Young Chicago Authors and local artists present ‘Sheboygan Ode Project’ Nov. 18-20 at John Michael Kohler Arts Center

Contact: Patricia DuChene
Media Relations

Nov. 5, 2015 Sheboygan, WI

World-renowned artists from Young Chicago Authors (YCA) and local performers will present “The Sheboygan Ode Project,” three evenings of YCA repertory and original works of poetry and spokenword art at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, November 18–20 at 7 p.m.

Over the course of the recent Connecting Communities project at the Arts Center, artists-in-residence Kevin Coval, Young Chicago Authors (YCA) artistic director and published author; Jamila Woods, YCA assistant artistic director, musician, and published author; and more than 400 participants of all ages explored spoken word and poetry focusing on the “ode.” Selected works developed during the residency will be performed by the local writers/performers.

Among the YCA artists performing over the run of the show will be Coval, Woods, and poet Jasmine Barber. Poets from Chicago’s Louder Than a Bomb festival will also be featured.

“The Sheboygan Ode Project” explores what it’s like to be from, come to, live in, love in, and dream in this city on the lake. It illuminates the poetry of everyday speech and invites people to create original writing in praise or critique of the place they call home.

As local participants in the Connecting Communities project developed their writings, they took the ode form of writing beyond its traditional roots, that of poems commissioned to reflect the culture of Page 2 of 3 the wealthy. In the past, odes were written about works of art, victories in battle, elements of nature, and royalty. The lives of the working class were rarely reflected in poetry.

All performances will take place at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 608 New York Ave., Sheboygan. Tickets, $16 ($12 for students and Arts Center members), are available at 920-458-6144 or visit

Young Chicago Authors works to transform the lives of young people by cultivating their voices through writing, publication, and performance education. Its programming is celebrated in the annual Louder Than A Bomb poetry festival, led by YCA staff and Coval.

The Arts Center’s Connecting Communities residency program brings in internationally known artists to collaborate on the creation of art with the community. Connecting Communities collaborations are supported in part by the Bert L. and Patricia S. Steigleder Charitable Trust, a generous foundation that prefers anonymity, Herman Miller Cares, an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the members of the Education & Community Arts Giving Circle.

About the John Michael Kohler Arts Center: Founded in 1967, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center is dedicated to making innovative arts programming accessible to a broad audience that ranges from artists and academics to families and youth of all ages. Central to its mission is promoting understanding and appreciation of the work of self-taught and contemporary artists through original exhibitions, commissioned works of art, performing arts programs, community arts initiatives, and publications. The Arts Center’s collections focus primarily on works by vernacular-environment builders, self-taught and folk artists, and works created in the Arts/Industry residency program.

Looking to the future, the Arts Center continues to generate new explorations in the arts that foster creative exchanges between an international community of artists and a diverse public, making real the power of the arts to transform lives and strengthen communities. The John Michael Kohler Arts Center is supported by corporate and foundation donors, government grants, and its many members. The Arts Center is not an entity of Kohler Co. or its subsidiaries. More information about the Arts Center can be found at

Admission to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center is by voluntary donation. Arts Center members receive a discount on performance and other event tickets, classes and camps tuition, purchases at ARTspace gift shops, and free or discounted admission to many special events. Memberships are available at the Arts Center, by visiting, and/or by calling 920-458-6144.

Arts Center Hours: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Arts Center is open at other times for special events