Three Chicago-based Artists to join CHIL for Sleep Out

This Thursday, November 16, is Covenant House Illinois (CHIL)'s first annual Sleep Out. The evening will start with a light meal and programming, after which our sleepers will head outside with sleeping bags and cardboard to spend a cold night in St. James Commons.

CHIL has received a wonderful outpouring of support from local talent, and we're excited to announce that three Chicago-based artists will be joining us for the program portion of the event at this Thursday's Sleep Out event to help bring awareness to the issue of youth homelessness in our city. 

CHIL youth will join sleepers for programming, which will include a round-table discussion surrounding Covenant House's Five Principles, followed by a writing workshop led by local artist Kevin Coval and performances by FRSH and TASHA.

Kevin Coval:

Kevin Coval is a poet and community builder. As the artistic director of Young Chicago Authors, founder of Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival, and professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago—where he teaches hip-hop aesthetics—he’s mentored thousands of young writers, artists, and musicians.

He is the author and editor of 10 books, including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop and Schtick, and co-author of the play, This is Modern Art. His work has appeared in Poetry Magazine, The Daily Show, Chicago Tribune, CNN, Fake Shore Drive, Huffington Post, and four seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. Coval’s collection, A People's History of Chicago dropped in April 2017 on Haymarket Books.



An original found of Pivot Gang, Frsh Waters, has been a prominent figure in the Chicago poetry and rap scene since 2004. Hailing from the west side of Chicago, Frsh met Joseph Chilliams, and is know joined by Saba, MFnMelo, and Squeak, forming what they like to call, the West Side’s own “Boy Band”. Frsh lost his father to senseless violence at a young age, and has made a conscious effort to reach out to the youth and be a positive figure in their lives. His focuses are influencing Chicago’s young creative community by speaking at schools and volunteering as much as possible. Through his music and poetry, Frsh hopes to reach kids and inspire them to do great things with their art.



TASHA (stage name of Tasha Viets-VanLear) is a singer, poet, and activist born and raised on the Northside of Chicago. Since the release of her debut EP Divine Love, TASHA has performed around the city and midwest, singing in the name of Black joy, self-love, and radical softness. She believes in a world without police and prisons, and uses her art, above all else, as a vessel for revolution, liberation, and love.

We'd like to extend a big thank you to these artists for sharing their talents with our youth and Sleep Out participants, and a thank you to all of our supporters registered for the event! Together, we're showing our youth that they are loved, they too are talented, and they can achieve their dreams.

Lauren Cartlidge