Anyone walking by the Harold Washington Library is usually captivated by its size and spectacular design. After passing this monumental building in downtown Chicago hundreds of times, you begin to notice other things–such as the teenagers who have sprinkled the sidewalks and have made themselves a home at the You Media center inside the library. This place serves as a digital and social playground for Chicago teens to engage seven days a week–equip with MacBooks with the latest applications, music sound mixers, flatscreen TVs with the latest video games, Rock Band instruments, the latest teen novels and much more. After taking a step inside and inquiring about the space, I quickly learned about “Pop Up Saturdays”, which are tours of downtown Chicago pop-up spaces and museums that the teens are taken on, which are led and were started by You Media mentors.
To learn more I sat down with Jennifer and Nick, who when they’re not spending time working on their own poetry and theater projects, work closely with the teens and kick started the art tours. You can hear the Rock Band playing Green Day in the background of the interview, so listen closely–or sing along.