Our Team

Executive Leadership

Our Team
Artistic Director

Kevin Coval

Kevin Coval is a poet and community builder. As the artistic director of Young Chicago Authors, founder of Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival, and professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago—where he teaches hip-hop aesthetics—he’s mentored thousands of young writers, artists and musicians.

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Rebecca Hunter

Executive Director

Rebecca Hunter has more than 15 years of local and international experience in the cultural sector. Before joining Young Chicago Authors as Executive Director in 2011, Ms. Hunter was formerly a Producing Director and Executive Producer of Redmoon Theater. Prior to joining Redmoon Theater in 2005, she was based in London UK and Belfast Northern Ireland where she organized literature festivals, arts festivals, cultural programs, conferences and events. Ms. Hunter also served as General Manager of Active Alloys, an entrepreneurial metal fabrication and design studio based in Chicago.

Artistic

Our Team
Britteney Black Rose Kapri  Artistic Fellow

Britteney Black Rose Kapri

Artistic Fellow

Britteney Black Rose Kapri is a Chicago teaching artist, writer, performance poet and playwright. She is a staff member for Black Nerd Problems and Pink Door Women’s Writing Retreat. Her first chapbook Winona and Winthrop was published in June of 2014 through New School Poetics. She is a 2015 Rona Jaffe Writers Award Recipient. Her book Black Queer Hoe was released in the fall of 2018 by Haymarket Books.


Jamila Woods Associate Artistic Director

Jamila Woods

Associate Artistic Director

Jamila Woods is a poet, singer, and teaching artist from Chicago, IL. She the Associate Artistic Director of Young Chicago Authors and a founding member of YCA’s Teaching Artist Corps. A Pushcart Prize winner, her poetry has been published by Poetry Magazine, Haymarket Books and Third World Press. Jamila was a 2015 recipient of the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship awarded by the Poetry Foundation. She is also a member of the Dark Noise Collective of poets & educators of color. Jamila recently released her debut solo album HEAVN to rave reviews by Pitchfork & the Chicago Tribune.

José Olivarez Teaching Artist Fellow

José Olivarez

Teaching Artist Fellow

José Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants and the author of the book of poems, Citizen Illegal. Along with Felicia Chavez and Willie Perdomo, he is co-editing the forthcoming anthology, The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNEXT. He is the co-host of the poetry podcast, The Poetry Gods and a recipient of fellowships from CantoMundo, Poets House, the Bronx Council on the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, & the Conversation Literary Festival. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Chicago.


 

Teaching Artist Corps Members

Our Team
Dominique James

Dominique James

Dominique James is a daughter of Chicago and South Side sweetheart, is a poet, performer, teacher, and student. Her first book, Saffronia was published in 2013. She graduated from Howard University in 2017 and is currently completing a fellowship at the University of Chicago. She is a teaching artist with Young Chicago Authors and runs Nikki-Rosa.com, a platform committed to celebrating and supporting Black women. She is the founder of the Babygirl Initiative, a project that explores, documents, celebrates, and reimagines Black girlhood through workshops, reading groups, a digital archive, and other programming.


E'mon Lauren

E'mon Lauren

E’mon Lauren is from the South Side of Chicago. She is a Scorpio enthusiast and a firm believer in Dorthy Dandridge reincarnation. E’mon uses poetry and playwriting to explore a philosophy of hood womanism. She was named Chicago’s first Youth Poet Laureate. A former Kuumba Lynx Performance Ensemble slam team member and Louder Than a Bomb champion, E’mon has performed in many venues including The Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival and The Chicago Hip Hop Theatre Fest. She was a 2016 finalist for The Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award. Her first chapbook COMMANDO, was published by Haymarket Books, in Fall of 2017.


Luis Carranza

Luis Carranza

Luis Carranza is from south west side of Chicago. He is a writer, community organizer, and activist. Luis was captain of Little Village High School poetry slam team, and a Louder Than A Bomb semi-finalist. He has performed at Villapalooza, Art Institute of Chicago, Mamby on the Beach, and Open Books.

Matt Muse

Matt Muse

Matt Muse is a Hip-Hop artist/producer from Chicago. With a bold presence, dynamic lyricism, & a one of a kind live performance, Matt Muse has become a mainstay in the Chicago Hip-Hop scene while quietly, but certainly, moving toward national recognition. He was featured on ‘Sway in the Morning’ in the summer of 2015, and he has performed at multiple venues throughout Chicago; the most notable being headlining Chicago’s TIP Fest in July 2016 & on the September 2016 ‘AAHH! Fest’ main stage alongside J. Cole, Common, Vic Mensa, The Roots & more.


Patricia Frazier

Patricia Frazier

Patricia Frazier is an African American Poet, filmmaker and activist, and was raised in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood. Influenced by the mentors Fatimah Asghar, Jamila Woods, Regina Berg, and Mama Brenda, her writing aims to highlight the multifaceted intersections of Black women identity. She was a two-time finalist in Louder Than a Bomb Team finals and winner of the 2016 Louder Than a Bomb Jordan Slam. She is currently the National Youth Poet Laureate.

Tim 'Toaster' Henderson Teaching Artist Fellow

Tim 'Toaster' Henderson

Teaching Artist Fellow

Toaster is a performance poet, mural artist and musician, uses a kaleidoscope of artistic vision to create, express and teach. He has been featured on many stages across North America including Lexus Versus and Flow, National Public Radio, various National Slam competitions and in front of the most cutthroat audiences of all: teenagers. Aside from pursuing his own craft, Toaster works in Chicago schools as a teaching artist for Young Chicago Authors, as well as facilitating his own workshops in elementary schools, high schools, universities and various other educational settings.


Programs and Production

Our Team

Ana Wright

Public Programs Manager

Ana Wright first became involved with Young Chicago Authors as an LTAB volunteer. Her professional experience includes roles as a corporate communicator, project manager, as well as, elementary educator and high school Dean of Students for CPS. She has also acted as the CIMMcon Director for the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival (CIMMfest) and as the Programs Director for Chicago Filmmakers. She holds a Bachelors of Art in Broadcast Communications, Masters of Science in Project Management and a Masters of Art in Teaching in Elementary Education.

Heather Roberts

Senior Education Manager

Heather Roberts is a poet, performer, and a Teaching Artist. She earned her Bachelors in Performance Art from Cornell College. She worked as an AmeriCorps Vista at the Davenport Civil Rights Commission and as the Assistant Director and Interim Director of the Office of Intercultural Life at Cornell College. She earned her Masters in Organizational Leadership from St. Ambrose University. Heather is certified in Spoken Word Pedagogy from Concordia University.

Mariah Neuroth

Director of Programming and Production

Mariah Neuroth began her career in Chicago as the Youth Program Coordinator for RefugeeOne, co-founded and served as Education Director for Hermit Arts, a local arts organization dedicated to exposing youth and their adult allies to the arts as well as promoting and organizing local artists and writers. Mariah was founding board chair for the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation. Mariah has a Masters of Education in Youth Development from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Development and Communications

Our Team

Alissa Goldwasser

Director of Institutional Giving

Alissa Goldwasser is responsible for individual and institutional fundraising activities at YCA. Before joining YCA, Ms. Goldwasser was a freelance grant writer, working primarily with youth services organizations. She also worked for 10 years as an equity analyst in the investment banking sector. Ms. Goldwasser holds a M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Demetrius Amparan

Donor Relations Manager

Demetrius Amparan is a marketing and communications professional with eight years of experience creating opportunity for young people who come from inequitable environments. His upbringing in South Chicago inspired his belief in better life outcomes through quality support systems. Demetrius has served as the director of publications and marketing communications for Young Chicago Authors, and as communications manager for A Better Chicago. Demetrius has a BA in communications and public relations and sociology from Valparaiso University.

Nicholas Ward

Booking Manager

Nicholas Ward (Booking Manager) is a writer, booking manager, and event producer. He was the founder of NCW Booking, a boutique booking management agency. He has served as the Screenings Coordinator for the Emmy-nominated web series, Brown Girls, and as the Casting and School Associate at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. He is a long-time company member with 2nd Story, with whom he writes, curates, and teaches.

Nicole Humphrey

Brand Coordinator

Nicole Humphrey is a writer, visual artist and curator from Chicago. Growing up in Bronzeville, graduating from Wendell Phillips Academy HS then going on to attain a BA in English from Jackson State University, her experiences include merchandising, inventory management, event coordination, brand strategies and sales. She has been an LTAB volunteer, Chi-Track cohort participant and mentor, LTAB Merchandise Manager and YCA Site Manager. 

For all YCA media inquires or if there's an event, conference, contest you'd like YCA to share with our social community you can email flyer/links to Nicole

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Operations

Our Team

Lynna Tyler

Finance Manager

Scott Schenke

IT Manager