Youth Repertory Theater Troupe

Maggie Brown (far L in photo) is a nationally-acclaimed singer/songwriter and director who empowers and instills compassion in kids as they develop their authentic voice. Her theater troupe is open to all talented youth (ages 8-16) to participate in a 7-week summer intensive culminating in staged public performances throughout the year and – for those that want to take the next step – resourcing within the theater and music industry.

This is a FREE program and registration occurs on a rolling basis (meaning, CONTACT US!)

Summer 2017 session dates: July 10 thru August 26
Rehearsals planned for M/W/F from 3:30-6:00pm at University Church

Speak Life Open Mic Series

The Speak Life Open Mic invites all young poets, rappers, singers, musicians of all kinds, comedians, dancers…we’ll make room for all talent! This is high-quality, no-pressure evening where young artists – professional and first-timers – speak their truth and grow their art in a safe and affirming space.

Julie Less is the Open Mic program manager. Please contact us if you’d like to help steer this exciting and fun evening for kids by recruiting, volunteering night-of, or any great ideas you have!

Held every 4th Friday, monthly, at University Church.
Under 21 = 7-9pm
21+ = 9-10pm

UPCOMING 2017  DATES: August 11, August 25, September 25, October 27

After School Tutoring

Photo: James Demus (middle with glasses) and other BG workers helping kids with their work (credit: Ted Lacey, 1978)


Through our partnership with the University of Chicago – Neighborhood Schools Program, we offer after school tutoring for all subjects in both a 1-on-1 and group setting.

Group tutoring is free. 1-on-1 lessons have a small fee, which can be subsidized as needed.

Sessions occur T-Th, weekly, in the University Church Library

Chef 101: Kitchen Program

Photo: One of the youth working in the kitchen program BG used to run in the 70’s (date and credit unknown)


Our kitchen program is a paid, 6-week apprenticeship for young adults (age 16-24) that offers certificate-level food training and work experience (food prep and serving), a set curriculum, and future job placement services.

This program will begin in Fall 2017, with rotating 6-week positions available.


Our future plans include developing youth recreational programming along the 53rd Street corridor, an area of the city experiencing an increasing number of police interactions with young people, and a popular gathering place for large numbers of youth throughout the summer months.


None of this work would be possible without our many partners. Blue Gargoyle would like to thank:

Community Programs Accelerator, University of Chicago
(BG was accepted into the CPA program as an Associate in 2016)

Neighborhood Schools Program, University of Chicago

Stories Connect & The Sanctuary Café

The Law Project

Illinois-Wisconsin Region – Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Illinois Conference – United Church of Christ

Off the Pews Youth Initiative – United Church of Christ/Illinois Conference

University Church