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1637 N. Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60622


Street-Level Youth Media is a non-profit, media arts literacy organization serving Chicago's youth.  We teach audio engineering, mixing, video production, digital photography, online journalism, and more.  If you are between the ages of 12 through 24, all of our programs and services are free.

If you live in Chicago and are between 12 - 24 years old, come take part in one or all of our media arts programs, book a private studio session, use our computer lab or join one of our clubs.  We also host an open-mic on the first Friday of each month.  

Mild Sauce

A Youth-Run Webzine From Chicago.

Nancy M. Abbate


Mild Sauce is a webzine covering news and commentary on the people, culture, and events of Chicago. The journalists are young adults (under 25) who live and breathe this city, and are committed to high-quality news and storytelling.

We tell the stories of younger generations that are too often overlooked by mainstream media. We also aim to pass on news literacy skills to our readers, and cultivate critical engagement with the media in our peers.

“Out at Wrigley” Promotes Equality at Northside Stadium

Nancy M. Abbate

By: D. McCray



The Chicago Cubs are your team if you’re looking for LGBT understanding, and forward thinking! 

Not only is Wrigley Field adjacent to Boystown, the gay center of Chicago, but the Cubs have a float in the annual gay pride parade. The team’s co-owner, Laura Ricketts, is an out and proud married lesbian who is very visible in the LGBT community.

And most remarkably, the Cubs have also been holding a gay day event each year at Wrigley Field since 2001, now called “Out at Wrigley”, making it the longest-running LGBT-themed day among the 30 Major League Baseball teams. Bill Gubrud, the gay Chicagoan who started Out at Wrigley and a lifelong Cubs fans, posted,

“When I started working for the gay press in 2000 via the newspaper Chicago Free Press, my very first sales call was to the Chicago Cubs. The Chicago Cubs became the first professional male sports team to advertise in a gay paper in the country and I am proud to spearhead that effort.” (

LGBT Athletes and Their Rights


LGBT athletes are afraid to be themselves around their teammates and in the public…


By: Destiny M.

LGBT athletes do not want to come out, for they are afraid to be themselves around their teammates and in the public (Chicago). This issue should not be occurring because it is not right to judge and discriminate against people you don’t even know. This issue should be seen as important because athletes, whatever their religion, gender, and sexual orientation, should be able to play whatever sport they like without being seen differently from others.

Derrick Gordon is the first openly gay division 1 college basketball player. Even though he is very happy with himself now, it took some time for him to get there. Gordon started to realize his attraction towards guys when he was in the eighth grade. He turned towards the internet because there was no one he felt comfortable sharing his feeling with. That is where Gordon met someone he started dating while during his transfer at UMass. Gordon states, ”I’d have to sneak around just to see him and I didn’t want to do that anymore. Why should I be sneaking around with someone I want to be with and this is who I am?”

This exhibits how LGBT individuals are afraid to come out because they are always worried about whether they are going to be ridiculed for being themselves or just treated differently than from before they were out. I asked a friend about how they felt coaches should handle homophobic players this is what they stated, ”There should be no way of handling them. The LGBT athletes should just be seen as equal. I’m sure they don’t want any special treatment. They’re just looking for equality”- Frances. This validates that there are people out there who understand what LGBT athletes are going through and are willing to accept them for who they are.

What it means to be equal is a person or thing considered to be the same as another in status or equality. Equality is what these LGBT athletes are looking for, however, they don’t believe they will receive it if they come out. Gordon states,”I honestly wish everybody would come out. Even if you don’t play sports, I wish everybody would come out. You may not think you have support, but you’re going to have support.” That is a message everyone should keep in mind.

“They’re just looking for equality.”

The main reason why those LGBT athletes don’t want to come out is because they are afraid of things changing for them negatively. A gay athlete who has come out, Robbie Rogers, states,”Yeah, that’s the big thing: people don’t know what’s going to happen. People are afraid, obviously, that things might change for them. I don’t necessarily think that the majority of athletes are homophobic; the sports culture is.” The sports culture is the way things are done in sports and traditions. It is mainly perceived as inherently homophobic because it is a mindset that people who play sports should be all straight and manly but that is not the case anymore.

This issue should be seen as important because there are still many LGBT athletes who are in need of reassurance that if they come out they won’t be judged for it. I asked another person if they thought the issue can be resolved and they said, ”I guess it can only be resolved if people come in with an open mind”-Elizabeth. That is what everyone needs to realize if they want change. People need to realize that having an open mind is the only thing that can spark change for LGBT athletes.

You'd Probably Believe It, "Prove It"



Fake news have been going on for many years, most people believe what they see on the social media and random internet sites. Maybe you are someone who's been fooled by something you've seen on the internet. Satire sites like The Onion look very believable but also very funny. Fake news sites ranges to many different groups, there is the straight up fake and hoax site, the satire sites and clickbait sites. The best way to find if they are fake is by identifying major things:

  • Does the headline match the facts within the story? No, than is a hoax site.
  • Is the story found on major news site and does it hold the same information as it? If not than it's probably satire or clickbait.
  • Or check it on Snopes.
  • And of course always check their sources!

According to a recent CNET article  two percent of Americans, no matter the age believes what they read online. Two percent might seem small but that’s 6,378,000 people, now that's a lot of people. See the video below? The is totally fake, you can not charge an iPod with an onion, but two percent of the population believes it's real.

Produced by Gabby, 17

Are You Beautiful?



As social media grows, new trends start to rise to the surface and as celebrities start praising the trends, the rest of the world follows sue. Some of the most popular trends have to do with beauty, whether it be the shape of your body, the way you do your makeup or the color of your skin, and some physical characteristics of people are extolled more than others.  For example, the ‘Don’t Judge Me Challenge’ shows videos of people transforming from ‘ugly’ to ‘beautiful’. The message behind it was to not judge a book by it’s cover, but somewhere along the lines, people started feeling like if they had freckles, moles, thick eyebrows or wore glasses that they can’t be beautiful. We tend to be hard on our self-appearance as we are being fed this information about what’s beautiful and what isn’t, but what does beautiful actually mean?


Catfish Caught




  • If someone's profile pictures seem to from google images then that's prolly a fake account.
  •  If most or all of that person's friends are not from where their status says they live then its most likely a fake profile. Example: Profiles says they live in Chicago, IL but they don't have any friends in Chicago. RED FLAG.
  • Anyone can add pictures but if they are all not tagged maybe they're stolen pictures from real accounts or from Google.
  • On twitter if they tons and tons of tweets, like 200,500 tweets then they are probably not real.
  • If the photos just seem too pretty, this should raise a red flag. Just remember the perfect person is not real.
  • Check out the follower count. If they are following tons of people but have very little followers. Not good.

Many people on social media create or have a false profile on social media. However, some of these accounts are used to harm others while others just may want to protect their identity online. Here's some info from WNYC that talks about fake profile generators and below that is one of the sites that generates various fake account profiles with just a click.

Produced by Brenda, 17




  Wear Orange Partners with Street-Level Youth Media to Sponsor First-Ever "Voices of Orange" Talent Competition


“Wear Orange” Inspired by Bold and Creative Chicago Teens Who Refused to be Silent in the Face of Daily Gun Violence; Competition as Avenue for Others to Raise Voices;

Entries Due by April 4; Grand Prize Includes $3,000, Opportunity to Perform at the Chicago Party for Peace for National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 2, 2016

CHICAGO – As part of the build up to the second annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 2, 2016, Wear Orange is partnering with Street-Level Youth Media to sponsor the first-ever “Voices of Orange” talent competition.

On January 29, 2013, Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old Chicago high school student, was shot to death. To help honor her life, Hadiya’s friends chose to wear orange – the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others. On June 2, 2015, which would have been Hadiya’s 18th birthday, a massive coalition came together to wear orange for the first-ever National Gun Violence Awareness Day to honor Hadiya’s life, the lives of the 88 Americans who are shot and killed every day and the hundreds more injured due to gun violence. The #WearingOrange message, which was shared by President Obama, MTV, BJ the Chicago Kid, Motown Records, Russell Simmons, the New York Mets and thousands of others, reached 220 million people in just one day.

Wear Orange was inspired by bold and creative Chicago teens who refused to be silent in the face of daily gun violence. From song, to rap, to spoken word, the “Voices of Orange” talent competition is a way for other Chicago teens to add their voices to the effort to reduce gun violence in this country.

Entries will be accepted starting today through April 4, 2016. Special consideration will be given to submissions about peace, nonviolence or reducing gun violence. The winning prize is $3,000, the chance to have submissions seen by Grammy-nominated artist and “Voices of Orange” celebrity judge, Andra Day, and the opportunity to perform for a huge crowd that will include major record label executives at the Chicago Party for Peace on National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 2, 2016.

More information about the competition and entry requirements is available at

The Struggle Is Real


A high school student is struggling to find ways to get money to support is family. As a last resort he decides to sell drugs but realizes he made a mistake. The short story includes 2 music videos that help to tell the story of the main character.

"The golden Era" - Draii BLAC




by Me'Chelle

Draii BLAC has been apart of Street Level Youth Media programs going on 3 years now. He is a multitalented artist with a ear for good sound. He's a lyricist and a producer with a unique style.

His Instrumental EP "The golden Era" captures Hip Hop and fantasy then blends them together to sound like the perfect match. His Instrumental enTRACE samples the video game "Metroid".

The Bookstore Cat



The Bookstore Cat by Frita Beauchamp

FullSizeRender FullSizeRender (1) FullSizeRender (2)

Beatriz Ledesma and Suzanne Erfurth




Last Friday a bookstore party was held for, The Secret Life of Hodge, the Bookstore Cat, which was released in late January, in Chicago’s downtown Fine Arts Building.

Many people think, The Secret Life of Hodge, the Bookstore Cat, is fictional; everything that occurs in the book is, except for the cat! The author, Suzanne Erfurth, 60, who attended the University of Chicago and graduated with a degree in English, only wrote about Hodge as a stress reliever.

“I would write emails about what would happen if Hodge decided to rewrite a song, or what would Hodges’ view of somebody that annoys me, how he would express it, who would he bite.” Erfurth said.

Although Erfurth only thought close friends and colleagues were only seeing her short stories about Hodge, that wasn’t the case. Erfurth’s friend, Keith, would post her short stories on different social media platforms for Suzanne.

“Keith would post on his Facebook page and I didn’t know this for weeks,” Erfurth continued, ”then it became a blog on his website and I didn’t know about that for months.”

While Suzanne was surprised her stories were being seen by the public and on a variety of social media outlets, she was pleased.

“Finally I just kept doing it and figuring it will keep showing up on the Facebook page and the blog.” Erfurth said.

After a series of short stories and people telling Erfuth she has enough content to write a book and her friend, Beatriz E. Ledesma, volunteering to illustrate, Erfurth decided to create, The Secret Life of Hodge, the Bookstore Cat.

“[Beatriz] came up with these amazing illustrations that were the perfect fit,” Erfurth said, “the merging of them is nice, it’s like my kind of dry sense humor and her beautiful magical realist stuff.”

Argentinian illustrator, Beatriz E. Ledesma, 58, graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a masters in fine art and art therapy, had a great time creating 39 magical-realist watercolor illustrations during her first collaboration.

“I really respect and like Suzanne a lot,” Ledesma said, “I just know her mind and it was just a beautiful collaboration and it was a lot of fun.”

Both Erfurth and Ledesma had a great time creating, The Secret Life of Hodge, the Bookstore Cat, they hoped to not only share their love for Hodge with people, but hope that people have enjoyment.

If interested in reading The Secret Life of Hodge, the Bookstore Cat, contact:

Nearly half of young black men in Chicago out of work, out of school: report




Nearly half of young black men in Chicago are neither in school nor working, far exceeding the share nationally and in comparable big cities, according to a new report.

Forty-seven percent of 20- to 24-year-old black men in Chicago, and 44 percent in Illinois, were out of school and out of work in 2014, according to the report from the University of Illinois at Chicago's Great Cities Institute that was commissioned by the Alternative Schools Network.

Continue reading..

"Worthless" song by Dejay Garcia



by Me'Chelle  

"Worthless" is about life's challenges and how the problems he has encountered made him feel less than the man he is. He hopes to reach people who have had similar feelings to understand they aren't alone. Dejay Garcia is a well known Chicago Battle rapper from the south side of Chicago. His songs have reached listeners nation wide and he has performed all over the Chicagoland area.