For the past 22 years, LBP has responded to the notion that Art, like everything else in under-served communities, must respond to the reality and needs of society.  We strongly believe that the battle being waged is for the “minds and hearts” of our children. We also believe that individuals can make a major difference in every effort to ensure that our children have a true opportunity to thrive.  The “I AM” project creates a direct link between our “supporters” and “our children's needs” that is authentically designed to elevate our common humanity to ultimately fuel success and the potential of each child...thereby transforming our collective community. 

Little Black Pearl is honored to have the renowned Lizz Wright as the multifaceted visionary General Manager of Carver 47 Juice and Experiment Bar!    



For 25 years Little Black Pearl has committed to achieving success for all children by empowering them to envision and achieve their potential through art and entrepreneurship. We believe that art is an integral part of a healthy community and its presence creates opportunities for community and economic development. As a non-profit organization Little Black Pearl depends on the generosity of our friends and supporters to assist us in our mission.

Teaching the “business of art” for 25 years!


Little Black Pearl is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

Giving Tuesday 2018-01.jpg

In appreciation of your ongoing support and generous donation of $50.00 or more we will send you this limited edition print created by the talented students of Little Black Pearl Art and Design Academy.



Over the past year Little Black Pearl has been working closely with our partner, MINI USA to develop a program that will assist in tackling illiteracy and the reading statistics of the youth in Chicago. The unfortunate truth is that many of our children in urban communities do not have access to books. To fight some of these statistics, in partnership with Saatchi Art and MINI USA, Little Black Pearl has launched “The Library Project”. Through this project we have created library boxes filled with stories and journeys that will inspire Chicago’s young readers. MINI USA is pleased to provide access to creativity and art by supporting this amazing opportunity to encourage Chicago-area youth to think big and dream bigger through storytelling.

The library boxes were designed by Saatchi Art artists, and feature artwork on the inside from Little Black Pearl students. These artists designed library boxes will be available for purchase at The Other Art Fair, with 100% of the proceeds going to support Little Black Pearl’s mission of furthering art education.

Alongside these artists and our wonderful supporters like you, MINI and Little Black Pearl are proud to be doing more of what matters in the Chicago Area.

We look forward to you stopping by the fair to say hi before we close out on Sunday, September 30th.

Weekend Tickets: Saturday Sept 29 (12pm-10pm) + Sunday Sept 30 (11am-6pm)




The latest Air Jordan V is inspired by designs and illustrations from students at Little Black Pearl, a nonprofit cultural arts center serving Chicago's youth. It switches up the silhouette's iconic details with a Wings lace toggle, a modified Wings logo on the side and an outsole and accents that glow in the dark. Jordan Brand's Wings program helps young people around the globe unlock greatness through the power of education.

Julius Tucker Trio.jpg
Hyde Park Jazz Bassist.jpg
Hyde Park Jazz crowd.jpg

Hyde Park Jazz Fest recap

For more than 5 years Little Black Pearl has been a proud host venue for the annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival. This year’s performances were held on Saturday September 29, 2018 and included the vibrant Saxophone of DePaul University Alumni the Jenna Przybysz Quartet and the magnificent sounds of the Julius Tucker Trio. These local artists heated up LBP on a jazzy Saturday afternoon.



Since 2015, Jordan Brand’s North America Wings Program has collaborated with 26 national partners in five cities to provide more than 225 students with complete academic scholarships for college.
The Wings program allows community partners to nominate high school seniors from their organizations to apply for the Wings scholarship. This year, Jordan Brand’s own Wings Scholarship Selection Committee read, reviewed and scored every application; ultimately deciding who was awarded the Wings scholarship. We’d like to thank the following 2018 selection committee members: Brannon Halvorsen, Brian O’Connor, Chris Taubert, Dinusha Welliver, Howard White, Izaak Smith, Julia Baker, Kenny Matias, Lauren Phillips, Lauren Thompson, Patriece Nelson, Rick Maderis, Sharlene Alagar, and Shauncey Mashia.

Head over to ESPN’s The Undefeated to learn more about the selection process and the stories behind the class of 2018.


Little Black Pearl Student Muhammed Holmes is showcased in Air Jordan Blog!

Check out the story!


Newly renovated Best Buy Teen Tech Center unveiled at Little Black Pearl

Alumni, new students and current students of Little Black Pearl and volunteers from Best Buy gathered early on Aug. 30 to add finishing touches to the school’s newly renovated Teen Tech Center.

The team of workers helped complete the tech center’s transformation by assembling tables, installing carpet tile and painting.

The Best Buy Teen Center, which was created through a partnership between Best Buy, Little Black Pearl Workshop and Heart of America, provides a safe learning environment where youth can explore their ideas, develop new skills and build confidence in themselves through the use of technology.

The refreshed space is equipped with new flooring, furniture, a fresh coat of paint, a remodeled lounge area, new equipment for the recording studio, graphics and more.


Jordan Brand is Giving Kids Full Rides to College - No Basketball Experience Required

The Wings program was recently featured in an article on The Undefeated, highlighting the Jordan Brand’s commitment to helping young people around the globe unlock greatness.

Jordan Brand vice president Howard White believes in this commitment, seeing it as a natural extension of Michael Jordan's personal ethos. “People see Michael as the greatest, the GOAT, with six championships,” White said recently from his office in Beaverton, Oregon, “but they don’t think about the person who, when he was already a millionaire, went back to school to get his degree.”


Little Black Pearl Founder and Executive Director Monica Haslip will be included in mural for the Chicago Cultural Center honoring 20 women “who have shaped the city’s vibrant arts and culture landscape”. 

Ms. Haslip stated, “It is an overwhelming honor to be included in such a prestigious group of artists”!   Her philosophy and art practice is anchored by her belief in the power and impact of “Love”.  The primary vision for Little Black Pearl is to serve as a laboratory of human potential.   By highlighting this group of PHENOMENAL WOMEN Artist/MacArthur Fellow Kerry James Marshall  acknowledges the influence that art and culture has throughout the city of Chicago and the world.   

Congratulations Little Black Pearl Art & Design Academy!

The Little Black Pearl family is proud to boast that our students and faculty were acknowledged for significant efforts in Civic Engagement through our I AM Project during the 25th annual Clubhouse Network Conference held in San Antonio, Texas. The Clubhouse Network supports community-based Clubhouses around the world by providing start-up support, professional development, new technology innovations, evaluation and assessment, partnership opportunities, and access to an online community for youth, mentors, and staff.  The annual conference brought together Clubhouse Network members from around the globe to share, educate, and learn about the latest trends in technology.  Little Black Pearl became a member of the Clubhouse Network through our relationship with Best Buy, the sponsor of our Teen Tech Center.  In this unique classroom space Little Black Pearl students are introduced to all forms of digital media including desktop publishing, architectural design and drawing, multi-media and music production, photography, 3-D printing and so much more!    

Little Black Pearl counters the challenges urban youth face by providing a safe environment, access to positive role models, skills development activities, and social and professional growth opportunities. Little Black Pearl’s “I AM....” project offers positive change that is grounded in individual commitment to making this world a better place and provides an opportunity for young people to tell their own stories and reclaim their greatness.

Little Black Pearl is currently accepting students for the fall 2018 school year. For more information regarding enrollment please contact us at 773-690-5500 or visit our website


Little Black Pearl Academy students team up with the Jordan Brand and Triple Threat Mentoring to design T-shirts and win scholarships!

Jordan Brand got together with the students from Little Black Pearl Art and Design Academy (LBPA) for a t-shirt design contest. The recently announced the winning t-shirt design stemming from the partnership with the Chicago-based art and design academy. The winning t-shirt design was created by a handful of LBPA students and was featured in a limited numbers within the Jordan Brand Chicago flagship store, Station 23, on 32. S. State Street. With the Jordan Brand relaunch of WINGS in 2015, the brand created this one-of-a-kind program (Jordan Design Studio) offering to LBPA. As part of it, one shirt design is featured in the Chicago store per year.

Over the course of 16 weeks, the Jordan Design Studio teaches students the fundamentals of design, marketing, merchandising, making a business pitch and a college visit. In summer 2016 the Jordan brand sent 30 LBPA students to Nike’s World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon to hone their skills with real Jordan designers and marketers. Participating LBPA students are granted access to apply for the Jordan Wings scholarship. To date, 14 LBPA students have received Jordan Wings scholarships with nearly, 200 students receiving the Wings scholarships nationwide since 2015.

Facility Rentals


The Little Black Pearl Art & Design Center provides an extraordinary cultural setting for community, local and national events. The 40,000-sq. ft. facility offers spacious conference rooms and workshops, along with a spectacular 36-ft glass atrium area. 

Art & Design Center

Our distinctive building on the corner of 47th Street South and Greenwood Avenue, anchored in the Kenwood/Oakland neighborhood of Chicago, is a mixture of Classic architecture and modern rehabilitation. The convergence of two unique styles creates an Art & Design Center that is both multi-functional, as well as, architecturally alluring.  The two styles merge to foster an environment that focuses on educating and nurturing youth, on encouraging the community to exercise creative skills and abilities, for hosting concerts and Special Events, for supporting working artists and art connections, and for standing as an architectural iconic symbol for the developing community.


Take the virtual tour and see our facilities from the comfort of your couch. Of course, you are always welcome to come in and see for yourself.


For over 20 years, Chicago’s Little Black Pearl has been a positive community contributor through its initiatives in arts and education. It has also been one of the South side’s most successful stories of innovation and vision. What started as a small neighborhood youth gathering in the residence of founder Monica Haslip, has since expanded into a 40,000 sq. ft. cultural arts center and CPS Option school in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood.

With its history of forward-thinking, it comes as no surprise that the good people at Little Black Pearl (LBP) are back with another creative endeavor- and it’s an exciting one.

This month, Little Black Pearl will debut Carver 47 Juice and Experiment Bar- a gathering space that’s part café, part experience lab- and totally unique.