The multi-year initiative annually selects a cohort of Chicago based artists and activists who develop projects designed to find solutions to community-identified issues to help build a better Chicago.



This partnership between the Center for Performance and Civic Practice (CPCP) and Goodman Theatre aims at developing aims at developing greater local capacity for arts-based community-led transformation. The multi-year initiative annually selects a cohort of Chicago based artists and activists who develop projects aimed at solving community-identified problems and facilitating change.


The Alice and CPCP have established a multi-year partnership to develop a greater local capacity for arts-based community-led transformation. We believe in creative strategies to problem-solve, build intersectional coalitions and envision inclusive futures. Our work supports and increases community organizations’ ability to imagine and collaborate towards racially equitable and economically just communities.

We are offering free workshops for:

  • JULY 19 | Day 1- Leaders and those in leadership positions at community organizations
  • JULY 20 | Day 2- staff/administrators at community organizations
  • JULY 21 | Day 3- independent activists/movement workers (those not primarily affiliated with a single organization)
  • JULY 22 | Day 4- teachers

We invite you to participate in these workshops if:

  • Your vision is a more functional, healthy, and inclusive: organization, neighborhood, city.
  • Your need is to develop more: leadership tools, collaboration approaches, problem-solving strategies, collective visioning techniques.

NOURISH leverages engaged artistic practice to mobilize

  • The capacity of artists – particularly artists of underrepresented communities– to work with non-arts partners to collaborate on solving community identified problems.
  • New approaches for grassroots and community workers (independent or org-based) in leadership development, community organizing, and organization and movement sustainability
  • The capacity of classroom teachers to build community and bring creative social justice pedagogy into their teaching spaces.

Participants in these (free of charge) single day workshops will be invited to apply to join a cohort that will continue dialogue, training and network-building. 


***If you primarily identify as an artist and are interested in engaging more deeply in change based work, consider joining our institute the week before,

If you are an artist/activist, consider joining the day three workshop above.

These 4 single day offerings are part of a multi-year initiative that envisions a more just and equitable Chicago called NOURISH.

Project and workshops leaders:

Willa J. Taylor

Willa Taylor headshotNow in her 10th year at Goodman Theatre, artist, educator and activist Willa J. Taylor oversees the theater’s Education and Engagement programs, which use “arts as education”—utilizing the artistic processes of creating theater to stimulate learning and affect social change. In her leadership role over the past decade, Taylor and her team have exponentially expanded and deepened the Goodman’s Education and Engagement programs, which demonstrate what the arts can be when a not-for-profit institution committed to art and community redefines the intersection of art, community and change. Taylor began her career in arts education at Arena Stage (Washington, D.C.) where she established the Allen Lee Hughes Fellows Program—one of the first theater-run apprenticeships designed to increase participation by people of color in professional theater—followed by Lincoln Center Theater (New York City). There, she created The Urban Ensemble—a multidisciplinary project servicing at-risk youth that was cited by President Clinton’s Council on the Arts and Humanities in its 1996 report, Coming Up Taller. She also consulted for New Victory Theatre, where she designed the arts education program for their inaugural season.

Taylor has also served as cultural director for Gay Games IV, where she oversaw the production of more than 200 cultural events, including the Broadway production of Sir Ian McKellen’s A Knight Out. For 12 years she served as a Russian and Arabic linguist in the US Navy. While overseas, she oversaw productions for the United Service Organization in Greece and managed Armed Forces Radio and Television in Turkey, where she created the Profiles in Black history series. Following her graduation from Kendall College’s culinary program in 2001, Taylor opened Taylor-Made Cuisine, a gourmet catering company as well as Home Café, a neighborhood bistro. In 2005, she helped open and served as the catering chef for EatZi’s Easygoing Gourmet, a chain of gourmet bakeries, take out markets and restaurants.

Michael Rohd

Michael Rohd headshotMichael Rohd is founding artistic director of Sojourn Theatre. He recently accepted a Professorship at Arizona State University’s Herberger Insititute for Design & Art, where he, Liz Lerman and Daniel Bernard Roumain lead a think tank/action space called the The Ensemble Lab. He is author of the widely translated book Theatre for Community, Conflict, and Dialogue.  He directs the Center for Performance and Civic Practice, where current projects include The Catalyst Initiative, a national program supported by The Andrew Mellon Foundation, and Learning Labs, through which he is currently collaborating with Arts Councils at the State and Local level around the US. 

In 2015, he received an Otto Rene Castillo award for Political Theater and The Robert Gard Foundation Award for Excellence. He was the 2013-2016 Doris Duke Artist-in-Residence at Lookingglass Theater Company in Chicago. Recent/Current projects include leading a two year Sojourn Artist-in-Residence collaboration with Catholic Charities USA poverty reduction sites around the US; collaborations with Steppenwolf Theater, Bush Foundation, Lincoln Center, Singapore Drama Educators Association and Americans for the Arts; and, working with theaters and universities around the country to mount locally specific projects based on Sojourn's model performance/engagement process/production How To End Poverty in 90 Minutes.