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Recognizing Local Heroes

As school is now underway and the After School Matters program is approaching its 20th year anniversary, we’d like to recognize three individuals whose dedication has impacted many youth in Edgewater and across Chicago and thank them for their service. We will feature one instructor each Thursday, begining today with Ellen Glantz.
Among her many roles through 14 years with After School Matters, Ellen Glantz now identifies herself as not only an artist, but a true teacher. She began at After School Matters in 1996, when the organization was just five years old and known as gallery37. Glantz has acted as schools coordinator as well as teaching artist for the program, and has taught a wide variety of art programs, including hand, rod and marionette puppetry, wood carving in rod puppets, bas-relief frames, functional ceramics, metal shadow puppets, metal sculpture and mobiles.

Her students are a constant inspiration to Glantz. Particularly, she has been profoundly inspired by the teens from Sullivan High School, where 90% of the students in those classes are recent immigrants from across Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. “Many have come from war-torn areas and have experienced extreme trauma in their lives, yet they are full of joy, positive attitudes and energy,” says Glantz.

After School Matters® is a nonprofit organization that offers an array of high quality, out-of-school-time opportunities for Chicago teens. Founded in a tented area of Block 37 in 1991 by Chicago’s First Lady Maggie Daley and Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Lois Weisberg, and known then as the gallery37 summer arts program, After School Matters has grown to offer 25,000 program opportunities annually at more than 150 locations throughout the city.


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