Louder Than a Bomb's 15th Anniversary Benefit | Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center | Literary Events | Chicago Reader
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Louder Than a Bomb's 15th Anniversary Benefit 

When: Sun., March 1 2015
Phone: 773-486-4331
Price: $375 for reception; $100 for performance
youngchicagoauthors.org
Louder Than a Bomb celebrates its 15th birthday this year with a five-week-long festival of more than 90 performances at ten venues, including an all-day benefit this Sunday featuring Alec Baldwin, Alfre Woodard, and hip-hop producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad. Founded in 1991, Young Chicago Authors, the parent-organization of LTAB, gives Chicago youth a platform from which to share their stories. In 2001 the organization created LTAB, which quickly became the largest youth poetry festival in the world. This year's festival includes more than 1,200 students from 100 different Chicago-area zip codes."We had over 10,000 people come to our events last year, so it's truly a citywide platform now for youth expression," says LTAB national director Sean Kaplan. LTAB's mission isn't limited to Chicago. Since the festival's creation, it has expanded to ten cities across the country; a program will begin in LA this year and in New York in 2016. According to Kaplan, Baldwin and Woodard both became interested in the group after seeing screenings of Louder Than a Bomb, Jon Siskel and Greg Jacobs's 2010 documentary about the organization. A friend introduced Kaplan to Muhammad, who instantly became interested in the festival and has composed his own piece of music specifically for the benefit. Sunday's all-day event begins with brunch at Soho House followed by a screening of segments of the documentary and, in the evening, a private onstage cocktail reception at Black Ensemble Theater and finally, Re-Imagining Chicago, a performance featuring work by current YCA participants and alumni as well as appearances by Baldwin, Woodard, and Muhammad, and many more special guests. LTAB cofounder Kevin Coval hosts. —Cassidy Ryan

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