By Kristin Boza
Lifelong Beverly/Morgan Park resident, Lizzie G, turned her love for the performing arts and rap into a career by motivating Chicago Public Schools middle and high school students. Through her company, Lizzie G Entertainment, she partners with schools to bring in programming that they often don’t have the funding for. Lizzie G’s impact on the lives of the youth throughout Chicago — and the world — is life-changing for many.
“A lot of schools are lacking in the arts, so I felt it was up to me to provide the space for children to be able to express themselves,” Lizzie G said. She creates after school programming for CPS schools, where middle and high schoolers can learn more about music, art, music management, creative writing, and more. Each program is tailored to the specific school’s needs.
Lizzie G also offers special programs during the day. “I perform concerts, motivational speaking, anti-bullying workshops, and more,” she said. “I am a partner with CPS, but I also bring my message to children all over the world.” Lizzie G is traveling to Haiti for the sixth year in a row, bringing school supplies and other donations to the neediest kids in Haiti.
A CPS graduate, Lizzie G attended Clissold Elementary School for 7th and 8th grades. Already bitten by the performing arts bug, Lizzie G attended Curie High School, which has an extensive performing arts program. After earning a BA from Northern Illinois University and a masters degree from Roosevelt University, Lizzie G decided to take her knowledge and give it back to the community by starting her company.
“Music was a hobby, but I started making it a career,” Lizzie G said. “Giving back to young people who will become the game-changers of tomorrow is very fulfilling. I can share my experiences with the kids and tell them how I pursued my dreams, and they can do it too.”
Lizzie G knows her music career has been helped tremendously by earning her undergrad and masters degrees. “A lot of the high school students I talk to think that they have to drop out of school to pursue a music career,” she said. “They think they can be rappers, and I’m trying to tell them to stay in school because college is a platform to perform music, get a fan base, and soak up all the knowledge you can.”
Beverly/Morgan Park helped shape Lizzie G’s life, which is one reason why she still calls it home. “I’m grateful that I’ve always been in a safe environment where I can go outside and practice rap for hours on my porch and not be bothered or in trouble with the police,” she said. “I could be creative here and I also appreciate the level of education I gained. I’m in a community with like-minded people who want to strive for success.” She reminisces about swimming in Kennedy Park pool and running laps on Morgan Park High School’s track. “I’ve been in the same house for my entire life. I love to travel, but it’s great to come home to this community.”
To assist her former elementary school, Lizzie G started a GoFundMe to benefit Clissold and four other South Side schools in getting new sound systems for their performing arts programs. To donate, visit gofundme.com/schoolsoundsystem.