Inspired Art 2015


The Inspired Art Project enlists local artists to create and donate original works, inspired by original poetry written by the youth of America SCORES Chicago’s after school program.

Through this cycle of inspiration and influence

  • Students will witness their creativity brought to life

  • Artists will build connections with diverse communities around the city

  • SCORES’ supporters will see the profound impact these youths’ words can have on others.

Artwork will be displayed alongside the original poem and auctioned at the Inspired Art Show on October 17th at the Jackson Junge Gallery.  Proceeds from the Inspired Art Auction will directly benefit SCORES, providing free, creative writing and soccer after-school programming to CPS students.


Poem List and Tickets




Please direct any questions to Aiden Killick ( 


Poem List for 2015 Inspired Art

 1.    Visting My Abuelita
I wake up early every morning
to the sound of my abuelita humming and working in the kitchen
Making chocolate con leche and galletas for the family
During the day we play games of tag
with a slingshot in one hand and Tamarindo candy in the other
The sun is hot
so we stop at la pequeña tienda for something cold to drink
Abuelita will be preparing la cena soon
Pollo en mole, my favorite
As we walk back to the house we stop to see the donkey-he’s in a good mood today
Every night the power goes out and rain pounds against the house
We all gather while abuelita tells stories about la bruja
to the rhythm of the rain drops
As I fall asleep I hear the sound of creatures all around me
I’m afraid but tired
So I fall asleep and dream.

By Angel, G. age 9
John Hay Elementary



2.    My Family
I love my family
They make me who I am
Even my sister who annoys me most of the time
Will always have my back if I get in a jam
My Dad teaches me to be tough and work hard at everything I do
My Mom teaches me that respect, responsibility and integrity
aren’t just shown by what we say but by what we do
I love my family
They love me for who I am
Whether I dress up and perform like Michael Jackson,
or score a goal in a soccer game
they are my biggest fans.
I love my family
They believe in who I want to be
The most important thing that you should know about me
Is that I love my family

Anselmo, O. grade 5
Castellanos School

3.    Too Much to Ask
All I want is a little privacy
Is that too much to ask?
Finding a little personal space
Shouldn’t be such a task
Imagine living in a house
Where everyone always hovers
My Mom, my Dad, my Sister, My Cat
And two obnoxious brothers
All I want is to talk on the phone with no problems
Do my homework with no pests
And write in my diary without having to hide it from my sister
I’m not asking for a chauffeur or a mansion
Or a trip to Paris for a week of high fashion
All I want is a little P-R-I-V-A-C-Y
But I’ll probably have to wait til I turn 35

By Camila R. age 10
Castellanos School

4.    My Secret
Psssttt! Hey! You, over there…do you want to hear a secret? It’s about this boy….
He loves soccer like Lebron James loves winning championships
He has crazy skills like Messi with the soccer ball
He is confident like Alshon Jeffrey going up for a touchdown with 5 people on him
He shows teamwork all day like Rando getting 20 assists
He puts his heart into everything like a parent loves their child
He loves his family like God loves him
He is brave like Dr. Martin Luther King when he had a dream
He is a warrior
He will succeed
He is me

By, Darrail P. grade 5
Hearst Elementary

5.   I'm Not A Perfect Girl

I’m not a perfect girl
My hair doesn’t always stay in place
I take photos and don’t like the look on my face
I’m pretty clumsy, I spill things and fall down a lot
I have the answer but then completely lose my train of thought
I’m not a perfect girl
Sometimes I have a broken heart
I want to fix it but don’t know where to start
Me and my friends sometimes fight
There are days when nothing I say goes right
But then I stop, think and take a step back
I see that all of those things have brought me to where I’m at
I don’t want to be a perfect girl
I am insane with creativity and that will be my mark on the world
I can be funny when I feel like it
or a happy song on a rainy day
because that’s OK
The imperfections in my reflection
are a real life, one of a kind, art collection
I’m not a perfect girl
and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

By, Valerie P. 8th grade
Hearst School

6.    Best Friends
From the first day we met
I knew we were meant to be
Best friends
Playing, laughing, dancing
Even when we lose and especially when we win
My team is a part of me
They help me do my best
When I feel my worst
They cheer me up
When I feel down
They push me to do more
When I feel like I can’t
My team is a part of me
From the first day I knew
We were meant to be best friends.
By Jasmin V. age 10
Castellanos School

7.    Me and Emily
My life would be a catastrophe
If I did not have my Emily
Who is that you ask of me?
Well she’s my cat and naturally
She’s soft and fury and has four legs
Unlike my dog she doesn’t beg
She’s a cat of many talents
Opening doors and drawers with perfect balance
She likes to play all night and day
And will hiss like a snake if you get in her way
She’s sneaky like a ninja who moves in the dark
Her claws always leave behind deep red marks
Still she loves to rub against me
She’s never against me
And she likes when I scratch behind her head
By, Miya Z.

8.    It’s Alive
You may think I’m crazy
But I know my school’s alive
I’ve seen things you wouldn’t believe
With these two beautiful brown eyes
The halls are lined with alligators
Chomping at the bit
To chew me up and spit me out
Sometimes tardiness is legit
The desk ate all my homework
My locker ate my books
And all the clocks count backwards
And give me dirty looks
Oh- and that smiling teacher, she’s really a creature
She’d eat me but I won’t digest
Since unfortunately for her and for me
 I have lactose intolerance
So I ran into the bathroom
Straight into stall one
But find out that it’s haunted
By the ghosts of tests and no fun
I hid behind a bookshelf
I thought no one could see
But then it grew long, hairy arms
And grabbed right onto me
When I get in line for lunch
The food is NOT what it seems
The meat is green and blue
Served with a side of purple beans
Recess comes and goes
Without an incident
Unless you count the playground cracks
Oozing lava from the cement
Just 2 classes left until the final bell will ring
Then we’ll make our great escape like
The goddess Persephone
You may think I’m crazy
But I know my school’s alive
I’ve seen things you wouldn’t believe
With these two beautiful brown eyes.

By, Princess Yamah D. grade 4
Pilsen Academy

9.    What NOT to Do
I know that I’m not perfect
But hey, neither are you
Since we’re all learning together
Here’s a list of things that I’ve learned NEVER to do
Never play with super glue
Your fingers will get stuck together and you will get caught
Never ignore your teacher’s instructions
You will not know what’s going on and you will get caught
Never jump on classroom tables
It’s dangerous and you will get caught
Never tell lies about another person
The truth always comes out and you will get caught
Never talk back to your teacher
It’s disrespectful and you will get caught
Never start a fight in the bathroom
It’s unsanitary and you will get caught
Never feel afraid to ask questions
If you don’t know what you’re doing eventually, you will get caught
Never bully another student
It hurts everyone and you will get caught
Never judge someone based on how they look
You can’t hide from being ugly on the inside and you will get caught
That concludes my list for now
Check back in with me next year
I’m sure I’ll have added some more
By, Jonathan Q. age 12
Hearst Elementary

10.    Love Is
I have some thoughts about love
Love is the best of what we all have inside
Love makes me want to run and hide
Love is like my most wonderful dream coming true
Love is like a nightmare that I have over and over again
Love appears like magic and gives life meaning
Love feels like my life is disappearing
Love is like winning the lottery
Love is like finding a dirty penny stuck to the gum on the bottom of your shoe
Love is what everyone needs in their life
Love takes too much time
Love will heal my deepest wounds
Love makes me feel like I’m buried alive in a tomb
Love makes every day feel like Christmas morning
Love makes me want to stay in bed snoring
Love is happiness
Love is complicated
By,  The Castellanos All-Star Poets
Andres, Brisa, Giselle, Raul

11.    A Year I’d Like to Forget
I didn’t want to go
They’ll get to know you my Mom said
But I felt like I walked into a different world
Everyone was a stranger
Speaking the language of gossip
To me, the new girl
Trying to paint my lens the color of judgment
 But they didn’t know me
And even with eyes blurred by tears
I see better than most
Razor sharp assumptions that cut deep and divide
Have no place in my mind
Inside jokes meant as jabs
Echo like nails on a chalkboard
So I shut them out
and remain on the outside
Not looking in, but ahead
Determined, to achieve my goals and live my dreams
Committed to who I am and who I want to be
My focus is on the future
And even with eyes blurred by tears
I see better than most

By, Tiana L. grade 7
Pilsen Academy

12.    My Heart Races
My heart races
Fear is pressing in
Hands shake as I step to the mic
Breathe in deep and begin
This is my song
It moves to the rhythm of my heart beat
When I exhale my melody echoes
To the highest rafters of my dreams
The sound is everywhere
My heart races
This is my song
Holding nothing back my spirit sings in full voice
a celebration of love shattering barriers that stand in my way
I am free
I am fearless
This is my song

Valerie P. Grade 6
Hearst Elementary 

13.    Real Talk
I talk about real life, not fiction
Some frogs spit venom
So you probably shouldn’t kiss them
I talk about real life not fiction
Some caterpillars use silk to catch their prey
So you may not want to buy any clothes made of silk
I talk about real life, not fiction
There are more empty houses in the US than there are homeless people
So we should help them find a place to stay
I talk about real life not fiction
Gorillas can catch colds from humans
So be sure to cover your mouth if you sneeze at the zoo
I talk about real life not fiction
Dolphins sleep with one eye open
So you won’t be able to sneak up on them
I talk about real life

By, Alexis N. 3rd grade
Pilsen Academy

14.    The Way I Think 

For me the world began broken
people fighting for food
for each other, and for survival.
Some do it for amusement
to see the terrorized faces of humans and despair
but the way I think, it's a whole other story.

The world began broken for a reason It knew we could fix it.
Fix it like a powered down machine fix it like a wire out of its place
fix it like a hairdo gone wrong.

Let them do what they do
They will soon be hushed
The way I think
It's unexplainable
but it's insanely illogical, so it just might work.

By, Andres R. 8th grade
Castellanos School

15.    Then and Now
I used to be shy; I didn’t want to talk to anyone
But now I’m bold- lights, camera, ACTION!
I used to be afraid that I would fail a test
But now I’m brave
 I know I can do my best
I used to try and talk to people
 but they would just ignore me
But now when I speak, they listen
because everyone wants to know me
I used to feel sad
like I didn’t have a family
But now I’m happy
Like I’m surrounded by mountains of cookies- all for me
I used to be invisible
like the air that we breathe
but now I’m bright like the sun
you need sunglasses to look at me
I used to feel caged up inside
But now I definitely know
There are no limits for me
In my life- I can go anywhere that I want to go

By, Axel E. 3rd Grade
Pilsen Academy

16.    My Life on the Weekends
I love the weekend.
When the clock strikes 3:45 on Friday, I know it’s on
but first I have to ride all the way home with my Mom.
I wake up Saturday morning when the sun is actually out.
It’s time for some quality “me” time
with Cartoon Network and my couch.
My stomach starts to growl, mmmmmmm
I smell my Mom’s pancakes on the griddle.
Time to make my breakfast taco deluxe-fully loaded
with eggs, bacon and syrup right in the middle.
Breakfast may be done but the fun has just begun
gotta change the channel and turn on the XBOX one.
Uh-oh here’s my bro, coming down the stairs
giving me that creepy looking stare.
Multi-player time let the games begin.
Online tournament me and my bro score for the win!
Sunday comes and a cold shiver runs down my back.
The weekend is almost over.
I’m gonna have a brain attack!
Monday morning, ughhhhhh I wish I could find,
that happy weekend place inside of my mind.

By, Derrick S. 3rd grade
Johnson School of Excellence


17.    I Wish
I wish that I could sleep on the clouds
High in the bright blue sky with birds flying by
Soaking in the sunshine and watching below
While all kinds of people come and go
Driving to work or taking the bus
We all have wishes that connect each of us
More time with family and people we love
Shelter and food with a good paying job
For violence to stop and peace to start
Why can’t we all look inside of our hearts?

By, Ja’Nya Tate-Hudson, age 8
Hughes Elementary School

18.    Put the Guns Down

Put the guns down.
You only get one life.
Don’t you want to grow up to
have a car, a house and maybe a wife?
Put the guns down.
Doesn’t it make you angry when kids get shot?
We deserve to play outside-safe,
whether the weather is cold or hot.
Put the guns down.
It starts at home with how we’re taught.
Revenge is not the answer.
It shouldn’t even be in our thoughts.
Put the guns down.
This nightmare has got to stop.
I shouldn’t feel afraid inside of my house
because of gangbangers outside on my block.
Put the guns down.
Other countries can do it,
so why can’t we?
I’m sick of seeing people killed by guns
every time I turn on the TV.
Put the guns down.
 If not today, then when?
People keep dying our Mom’s are crying
again, and again and again.
Please- Put the guns down.

By, Jayden H. 
Rosario Castellanos School-Chicago


19.    You see her doing fine
Today…she’s sad
You wonder what’s going through her mind
She  always has a smile, she’s also very kind
She’s beautiful and divine
For the first time, you see her start to cry- suddenly
You ask her, why?
She wipes away her tears and says, I’m fine
She holds so much pain inside, all her thoughts and emotions
She tries to hide
She fakes a smile, from side to side
Her true feelings now disguised
She puts on a mask- “I have a perfect life.”
One week later, she commits suicide
She stabbed her heart with a knife.
The last time I called her, she declined
She was my friend
Time goes by; she left a blank space behind.
How can life ever be complete without her smile?
It shined…She was one of a kind
Her silence blew my mind
Now her laughter, unforgettable times, I’ll never again find
How could I be so blind?
Jennifer R. age 13
Castellanos School

20.    Amazing
In many ways I’m amazing
On stages I’m hot, I’m blazing
On any occasion, I shock you
I’m tazing with poetry
I’m in it for real, I’m in it for skill
My parents fed me with it, put it in my bottle Infamil
My rhyme cries of infancy , the melody of my history
Sisters sing with me
I represent for my ancestors singin songs in the cotton field
I represent for Aaliyah; I’m one in a million
I am Emmit Till
You get it, I’m crazy with it
When I spit it like Key and Peele
I’m the real deal, Lonye not Holyfield
When I’m performin I’m bringin the heat
like George Foreman grills
I got lyrical miracles, I got lyrical miracles
More than Joel Osteen does spirituals
I know proper preparation prevents poor performance
So I’m performin my powerful piece of poetry
When I pull apart my pants and pick-pocket my ink pen
start writing some excitement again.
I’m a popular people person practicing poetry with purpose
I go for my goals like Gabby Douglas cuz it’s worth it
In any show, show; I can go, go bananas
When I flow, flow even Nestle
 No- I’m quicker than Cocoa
I’m a Legacy Scholar
From the west side, the best side of Chicago
Holler if you know so

By Lonye, S. 5th grade
Legacy Charter School-Chicago

21.    Untitled

If you are my friend
please don't
have arguments with me.
I might cause them, 
but you continued them.

Friends are not
and I mean not
to tell your secrets.
I gave you my trust,
don't lose it.
It's the friend code.

Plus you are supposed
to be my "shoulder to cry on" 
not my enemy.
And please! 
don't ignore me.
If you do then who
am I suppose to tell my secrets to. But worst of all don't judge me or my mistakes.

Most of all don't judge me.
I eat how I eat like I haven't eaten in days
and I dress like I dress like I dressed in the dark. 

Oh and don't have me bring up that someone special coming between us.
You have to make a decision, it's me-- the one that's been there for you-- or him. 

But the worst of them all is the sidekick position.
Everyone hears your voice. 
I want them to hear mine.

I'm only human after all.
And you are too.
So please forgive me
for my mistakes.
By, Camila & Maria
Castellanos School

22.    Diary of my Dog
One day as I searched for a shoe under my bed
I found a diary, so I opened it up and read
The pages were full with the dates at the top
When I started to read, you could hear my jaw drop

This diary is property of Princess the Pitbull- Read if you dare!
Friday, November 16, 2014
6am- My owner keeps hitting the snooze button on the alarm.
I wish she’d just wake up already, I mean come on people rise and shine! 
It’s time to walk the dog- seriously, I really need to go!
8am- Finally they’re off to school, the noise has stopped!
I wonder where they hid the bacon flavored treats?
 Mmmmmm bacon- It’s ridiculous that they don’t just leave them out,
It’s like they don’t trust me or something- I’ll try again tomorrow.
I hope they left the TV on animal planet.
I hate using the remote and I don’t want to miss cat week.
Cats-Ha! They think they’re soooo smart
The cats in my neighborhood jump every time they see me
They’re more like chickens if you ask me.
3:42- I can hear the noisemakers down the block
they’ll be home soon.
I better get in some quality fetch time today, 
they’ve been hiding my ball all week and it’s getting old.
Maybe I should start hiding my writings in a new spot….
Nah- she’ll never clean out under her bed.

 By, Melany T. 5th grade
Castellanos School

23.    Open Your Eyes
In the blink of an eye
I see what I didn’t see before
People showing hate by what they do
And what they take-Life
Cut short by bad choices
And bare hands
Metal, gunpowder and lead deliver the message-
Death comes fast
Wrong place, wrong time, wrong side
Of the race line
Where life moves slow
For those who struggle to get off the streets
You see the ladder won’t reach
When this skin is a breach
I’m done
Seeing what I didn’t see before
If this is progress we need to progress more
Now is the place, now is the time
because I’m not fooled by this,
“There are no race lines”
Prejudice masked behind a slick disguise
Isn’t just a harmless lie
If you don’t believe how bad it can be-please
open your eyes with me and see
what you didn’t see before.

By, Princess Yamah 5th grade
Pilsen Academy

24.    Get Your Life Straight

Hey you know what, 
pull yourself together, 
I'm telling you straight out not in a letter 'cause I know you wouldn't listen cause I know how you're feelin'. You lose concentration. You're sad like the day of JFK's assassination.
You are always being late it's not like you live in another state.
You never do your work then you'll never learn. You are always sleeping in class don't cause the teacher soon will say it's your last. 

Your skin and bones
don't worry you're not alone. 
I'm here for you like lyrics in a line, 
a candle in the night, 
and stars in the sky.

By, Ruben L.
Pilsen Academy

25.    I Am/Yo Soy
I am an electric bass guitar
Hypnotizing you with my sound
I am tough
Getting knocked down, doesn’t scare me because I always get back up
I am Earth
Peacefully rotating through the seasons
I am the oldest
Chores and responsibility are everyday life
Yo soy frijoles
Porque es mi comida tradicional
I am Batchata
My rhythm never stops
I am power
Building hope with the force of my mind
I am the future
Speaking truth to action
I am an immigrant
I am here
I am proud

By Shirly R. grade 4
John Spry School

26.    Good Path vs Bad Path

I am the better path to choose.

I am the true path, don't believe in a word she says. I am telling you the truth. Believe me like a friend believes a friend.

Partying all the time drugs, and alcohol will blow your mind away.

Studying all the time yoga and reading will relax your mind.

Be cool and don't go to school I mean who needs it.

Go get your A's and B's.
Get a college degree.

Money is easily made by selling drugs on the streets.
Having fun and cash is what you need. 
If you get thrown in jail, no problem. It feels like a family in there.

Don't listen to that troublemaker. Listen to the person who wants to see your life shine like a star.
Don't let anyone tell you you can can't do anything. You may do what you please.
Do what my parents told me: Be better than us.

Go to that party, get drunk, and do some drugs.

Go to the library and focus on your future. 
I want you to follow me. This is the right path for you.

This is the never give up path, the future plus the growing up path,the life-changing path.
This will turn you into a responsible true caring person.

By, Tiana & Abril
Pilsen Academy