We Here -Growing Concerns Poetry Collective
We fuse poetry and hip-hop with original music and soundscape to create performance and sonic experience that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Growing Concerns Poetry Collective began in January 2017 in an apartment above a flower shop in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood. Within a year, we'd perform at venues and with organizations across Chicago including NPR’s Tiny Desk On The Road Tour and The Art Institute.
We recently released our new full-length album BIG DARK BRIGHT FUTURES. In August 2017, we released our inaugural album WE HERE: Thank You For Noticing, and in January 2018, we published our first book, Five Fifths through Candor Arts.
Mykele is a rapper, poet, curator, and actor from the west side of Chicago. His solo hip-hop and poetic recordings include Maintain (2018), Peace, Fam (2017), Each One Teach One (2016), and Super Predator (2016). He has performed on stages across Chicago and led workshops on hip-hop and identity in the midwest and Portland. His work has been profiled in the Chicago Tribune, The Reader, Consequence of Sound, Vocalo radio, and NPR radio.
McKenzie is a poet, filmmaker, and actor whose work has appeared in TriQuarterly, Rattle, Redivider, PANK, and others. She is the writer and lead actor of the feature film Olympia which premiered at the 2018 LA Film Festival and won the audience aware at the 2019 Bentonville Film Festival. She her poetry and worked as an actor on stages across Chicago and in Washington, DC, as well as on film and television. mckenziechinn.com
Jeffrey is an interdisciplinary artist, musician and educator based in Chicago. Austin currently produces music with Growing Concerns Poetry Collective, and his visual artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally, recently including such venues as Société d'Électricité (Brussels), The Luminary (St. Louis), Chicago Artists Coalition, Hyde Park Art Center, Ed Paschke Art Center, Le Carreau de Cergy (Paris), Kunstenfestival Watou (Belgium), The University of North Texas Art Galleries, Lehr Zeitgenössische Kunst (Berlin), The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Fondation Vasarely (Aix-en-Provence), The Mission, The Franklin, and Manifold, a partner of ACRE Artist Residency. Austin studied at Columbia College Chicago and the Burren College of Art in Ireland before eventually receiving his BFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. jeffreymichaelaustin.com