October 2020–June 2021

Logan Center School Matinee Program for students and teachers

Welcome to our 20/21 Logan Center School Matinee Season. We are excited to carry on the tradition of bringing high quality educational artistic experiences to students and teachers. For the first time, our entire series will be presented virtually. Teachers, students and families throughout Chicago and across the country will be able to access these performances via our website. We invite you to participate in this exciting season featuring both local and world renowned performing artists representing the disciplines of dance, music, storytelling and poetry. 

We will premiere two performances on our website each month October through June. Teachers, students and families will be able to watch the matinees at anytime once they are posted. Please view the full schedule below. These dynamic programs will be accessible online until June 30th, 2021.  

We will also provide professional development sessions to support educators with connecting these performances to your curriculum. If you plan to join us virtually for a performance, we encourage you to attend a corresponding Teacher Professional Development Session virtually. These workshops will be presented as live zoom sessions. Each session will provide participants with educational resources. The zoom professional development sessions will be led by seasoned educators and in most cases, the featured artist will be present to meet teachers as well. We will also provide post performance questions to extend the learning experience. After viewing the performance, we hope that you will complete a brief survey to help us improve our programs. 

Example Steps to Participating in Logan Center Matinee Virtual Performances: 

  • Step 1: Review the schedule and select the matinee you would like to attend. 
  • Step 2: Register for the corresponding Teacher Professional Development Session via Eventbrite
  • Step 2: Attend Teacher Professional Development Session virtually
  • Step 3: Watch the performance on the LoganCenterSchoolMatinee Website 
  • Step 4: Encourage students to answer the post performance questions
  • Step 5: Complete a brief post performance survey



Premiere Date: October 12
Artist: Sam Trump
Grades: 6-12
Professional Development Date: October 5th

Dynamic composer and musician Sam Trump delivers a captivating performance that moves across genres. With his looping station, he builds musical cycles by combining melodies and rhythm to create harmony, support, interplay, and interaction amongst various sounds. Each sound and rhythm holds its place in space and time. Each new element is inspired by what has come before, and provokes what is to come. As individuals, we are like these elements joining in a cycle of life where we can find our unique place in the groove to create harmony, support, interplay, and provoke reactions within our communities. When we work in harmony, what beauty we create.

Premiere Date: October 12
Artist: Jasmin Cardenas
Grades: 4-8
Professional Development Date: October 6th

Did you know that the oldest man-made mummy ever found was in this hemisphere? King Tut may be the most famous mummy but 2000 years before Egyptian mummies the Chinchorro people of Chile were honoring their beloveds with their own unique methods. Storyteller Jasmin Cardenas invites you to hear about some of the incredible archaeological finds and stories of those first peoples of the Americas. This is a wonderful opportunity to connect cultural studies and literacy.


Premiere Date: November 9
Artist: Axiom Brass
Grades: 6-12
Professional Development Date: November 2nd

Internationally recognized for their groundbreaking programming, their repertoire ranges from jazz and Latin music to string quartet transcriptions, as well as original compositions for brass quintet.  Axiom Brass’ performances have captured the hearts and imaginations of their audiences, leading the ensemble to national radio and television appearances as well as concerts in Asia, Europe and across the U.S. Axiom’s commitment to education and their blend of virtuosic performances and dynamic teaching have inspired young audiences around the nation, earning the ensemble the 2011 Fischoff Educator Award.

Premiere Date: November 9
Artist: Djeli Baba the Storyteller
Grades: K-5
Professional Development Date: November 3rd

Djeli Baba is a phenomenal performing artist and teacher who uses the medium of storytelling to captivate audiences of all ages. Baba's performances have been described as TEDTalks for the young. His assemblies challenge student’s imaginations while imparting valuable cultural, historical and meta-curricula lessons. His performances are highly interactive, employing a mixture of music, chants, singing, and tales. “Everyone” has an opportunity to participate.


Premiere Date: December 14
Artist: Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project
Grades: K-12
Professional Development Date: December 7th

For over a century, Black dance has been a vital artistic force in Chicago. From traditional African dance to contemporary choreography, modern jazz to hip-hop ballet, Black dance in Chicago encapsulates a broad spectrum of artistic expression rooted in the Black experience. Chicago’s Black dance companies work at the forefront of innovation in the performing arts, developing new dance forms. This performance will feature performances from four of those dynamic companies: Ayodele Drum and Dance, Chicago Multicultural Dance Center, Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, and Red Clay Dance. Each company presents a unique perspective. This is a wonderful way for students to learn and reflect on the power of artistic expression.

Premiere Date: December 14
Artist: Russoul
Grades: 6-12

Professional Development Date December 8th

Singer and composer RUSSOUL fuses jazzy soulful vocals over rhythmic, syncopated beats to share songs of inspiration, motivation and encouragement.  He grew up on the Southside of Chicago, and is well known for his versatility. Audiences will be inspired by his skillful singing across various genres of music. Russoul is truly a Chicago star.


Premiere Date: January 11
Artist: Cerqua Rivera
Grades: 6-12
Professional Development Date: January 4th

Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre presents an educational and moving performance,  ROOT by Monique Haley and Joe Cerqua. Haley, a Black choreographer was inspired by West African maxims, and collaborated with composer Joe Cerqua and the full company over two years, leading to a powerful, exciting piece. The suite celebrates the resilient journey of individuals within a community through the blending of African dance, American Jazz and Music, and the creators’ own unique contemporary voices. 

Premiere Date: January 11
Artist: Xochitl-Quetzal Aztec Dance
Grades: K-5
Professional Development Date: January 5th

Experience a journey into Mexico's ancient Aztec culture of music, song and dance. Xochitl-Quetzal invites you to a dynamic and vibrant performance honoring the heritage of the tradition of La Danza De Los Concheros. Join us and learn about the Aztec world of indigenous ceremony and ritual. 


Premiere Date: February 8
Artist: Creation Chicago
Grades: 6-12
Professional Development Date: February 1st


Creation puts on explosive performances sharing a dance style/culture called Chicago Footwork. This innovative dance performance blends creativity and Chicago cultural history. Since 2001, Creation Chicago has been recognized for their Creation Battle Clique which has spread worldwide. “Saving the youth is always our goal & representing Chicago & dance with expression and movement is our gift.”

Premiere Date: February 8
Artist: Emon Fowler
Grades: 6-12
Professional Development Date: February 2nd

Hip-hop has been a vibrant part of American culture for more than 40 years. We are excited to celebrate the power of Emon Fowler, a dynamic Chicago-based MC, promoting positivity, creativity and leadership in hip hop and femininity. She uses the medium of hip hop to bring history and cultural lessons to life.


Premiere Date: March 8
Artist: La Escuelita Bombera de Corazon with Bomba con Buya
Grades: 4-12
Professional Development Date: March 1st 

Join us for this educational and lively musical exploration. With its roots in the first native music of Puerto Rico and the traditions of the African diaspora, bomba is the oldest expression of stories and history in music and dance in Puerto Rico. Ivelisse "Bombera de Corazón" Diaz, founder of "La Escuelita Bombera de Corazón" helps us explore the dynamic, importance and relevance in today's day to day life. Musical performance by: Bomba con Buya. 

Premiere Date: March 8
Carmen Deedy
Grades: K-5
Professional Development Date: March 2nd

As a New York Times best-selling author, Carmen Agra Deedy visits over a hundred schools a year. In the course of more than three decades she has acquired a repertoire of over two hundred stories; fairy tales, folk tales, legends, and personal stories. Bring your imagination for a performance of best-loved stories. This performance is a wonderful opportunity to build literacy skills by making classroom connections to the work of this fabulous author.


Premiere Date: April 12
Poetry Video Festival
Professional Development Dates: April 5, 6

This annual celebration of National Poetry Month provides a unique opportunity to come together and share both classic and original poetry. We will have three unique events for different grade levels. This year we invite teachers, students and families to join in our celebration by creating short poetry videos and sharing them with us. We will include 4/5 videos during each part of the festival. We are also excited to have an award winning published author who will be featured for each grade band.

Premiere Date: April 12
Artist: Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie
Grades K-5

Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie is the author of the children’s book, Layla’s Happiness (Enchanted Lion Books) winner of the 2020 Ezra Jack Keats award for writing and a favorite children's book of 2019 on many lists. She has also published several books for adults: Strut (Agape Editions), Dear Continuum: Letters to a Poet Crafting Liberation (Grand Concourse Press) and Karma’s Footsteps (Flipped Eye Publishing). She served as Poetry Editor of African Voices from 2013 to 2017. Her work has been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies.

Premiere Date: April 12
Artist: Derrick Barnes
Grades 6-8

Derrick D. Barnes is from Kansas City, MO. He is the author of the critically acclaimed picture book CROWN: An Ode To The Fresh Cut (Denene Millner Books/Agate Bolden) which won a multitude of literary awards, making it one of the most decorated picture books in the history of children’s literature. The awards/prizes include two 2018 Ezra Jack Keats awards, the Coretta Scott King Author Honor, Newberry Honor, and the Caldecott Honor. In October of 2018, CROWN also took home the highly coveted Kirkus Prize For Young Readers. His most recent book is the critically acclaimed, I am Every Good Thing.

Premiere Date: April 12
Artist: Willie Perdomo
Grades 9-12

Willie Perdomo is the author of The Crazy Bunch (Penguin Poets, 2019) "The Crazy Bunch is a book about memory, loss, and love.  In his presentation, he will read selections from the book, discuss the inspiration for the book, its subsequent construction, and how he learned to write with a crew." His other credits include: The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon (Penguin Poets, 2014), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and winner of the International Latino Book Award. He has several other critically acclaimed publications. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature, Poetry, Bomb Magazine, and African Voices. He is currently a Lucas Arts Program Literary Fellow and teaches English at Phillips Exeter Academy.


Premiere Date: May 10
Artist: Aurelio
Grades 6-12
Professional Development Date: May 3

Aurelio Martinez aka AURELIO, singer-songwriter, guitarist and percussionist, is the master of Garifuna music from Honduras and Central America. One of the most extraordinary and passionate Central American artists of his generation, AURELIO is a champion of Paranda music and an international ambassador of Garifuna culture. Hailing from the small community of Plaplaya in Honduras, he grew up immersed in Garifuna rhythms, rituals and songs. With his powerfully evocative vocals, his charisma and his talent as a composer, guitarist and percussionist, Aurelio is a central figure in the perpetuation and innovation of this unique musical tradition. AURELIO's performance will teach students to sing in the Garifuna language and also learn Garifuna dance moves. AURELIO will be accompanied by electric guitar, bass and traditional Garifuna drums. Aurelio will perform songs from his albums Darandi, Landini, Laru Beya and Garifuna Soul. 

Premiere Date: May 10
Seth Parker Woods
Grades: K-5
Professional Development Date: May 4

"A Day in the Life: Your Personality, Dreams, and Imaginations," presented by three members of the University of Chicago Department of Music Performance Faculty (Seth Parker Woods, cello; Tricia Park, violin; Eugenia Jeong, piano). For ages K-5, this musical storytelling event will feature a wide range of musical works, poetry and storybooks. It will involve students in the magic of music, illustration and narrative. This program is a wonderful fusion of the arts and literature.


Premiere Date: June 7
Tomeka Reid
Grades: 6-12
Professional Development Date: June 8


Premiere Date: June 7
Stories Around the World
Grades: K-5
Professional Development Date: June 7


In this program, three storytellers from different cultural traditions share engaging stories that will inspire students to learn more about their own cultures and those of others. We are pleased to present: Karin Amano, Masankho Banda and Valerie Tutson.

  • Japanese storyteller Karin Amano will perform a Japanese folktale wearing a traditional kimono and using a folding fan. She has performed in many venues including National Storytelling Festival, Walt Disney World, cultural festivals, schools, and libraries. Recently she’s been telling stories virtually for audiences from all over the world.
  • Masankho is a multi-disciplinary Performing Artist, Educator and PeaceBuilder. He brings many unique perspectives to his work around the world. He learned the fine arts of storytelling and dance from his Malawian culture spending many long days and nights listening to stories and dancing to music that captivated his mind, shaped his being, nourished his soul and strengthened his spirit. Using performing arts Masankho motivates and inspires people of all ages to work together to bring about peace, social justice and cultural understanding.
  • Valerie Tutson is a multiple award-winning storyteller who has been performing in schools, churches, libraries, festivals and conferences since 1991. She draws her stories from around the world with an emphasis on African traditions. Her repertoire includes stories and songs she learned in her travels to South Africa, her experiences in West Africa and stories from African American history. 


Critics Program

If you are interested in further engagement opportunities for your students with the subject matter presented at the Logan Center Matinees, please contact us for information on our Critics Programs. 
Logan Center Critics 

School Eligibility and Confirmation Policy

In order to make reservations for this free program teachers must: (1) Submit a completed ticket request form; (2) Attend a Teacher Professional Development Session prior to the reserved school matinee. Schools will be notified once the Ticket Request Form is received. Seats will be officially confirmed when teacher representatives attend the professional development session. 

Cancellation Policy

Please make cancellations no fewer than 30 days prior to scheduled performances. Schools that fail to give 30 days notice will jeopardize their ability to participate in the matinee program for the remainder of the season. Adjustments to reserved ticket numbers should be made no fewer than 2 weeks prior to the scheduled performance. If a school fails to attend a performance or cancels with less than 30 days they will be billed for transportation.

School Transportation Drop off and Pick Up Directions

Buses will drop students off at the circle drive adjacent to the Logan Center's south entrance, accessible from Drexel Avenue. We ask that buses park and pick up schools on 60th street at the North Entrance of the Logan Center following the performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Logan Center School Matinee program is made possible through support the Reva and David Logan Foundation, friends of the Logan Center, Urban Gateways and the UChicago Office of Civic Engagement’s Neighborhood Schools Program, and local and national arts organizations and performing artists.


Dominique L Boyd



The Logan Center School Matinee program is made possible through support of the Reva and David Logan Foundation and friends of the Logan Center, as well as partnerships with the Neighborhood Schools Program of the Office of Civic Engagement at the University of Chicago, University of Chicago Presents, and local and national arts organizations and performing artists.