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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.  


Reflecting on a (Still) Bright Future: Media Literacy Week 2016

I like to think of myself as a fairly optimistic person. In the more than 25 years I’ve been advocating for media education, technology access, and youth voice, I’ve always felt that through this work, we were moving toward some better place as a society. I have to confess though that the last several months have left me rattled.

Who would have guessed that the media landscape would become so toxic? It has become increasingly painful to watch the evening news or check your Facebook account. To now have so much apparent discord and lack of civility is deeply disheartening for me, not only as an educator but also as a parent. Has our country really grown so polarized that we can’t decipher good from bad, fact from fiction? It makes me begin to question whether our efforts as media educators have been for naught.

It is easy in these times to get despondent and skew toward the negative. Surprisingly though I still find glimmers of hope, in of all places, my Twitter feed. There are many large and small efforts to help us navigate these times and think positively about the future  Click to see the full

Wear Orange  Jun 02, 2016, 08:00 ET

Wear Orange 

Jun 02, 2016, 08:00 ET

Today in Chicago: Second Annual Wear Orange Party For Peace To Feature Malik Yusef, Noname, Malcolm London, Nate and Cleo Pendleton, Cecilia Rodhe, Lucy McBath and Much More

"Wear Orange" Inspired by Chicago Teens Who Refused to Be Silent in the Face of Daily Gun Violence; Follow Photos on #WearOrange Click to see the full article


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; Click to see the full article


Uploaded by The Chicago Bureau on 2014-07-21. Staff reporter Jon Palmer contributed this report’s video.


 "In a dark room lit by blinding spotlights, young Chicagoans of Street-Level Youth Media timidly took the stage, clutching mics and inhaling deeply as they waited for the beat to drop. One by one, each performed their pieces—spitting out raw rap lyrics to a thumping beat or softly murmuring spoken-word poems accompanied by the dark silence of the room. Throughout the concert, MC Lisa Lust flamboyantly urged the crowd of several dozen youths to scream and applaud for their peers. For almost two hours, the small performance room in Street-Level’s Chicago headquarters became a sweaty fest of passionate student-produced music and poetry." 



Last weekend, we got a chance to get involved with an amazing cause and donate our skills to provide promotional images for Street Level Youth Media's upcoming fundraiser, and to give the youth a chance to participate in a real professional studio shoot! Click to see the full article

ABC-7 Evening News at 10PM

I Speak Chicago


Arts After School: The Budding Filmmakers of Street Level Youth Media

This week’s Arts After School explores some of the city’s media programs, including WFMT producer David Polk’s profile of Street Level Youth Media, which gives students the tools and instruction necessary to create their own stories on video.  When David visited, he followed a student-led crew in the midst of creating a short science-fiction film. Click to see the full article


The summer movie season is upon us, and while there is an increase this year in the number of films geared toward women and featuring women in lead roles, I can’t help but feel disappointed about the lack of diversity in roles for women and their absence as decision-makers in the mainstream entertainment industry. Over half the U.S. population is female, but females are grossly underrepresented and stereotyped in the film and television images we see every day. Click to see the full article

A Portrait of Chicago, Part I

How do arts organizations function and build support, survive and thrive? During a recent visit to Chicago I had the opportunity to sit down with four nonprofit leaders working at different levels of the city’s art scene. At a time of financial rollercoasters, shifting demographics, and a globalizing world, I was interested to see how these art organizations continued to reach out to changing communities and tap in to the creative energy they have to offer. Click to see the full article