Winter Arts Camp: Meet our Artists

We and our young people are grateful for the overwhelming support of our Winter Arts Camp this #GivingTuesday. Generous donors contributed $7,130 to support the camp, which will help our children and youth express themselves, connect with the vibrant arts community in Chicago and stay safe when they’re out of school. Learn more here.

Meet the artists who will be leading workshops for our young people! These artists have collaborated with our clinical teams to develop lessons and projects that will best connect with our young people as they continue healing from abuse and neglect.

karlyn-boens-copy dexter-cohen-copy jacquelyn-jamjoom-copy
Karlyn Boens Dexter Cohen Jacquelyn Jamjoom




Tess Kisner E’mon Lauren Bilal Othman



Hannah Shea Nathaniel Stewart


Karlyn Boens, Spoken Word Teaching Artist and Camp Counselor

Born and raised on the West Side of Chicago, Karlyn is a 19 year old Spoken Word Artist. She attends Trinity Christian College where she studies Social Work and Criminal Work. As a former Guthman Intern with Young Chicago Authors, she takes pride in her chapter book, Finding Bethany. She is a former Louder Than A Bomb participant and has written poetry and blogs, as a Civil Scholar, for the Aspen Institute. Karlyn continues to write, perform and teach for herself and organizations such as Young Chicago Authors and Between The Lines. In the future, Karlyn hopes to open a community center that reaches out to delinquents, abused men and women, and anyone with a passion for art through vocals, writing and painting.

Dexter Cohen, Blue Island Camp Counselor

10 months out of the year Dexter builds big things with adults at Steadfast Development and Construction. 2 months out of the year he builds big things with kids at Beam Camp. He’s excited to spend a week building things with kids in Chicago.

Jacquelyn Jamjoom, Coordinator of our Field Trip to CineSpace

Jacquelyn Jamjoom is the Director of Operations/Executive Producer of Digital Hydra, a full service boutique production and creative development company in Chicago. She says: “Working in a creative field, it’s easy to forget about what’s truly important in life and why I got into this field in the first place. I’m thrilled to be working with Kaleidoscope and grateful for the opportunity to give back to my community and give young people the tools to tell their own stories, stories that are often swept aside. The film industry is a stubborn industry that is slow to change, but we can be the start of rapid growth if we continue to work with children and teenagers to prepare them for these opportunities and let them know there’s a place for them here.”

Tess Kisner, DJing Teaching Artist

Tess Kisner, a visual artist from Baton Rouge, acquired a set of turntables in 2009 after being turned on to exploring vinyl as a new medium. She uncovered her undying passion for music and a powerful new art practice in the form of a dance party. Tess is known for her vibrant energy on stage, singing to her audience and mixing old school into contemporary music.

E’mon Lauren, Spoken Word Teaching Artist

E’mon Lauren explores the philosophies and intersectionalities of womanism and the hood. She holds the most recent title of Chicago’s first and very own Youth Poet Laureate by Young Chicago Authors and New York City Urban Word Press, as well as many other slam awards. Between food breaks, E’mon studies the elemental practice of words and the economy they hold. She currently works as a freelance, paid performer and teaching artist in Chicago, and makes efforts to challenge the silencing of youth’s stories through their diasporas.

Bilal Othman, Damen Camp and Blue Island Camp Volunteer

Bilal Othman aka the Arabian Knight is a freshman studying marketing at the University of Illinois at Chicago. A former participant in YOUmedia, he makes films and clothes and other things, and he is an editor of a forthcoming arts and culture magazine at UIC. He enjoys helping kids to tell their own stories through film, the more fantastical the better!

Hannah Shea, Damen Camp Volunteer

Hannah Shea is a graduate student in poetry in Baltimore missing Chicago and excited to spend time making art outside of the classroom with kids whose imaginations are at peak magicalness.

Nathaniel Stewart, Film Teaching Artist and Camp Volunteer

Nathaniel M. Stewart is an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, studying Broadcast-Journalism & Sociology. He’s interested in finding a way to collaborate these two degrees so that he can effectively affect peoples lives through interpersonal and media skills.  He is excited to be a part of the Kaleidoscope Arts Camp because it is a great opportunity to teach up and coming students, and possibly learn a few things along the way!