Chicago Girl Talk Collective Fundraiser!

Quennect 4 Gallery presents:
(Everyone’s Music Politics Activist Community Throwdown)

a fundraising event for


July 20, 2013
9p – ??
1000 N. Milwaukee Ave., 4th floor, Chicago IL

Girl Talk is a volunteer supported program for girls, ages 12-17, who are detained in the Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention Center (JTDC). A survey of the girls, conducted by CFJC, found that they faced serious concerns on a daily basis, including sexual assault and other forms of violence, relationship and conflict resolution, education and employment, legal rights, and a wide range of health issues. Programming and services related to these issues were almost non-existent through the detention center.

Girl talk provides the girls in the detention center a space to be free from the jail they find themselves in.




  • Richard Wallace of Men and Women in Prison Ministries and BBU –
  • Sandra Santiago
  • and More!!
  • Alex Donnelly
  • Amara Betty Martin
  • Matthew Silva
  • Manny Cortes.
  • Natalia Virafuentes
  • Lisha j Perine
  • Natalia Sustaita



Visual artists:

**** Donation’s accepted for Girl Talk ****

Feel free to bring:
Liquid Glue, Glitter Pens/Glue, Paints(fabric and wood), Stickers, Colored Pencils, Poster Boards, Decorative Ribbon, Decorative Feathers, Decorative flowers, Butcher Paper, Beads, Craft Wood, Markers (non toxic). White T-Shirts, Plain Blue Denim Jeans

Quennect 4 Gallery Chicago is a collaborative effort to maintain a dedicated cultural and activist center focused on community involvement through arts and grassroots actions.

We are an independently-run alternative multi use art space that supports the intersection of social, political, economical and geographic communities. It focuses on diversity and giving back to the community and its very existence is a testament to the necessity of a multilateral vision in the process of cultural (r)evolution.

Located in Wicker Park and head quartered at Multikulti Chicago we have been working to create and foster the community connections to our city through diverse and innovative arts and culture events and benefits.

For more information or press please contact:


Girl Talk Facilitators Talk ‘Whale Rider’

Yesterday, Girl Talk facilitators visited young women incarcerated at JTDC for our regular bi-monthly programming. We watched the film “Whale Rider” which the girls really seemed to enjoy and then we sat together to make masks. The girls really seemed to thrive doing this activity. Some of the girls generously agreed to allow us to share the products of their work with a broader community. We are doing so here.

Created by a young woman at JTDC

Created by a young woman at JTDC

The Girl Talk Leadership team would like to thank the young women at the JTDC for their participation in our programming. We also want to thank Mykel Selph for being a terrific ally and all of our volunteer program facilitators who take time out of their Saturdays to share their talents and hearts with the young women.

New Resource: Girls in the System Comic Zine

This new zine about girls in conflict with the law was illustrated and written by teaching artist Rachel Marie-Crane Williams. This is part of a larger collaborative initiative called the Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline Comic Arts Zine Project. This initiative brought together the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Project NIA, and the Chicago Freedom School to develop a series of four zines, created by the teaching artists, Rachel Marie-Crane Williams and Elgin-Bokari T. Smith; and youth at the Chicago Freedom School and the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC).

The zines feature the voices of youth affected by the juvenile justice system: the History of the Juvenile Court in IL, Girls in the System, Youth Stories (of the Incarcerated), and the School-to-Prison Pipeline. This zine series was developed in connection with “Unfinished Business–Juvenile Justice,” the community-curated exhibit at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, on view through August 2011.

You can download Girls in the System here as a PDF.

All other zines in the series can be downloaded from the Juvenile Injustice site.

Facilitator Post: Alyssa Beck

We had a second successful GirlTalk Saturday.  We screened Real Women Have Curves and worked with the girls on the activity that expressed their interpretation of beauty.  We used magazines, markers, glitter pens, and cut out tracings of ourselves for the girls to express what beauty meant to them. Interacting, relating to the girls, as well as participating with them the young women seemed to gain a degree of respect for us facilitators.  Some of the girls we are beginning to get to know us.  The girls were very enthusiastic with this activity on beauty and anxious to show and explain what they created.  As their interpretations of beauty were displayed on the walls for all the girls to view, you can look way beyond “girls in detention” and you see their inner beauty as the young women they really are.

-Alyssa Beck




What is Beauty?

We Love This! Young Women Make Art…

As part of a partnership between the Jane Addams Hull House Museum and Project NIA, young women at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center worked with teaching artist Elgin Smith during the month of August to create art for a zine about juvenile justice.

Here a young woman draws her depiction of Jane Addams after learning about her role in establishing the first Juvenile Court in the nation in 1899.

This is part of a larger project that involves youth on the inside and youth on the outside creating a graphic novel about the history and current manifestations of juvenile justice.  This project has been documented by Girl Talk volunteer and Chicago Freedom School Board Co-Chair, Eva Nagao at the Cradle to Prison Blog.

Art on the Inside: Incarcerated Girls Share Their Stories

In August 2010, as part of a partnership between Project NIA and the Jane Addams Hull House Museum, young women at the JTDC participated in a comic arts workshop led by teaching artist Elgin Smith.  The pieces that were created by the youth will be compiled as part of a zine about juvenile justice.   That zine will be released in Spring 2011.  In the meantime, we wanted to share one piece that was created by one of the young women.

Melanie Cervantes: Young Mother’s Bill of Rights

I am a big fan of artist Melanie Cervantes’s art.  I have purchased two copies of the poster below.  This particular piece directly relates to Girl Talk’s work.

By Melanie Cervantes

The following is a description of how this poster came to be:

The Center For Young Women’s Development in San Francisco asked me to partner with them to create a poster and postcards to popularize the Young Mother’s Bill of Rights. The Center was integral to creating the Bill of Rights through a campaign they won. San Francisco Juvenile Hall has accepted and agreed to implement the Center’s ten-point Young Mother’s Bill of Rights, which sets forth the rights of pregnant and parenting young woman and young fathers who are locked in juvenile hall. They wanted young men and women to know their rights as parents and felt that a compelling graphic would help grab the attention of the young people in lockup so we made a few hundred posters and thousands of postcards to give out to the young people.

The Center for Young Women’s Development was founded in 1993 by a coalition of service providers working with young and adult women in the juvenile and criminal justice systems. The guiding principle then and now for the organization is that young women are the experts on issues impacting their lives and they should be involved in running and directing the programs that serve them. In 1997 their founding director, the brilliant and talented Lateefah Simon, left and young women of color under age 26 assumed all leadership responsibility. Building on a model for self-determination, they began to organize to change the power dynamic in San Francisco itself.

This print can be purchased at Just Seeds Artists’ Cooperative for only $15.