Meet the Goodman Youth Arts Council

Members of this group bring their skills and creativity as young artists to the task of being youth ambassadors for the Goodman and the wider Chicago theater community. In future issues of NEXT, look for exciting original work from council members. Until then, get to know the 2020/2021 Youth Arts Council. Looking for more information on GYAC? Visit our website or follow the team on Instagram @goodmanyouthartscouncil.

By Quenna L. Barrett, Associate Director of Education and Engagement

For the past two years, I have had the extreme pleasure of gathering and facilitating the Goodman Youth Arts Council, a collective of highly involved, talented, and eager young leaders. The program is intended for 14- to 21-year old newcomers and alumni of the Goodman’s youth programs. With a shared belief in the necessity of artistic spaces and outlets for youth, they come together to create events and opportunities for other young Chicago artists to further their knowledge in, and of, the field. If they are any indication of where this industry is going, we are truly in good hands. 

“We are a group of young Chicagoland artists that exist to utilize our theater training to connect people with the stories on stage. We believe theater can educate and empower by building bridges between diverse peoples.” 

—Mission Statement of the Goodman Youth Arts Council
I'm Ariel Bastida, a 20-year-old artist with a focus on acting. I was originally studying at The New School of Drama before the pandemic—I am incredibly grateful to GYAC for giving me a collaborative space where I can join fellow student creatives during these times! Goodman Playbuild was the first experience I had in creating work that reflected my personal experiences in life. To be able to give back to a program that influenced me so greatly is a dream come true. Find me on Instagram to learn about my upcoming work.
My art relates to blackness, being a woman from the South Side of Chicago and being imperfect. Themes that drive my work include protection of all things natural, appreciation for the beauty in everything alive, vulnerability, the value of self love and loving others. My preferred media/mediums are live performance, studio recorded poetry and music, photography, and fashion. Common subjects in my work are built around aspects of nature. My interests include developing the South and West sides of Chicago, feeding people, poetry and writing, performing, fight/intimacy directing, teaching, spreading resources and giving back. What I bring to the council is the stunted, yet no longer silenced, perspective of a young queer black woman from the South Side of Chicago with a passion to change the world with art and my love for humanity. I’m in GYAC because I believe in the power of connections and being able to make a difference with the voice of the youth. You can find me on SoundCloud through my name, Enama. My personal Instagram handle is @ena.maa and my art collectives’ Instagram is below.
My name is Froylan Adan. I am 18 years old and I was born and raised in Chicago. I am very new to acting and still learning and gaining experience. I am so thankful for the Goodman Theater and GYAC giving me the chance to learn more about theater and acting.
My name is Jessica Espinoza. I am an 18-year-old artist who has a passion for acting, whether it is for film or theater. I believe as a young artist it is important to build bridges between young creatives of all ages, genders and races. Right now, I am really into Japanese storytelling and I am currently exploring haikus, Miyazaki films and artwork. I am thrilled to be a part of the Goodman Theater Youth Arts Council and a part of this month's newsletter. The world is waiting to hear from us!
My name is Josie Broyles. I'm 16 years old and from Chicago. Acting has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I am forever thankful for the Goodman Education and Engagement Programs and GYAC. It is something that I truly feel has not only made me a stronger actor, but a stronger person as well. I've formed bonds that will last a lifetime and I wouldn't trade any of my time with the Goodman for the world.
My name is Louisa Darr. I am a 16-year-old student artist currently residing in Minneapolis, although I am a proud Chicago native! I am very passionate about acting, whether it is screen or film, and believe it is our duty as human beings to keep the stories of others alive. I am so thankful for GYAC and the Goodman for keeping young artists like me busy with opportunities during hard times like this.
I am an actor, artist and activist working in the Chicagoland area. Select credits include South Pacific (Drury Lane Theatre), The Patient Watcher (Lookingglass Theatre) and Saved by the Bard (Northlight Theatre). Along with being a part of the Goodman Youth Arts Council, I am also part of the Steppenwolf Young Arts Council (YAC) and the Lookingglass Theatre young ensemble. I am a sophomore at Senn Arts theater program and am very passionate about arts integration and accessibility within communities and educational systems. I’m excited to continue working with the Goodman!
My name is Shola Jimoh and I am a third-year public health student minoring in international studies and public policy. As public health professionals, we observe the World Health Organization's definition of health, reimagining health apart from the simple absence of disease or infirmity. Health embodies the synergistic interaction of all things that allow us to "be" and “thrive"—spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, etc.—the experiences that truly render us complete. I identify art—the performing arts at large—as my intended vessel for public health practice; I aspire to nurture myself as both an artist and academic, employing artistic practice and scholarly methods to advance the psychosocial and emotional well-being of historically-dispossessed peoples.
I’m Sophie Harris, a senior at Lane Tech College Prep where I am in the Omega Istoria program. I love being a part of GYAC because it helps me stay connected to all aspects of theater while live performances have been halted. I have interests in both performing and directing, and am very passionate about increasing the representation of female directors in both community and professional theatre. I am planning on studying Theatre and Communications in college.
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