1180 N. Milwaukee Chicago IL, 60642

Workshop: 6:00pm – 7:00pm

Open Mic: 7:00 – 8:30pm

Year Round – Every Tuesday


#WordPlay is Chicago’s longest running youth workshop and open mic. Participants of all ages are welcome to attend this free program. Workshop begins at 6:00pm and is led by one of YCA’s teaching artists. The open mic begins at 7:00pm and averages over 80 audience members a week. Participants have the opportunity to perform pieces in progress or finished work in front of a supportive audience. Programming concludes with a feature from a special guest artist. Chance The Rapper, Adam Mansbach, Kids These Days and many others have featured at #WordPlay.

General Information

  • #WordPlay is a safe space meaning no racist, sexist, homophobic or anti-group language is allowed.

  • Workshop participants are given priority on the open mic list.

  • Participants are welcome to use YCA’s media lounge before #WordPlay as long as a staff member is present.

  • All forms of art are welcome at the open mic

  • New participants are given an introduction by our Artist in Residence and will find a community of like-minded individuals ready to share their own art and respectfully listen to others.

  • Participants range from 15-35 years old.

  • Bus passes are available to participants.

For more information about #WordPlay please contact our Director of Programs Anna Festa at anna@youngchicagoauthors.org or 773.486.4331

July Features:

  • July 1st, 2014 -- chicago-based creative and thinker, Reggie Eldridge.
  • July 8th, 2014 --  writer and poet hailing from South Africa, Tumelo Khoza.
  • July 15th, 2014 -- Louder Than A Bomb Champion and Young Chicago Authors Alumni, Dominique James.
  • July 22nd, 2014 -- Chicagoan arts worker, Christian Cruz.
  • July 29th, 2014 -- Phoenix Military Academy After School Matters Program Participants.