Home > Celebrating creative expression at Excel Academy of Englewood

At Excel Academy of Englewood, part of the Chicago Public Schools’ Options Network, a recent event celebrated spoken words, music and the visual arts. The “Express Yourself” showcase provided a platform for both students and staff to share their talents.

“Express Yourself” stemmed from English and art department lessons, where students including delved into the areas of poetry and painting. What simply began as an assignment soon evolved into a school-wide celebration, inviting participants to share their unique voices through poetry, songs/rap performances, or visual art such as paintings or drawings.

Auditions, overseen by a panel of dedicated faculty and staff, ensured a diverse lineup of performances. English teachers Mrs. Gilmore and Ms. Davis, worked alongside art teacher Mrs. Tipton-Greene, music instructor Mr. Love, and school administrators Mr. Waddy and Ms. Gigger, who lent their expertise to curate a memorable event.

While “Express Yourself” wasn’t a competition, the audition process provided valuable feedback and an opportunity for growth. More than just a showcase, the event symbolized a deeper commitment to nurturing students’ holistic development. By acknowledging their talents and passions, educators created an environment where every individual felt seen and valued.

Tipton-Greene emphasized the importance of providing avenues for self-expression. “Students are more successful when they feel understood and supported,” she remarked. “By offering them a platform to share their stories and emotions, we empower them to navigate life’s challenges with resilience.”

The benefits of creative expression extend far beyond the confines of the classroom. Through poetry, music, and art, students learn to articulate their thoughts, process emotions, and cultivate empathy. They gain invaluable coping mechanisms that serve them well beyond their academic years.

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”- Edgar Degas

Thank you to hosts and MC’s Ayona R. and Crystal S.; poets Destiny W., Princess B., India G., Anasia S. and Myla H.; and student artists, Terrei C., Eniya B., Ethan G., Keniya H., Jayla M., Christopher J., Jakira L., Karianna J., Anthony G., Veronica B., Isaiah T., Harmony K., Keishawna F., Jennifer R., Deondre B., Kenneth M., Tyonna T., Edaisha B., Razaria G., Ayona R., Tashay B., India G., Inyah G. and Kanari C..