Kuumba Lynx - Liberation Through Artistic Expression


Kuumba Lynx is committed to the lives of youth using urban art and performance to cultivate strong communities built on a foundation of love.


KL is an urban arts youth development organization founded in 1996 by three women, Jaquanda Villegas, Leida Garcia-Mukwacha, and Jacinda Bullie. For two decades, alongside many of Chicago’s artists, activists, educators, and youth communities, KL has honed an arts making practice that presents, preserves and promotes Hip Hop as a tool to reimagine and demonstrate a more just world. KL’s Program Facilitators are a collective of artists, activists, educators, and healers.


Kuumba Lynx provides performances & productions, film screenings, art making workshops & residencies, youth artist apprenticeships, community cultural events (battles, exhibitions, festivals & poetry slams), and praxi sharing, all rooted in an indigenous culture of urban artistry and activism.

KL energizes affirming spaces that challenge youth and their communities to deeply engage & listen, critically observe and react, and creatively speak with one another.  Annually, KL Hip Hop Arts Programs directly support and create opportunities for approximately 1,000 participants directly and another 1,500 indirectly through free to public activities. KLPE reaches an estimated audience of 15,000+ people.


Kuumba Lynx’s Hip Hop Arts Program (HHAP) continuum creates pathways across the city at various locations including park districts, schools and community spaces.  The year round sequential arts learning opportunities incorporate ritual, writing and freestyle ciphers fused with dance, beatbox, spoken word, music production, deejaying, graffiti art, photography, video and more. HHAP includes:  1) the Kuumba Lynx Performance Ensemble (KLPE) touring shows & it’s apprenticeships for ages 14-25,  2) 1/2 Pint Poetics (HPP) writing and slam poetry project for ages 8-14, 3) cultural events & collaborations such as Chicago Hip Hop Theater Festival,  Remixing The Art of Social Change Teach In & One Luv Back to School Jam, and 4) praxi sharing & professional development trainings with Co Founders and facilitators.


KL primarily facilitates programming in Uptown, Little Village, and Austin, however program participants represent over 27 Chicago communities.  From Auburn Gresham to Humboldt Park, and from South Shore to  Rogers Park, KL’s celebrates its participants global experiences and perspectives. KL program participants are 55% African American, 30% Latino, 1% Native, 5% White and 9% other.   Our participants are generally 8 to 18 years old (70%), but we also serve 19 to 25 year olds (30%).