme "Make it Big" was conceived by Leo Burnett, Department of Design.
 
2019 PAINTBRUSH BALL SPONSORS
 
Marwen's 2019 Paintbrush Ball was generously supported by the following sponsors:
 
Premier Sponsors: Kirkland & Ellis | Northern Trust; Inspiration Sponsors: Blick Art Materials | BMO Harris | FCB Chicago | Gensler | Grosvenor | McKinsey & Company | Power Construction | Merrill Lynch; and In-kind Sponsors: EFFEN | Half Acre | Heaven's Door | Limelight | Perman Wine Selections | Potluck Creative | Social Sparkling Wine
 
2019 HOST COMMITTEE
 
Marwen's 2019 Paintbrush Ball was generously hosted by the following individuals, foundations, and companies:
 
Ellen Alberding and Kelly Welsh | Matthew Bayer and Joyce Yaung | Barnett Capital | Kevin and Jane Berg | Steve and Karen Berkowitz | Heiji and Brian Black | Amy and Andy Bluhm | Robert Buchsbaum and Elyse Klein | Rob Buono and Liz Cicchelli | Marcy and Greg Carlin | Steve and Lois Eisen | Caryn Englander and Richard Bollow | John Ettelson | Marilyn and Larry Fields | Chris Paloian Fixler and Jon Fixler | James and Mary Hill / ICL, LLC | Leslie Hindman Auctioneers | InnerWorkings | Mary Ittelson | Andy and Karen Jacobs | Katherine Scott Jimenez and James Jimenez | Zachary Johnson | Anne L. Kaplan | Carol and Larry Levy | Kenny and Heather Mitchell | Lee and Sharon Oberlander | Sally and Scott Pofcher | Isa and Adam Pressman | Pritzker Traubert Foundation | Suellen and Philippe Ravanas | Elliot and Susan Rawls | Carmita and George Semaan | Tom Shapiro and Madeleine Grynsztejn | Shalini Sharma and Pradip Patiath | William Singer and JoAnne Cicchelli | Ruchika and Vik Sohoni | Rich and Lee Anne Stoddart | John and Jill Svoboda | Mark and Sue Thorndyke | Tom Wilson and Jill Garling | Chiara and Dan Wrocinski | Karen Zelden and Ralph Senst
 
ABOUT MARWEN
Since 1987, Marwen has educated and inspired young people from Chicago's under-resourced communities and schools through the visual arts. Marwen provides free art courses, college planning, and career development programs to 6-12th graders from across the city. For more information visit marwen.org.
MARWEN BRINGS STUDENT-DESIGNED GREETING CARDS & ARTIST-LED WORKSHOPS TO
ONE OF A KIND SHOW CHICAGO
Cards designed by Marwen students
(Chicago, IL - April 19, 2019) Marwen is thrilled to announce a partnership with the One of a Kind Show Chicago to showcase its student-designed greeting cards and prints. For three days only, April 26-28, at the Merchandise Mart, visitors can shop Marwen's student-designed cards and prints and participate in free button-making and artmaking workshops led by Marwen teaching artists, students, and families. 100% of sales support Marwen's free visual arts programming for Chicago's young people from under-resourced communities and schools.
 
All greeting cards for sale were designed through Marwen's Design to Print program, where high school students apply and are commissioned to create original artwork and learn the business side of the industry. Marwen will offer individual cards, 8- and 12-packs, and special variety packs, as well as a limited series of original, artist-signed prints.
 
The One of a Kind Show Chicago runs April 26-28 on the 7th floor of the Merchandise Mart (222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza). For hours, tickets, and more information, visit https://oneofakindshowchicago.com
 
Cards designed by Marwen students
 
All days + hours of the show
Marwen students and families invite guests to make mini DIY buttons at our craft station and to add a design to our giant Draw Wall!
 
Friday (April 26, 1-3 pm)
Block Printing Workshop
Rachelle Hill (Studio Technician and teaching artist at Marwen) will lead a block printing workshop. Select your favorite designs and colors, roll on the ink, stamp your paper, then take your print home!
 
Saturday (April 27, 1-3 pm)
Jewelry Making Workshop
Alexis Ellers (Chicago artist and teaching artist at Marwen) will lead a jewelry-making workshop. Design and craft a pair of earrings or a keychain using leather, vinyl, and other fun materials.
 
Sunday, April 28, 1-3 pm
Jewelry Making Workshop
Crystal Bahena (Chicago artist and studio facilitator at Marwen) will lead a jewelry-making workshop. Design and craft a pair of earrings or a keychain using leather, vinyl, and other fun materials.
ABOUT MARWEN
Since 1987, Marwen has educated and inspired young people from Chicago's under-resourced communities and schools through the visual arts. Marwen provides free visual art courses, college planning, and career development programs to 6-12th graders from across the city. For more information visit marwen.org
Marwen @ One of a Kind Show Chicago [April 19, 2019]
+
MARWEN BRINGS STUDENT-DESIGNED GREETING CARDS & ARTIST-LED WORKSHOPS TO
ONE OF A KIND SHOW CHICAGO
Cards designed by Marwen students
(Chicago, IL - April 19, 2019) Marwen is thrilled to announce a partnership with the One of a Kind Show Chicago to showcase its student-designed greeting cards and prints. For three days only, April 26-28, at the Merchandise Mart, visitors can shop Marwen's student-designed cards and prints and participate in free button-making and artmaking workshops led by Marwen teaching artists, students, and families. 100% of sales support Marwen's free visual arts programming for Chicago's young people from under-resourced communities and schools.
 
All greeting cards for sale were designed through Marwen's Design to Print program, where high school students apply and are commissioned to create original artwork and learn the business side of the industry. Marwen will offer individual cards, 8- and 12-packs, and special variety packs, as well as a limited series of original, artist-signed prints.
 
The One of a Kind Show Chicago runs April 26-28 on the 7th floor of the Merchandise Mart (222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza). For hours, tickets, and more information, visit https://oneofakindshowchicago.com
 
Cards designed by Marwen students
 
All days + hours of the show
Marwen students and families invite guests to make mini DIY buttons at our craft station and to add a design to our giant Draw Wall!
 
Friday (April 26, 1-3 pm)
Block Printing Workshop
Rachelle Hill (Studio Technician and teaching artist at Marwen) will lead a block printing workshop. Select your favorite designs and colors, roll on the ink, stamp your paper, then take your print home!
 
Saturday (April 27, 1-3 pm)
Jewelry Making Workshop
Alexis Ellers (Chicago artist and teaching artist at Marwen) will lead a jewelry-making workshop. Design and craft a pair of earrings or a keychain using leather, vinyl, and other fun materials.
 
Sunday, April 28, 1-3 pm
Jewelry Making Workshop
Crystal Bahena (Chicago artist and studio facilitator at Marwen) will lead a jewelry-making workshop. Design and craft a pair of earrings or a keychain using leather, vinyl, and other fun materials.
ABOUT MARWEN
Since 1987, Marwen has educated and inspired young people from Chicago's under-resourced communities and schools through the visual arts. Marwen provides free visual art courses, college planning, and career development programs to 6-12th graders from across the city. For more information visit marwen.org

MARWEN ANNOUNCES AURORA TOSHIKO KING

AS DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION

 

“I believe that art and creative expression are fundamental to our humanity and essential for our collective liberation.” -- Aurora Toshiko King

 

(Chicago, IL – April 1, 2019) Marwen is excited to announce that Aurora Toshiko King has been named Director of Education as of April 1. In her role, Aurora will work closely with leadership to set a strategic vision across all program areas: studio programs; teaching artist professional development opportunities; college, career and alumni initiatives; and student and family engagement efforts. She will shape vision for education at Marwen, centered around youth development.

 

“Marwen helps young people shape pathways to thrive as individuals and creative contributors to our collective community,” said Executive Director Akilah Halley. “We’re excited to welcome Aurora and learn from her experience in creative youth development methodologies rooted in social justice. She fully embodies Marwen’s values of creativity, empathy, agency, reciprocity, inclusion, collaboration, and reflection. We’re energized by how we can evolve with her leadership.”

 

“I have had the opportunity to collaborate with the most incredible young people, teaching artists, staff, families, and partners through my work,” said Aurora. “I look forward to learning from and forming relationships with the team at Marwen as well as artists and educators across Chicago. I have been inspired by artists, community arts organizations, and arts education work in Chicago for years and am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from the brilliance and complexity of this incredible city.”

 

Aurora Toshiko King’s experience includes working as an educator and administrator in Oakland and San Francisco public schools. She was most recently the Director of Programs at Destiny Arts Center in Oakland, California, where she worked to develop social-justice-focused creative youth development programs. Born and raised in the tomato belt of Northern California, she worked in close collaboration with educators, teaching artists, and administrators in Bay Area public schools and community based organizations to bring creative expression into the education system in ways that were sustainable, equitable, and culturally responsive.

 

Prior to Destiny, Aurora worked as the Program Manager at Performing Arts Workshop in San Francisco where she deepened the organization’s work in the neighborhood by collaborating with educators and administrators to create culturally responsive programs. She also supports state, local, and national efforts to advance equity in the arts and is an active participant in the Creative Youth Development National Partnership. She has worked closely with leaders at the National Guild for Community Arts Education to highlight the importance of using a social justice framework for creative youth development. Aurora is also a mother, an artist, and an advocate. She holds a BA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.

 

ABOUT MARWEN

Since 1987, Marwen has educated and inspired young people from Chicago’s under-resourced communities and schools through the visual arts. Now, in its 31st year and having served more than 10,000 students, Marwen continues to provide free art courses, college planning, and career development programs to 6-12th graders who have come from 55 of Chicago’s 57 zip codes. For more information visit marwen.org

Marwen Announces Aurora Toshiko King as Director of Education [April 1, 2019]
+

MARWEN ANNOUNCES AURORA TOSHIKO KING

AS DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION

 

“I believe that art and creative expression are fundamental to our humanity and essential for our collective liberation.” -- Aurora Toshiko King

 

(Chicago, IL – April 1, 2019) Marwen is excited to announce that Aurora Toshiko King has been named Director of Education as of April 1. In her role, Aurora will work closely with leadership to set a strategic vision across all program areas: studio programs; teaching artist professional development opportunities; college, career and alumni initiatives; and student and family engagement efforts. She will shape vision for education at Marwen, centered around youth development.

 

“Marwen helps young people shape pathways to thrive as individuals and creative contributors to our collective community,” said Executive Director Akilah Halley. “We’re excited to welcome Aurora and learn from her experience in creative youth development methodologies rooted in social justice. She fully embodies Marwen’s values of creativity, empathy, agency, reciprocity, inclusion, collaboration, and reflection. We’re energized by how we can evolve with her leadership.”

 

“I have had the opportunity to collaborate with the most incredible young people, teaching artists, staff, families, and partners through my work,” said Aurora. “I look forward to learning from and forming relationships with the team at Marwen as well as artists and educators across Chicago. I have been inspired by artists, community arts organizations, and arts education work in Chicago for years and am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from the brilliance and complexity of this incredible city.”

 

Aurora Toshiko King’s experience includes working as an educator and administrator in Oakland and San Francisco public schools. She was most recently the Director of Programs at Destiny Arts Center in Oakland, California, where she worked to develop social-justice-focused creative youth development programs. Born and raised in the tomato belt of Northern California, she worked in close collaboration with educators, teaching artists, and administrators in Bay Area public schools and community based organizations to bring creative expression into the education system in ways that were sustainable, equitable, and culturally responsive.

 

Prior to Destiny, Aurora worked as the Program Manager at Performing Arts Workshop in San Francisco where she deepened the organization’s work in the neighborhood by collaborating with educators and administrators to create culturally responsive programs. She also supports state, local, and national efforts to advance equity in the arts and is an active participant in the Creative Youth Development National Partnership. She has worked closely with leaders at the National Guild for Community Arts Education to highlight the importance of using a social justice framework for creative youth development. Aurora is also a mother, an artist, and an advocate. She holds a BA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.

 

ABOUT MARWEN

Since 1987, Marwen has educated and inspired young people from Chicago’s under-resourced communities and schools through the visual arts. Now, in its 31st year and having served more than 10,000 students, Marwen continues to provide free art courses, college planning, and career development programs to 6-12th graders who have come from 55 of Chicago’s 57 zip codes. For more information visit marwen.org

"Marwen has done so much for me. Honestly, without Marwen, I probably wouldn't be going to college, and I wouldn't feel like I could take art as a career. I probably would've been stuck not knowing what to do."

 

When 17-year-old Aileen Castro learned she could turn her passion for art into a career, she began to make big decisions. But those decisions weren’t easy.
 
During her junior year at Curie Metropolitan High School, Aileen decided she was going to leave for the remaining year-and-a-half and obtain her General Educational Development (GED) diploma instead.
 
“I was really scared when I had dropped out of school because I thought that would be it for Marwen. I didn't know if Marwen was going to judge me [for] it,” Aileen said. “But all the staff at Marwen have been wonderful. They're just happy that I'm here. It's just nice to not have people look at you and say 'she might not make it.' It's nice to feel like I'm welcome here.” READ FULL PROFILE
Meet Aileen Castro: Photographer, printmaker, and digital illustrator
+

"Marwen has done so much for me. Honestly, without Marwen, I probably wouldn't be going to college, and I wouldn't feel like I could take art as a career. I probably would've been stuck not knowing what to do."

 

When 17-year-old Aileen Castro learned she could turn her passion for art into a career, she began to make big decisions. But those decisions weren’t easy.
 
During her junior year at Curie Metropolitan High School, Aileen decided she was going to leave for the remaining year-and-a-half and obtain her General Educational Development (GED) diploma instead.
 
“I was really scared when I had dropped out of school because I thought that would be it for Marwen. I didn't know if Marwen was going to judge me [for] it,” Aileen said. “But all the staff at Marwen have been wonderful. They're just happy that I'm here. It's just nice to not have people look at you and say 'she might not make it.' It's nice to feel like I'm welcome here.” READ FULL PROFILE

 

“Marwen is not a place where people are going to judge you for who you are. You can be open about it, and you’re going to fit right in. There’s nothing wrong or different about you. You’re a regular person like us. We all have the desire and love for art. We can all improve on that together. I’ll probably be teaching here one day. I could say ‘I was in your seat, in your place. I know what you’re going through.’”
 
For 14-year-old David Crain, art means opportunities. And opportunities are exactly what David has gained from his time at Marwen.
 
David has been making art since he was a kindergartner at Telpochcalli Elementary School, a small school in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood that aims to integrate Mexican arts and culture in academia. READ MORE
Meet David Crain: An aspiring animator at Marwen
+

 

“Marwen is not a place where people are going to judge you for who you are. You can be open about it, and you’re going to fit right in. There’s nothing wrong or different about you. You’re a regular person like us. We all have the desire and love for art. We can all improve on that together. I’ll probably be teaching here one day. I could say ‘I was in your seat, in your place. I know what you’re going through.’”
 
For 14-year-old David Crain, art means opportunities. And opportunities are exactly what David has gained from his time at Marwen.
 
David has been making art since he was a kindergartner at Telpochcalli Elementary School, a small school in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood that aims to integrate Mexican arts and culture in academia. READ MORE

Share Marwen’s Story

We are happy to accommodate media requests as a means of sharing our impact and reaching out to more students and families. These requests include interviews, location shoots, hi-res photography, and video footage.
Contact Us