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. 


In celebration of our 25th Anniversary, Fields Auto Group has partnered with Little Black Pearl to bring world-class events and programs to LBP community. LBP is celebrating 25 Years of empowering youth and the community. We are proud of the thousands of youth and adults who have helped LBP to shape and change the narrative about the importance of the arts and the positive contributions we can all make to advance our society. The generosity from Fields Auto Group has helped LBP to provide high quality programs and services that our community deserves.

Little Black Pearl would like to extend a warm thank you to Fields Auto Group and MINI of Glencoe for their sponsorship and in-kind support of our events and programming throughout 2019. Realizing that Fields Auto Group finds value in supporting organizations that make a difference in impactful ways, we are honored that Fields has chosen to connect their premium brand and giving strategy with an organization that strives to respond to the needs of our students, families and community.

The support from Fields Auto Group and MINI of Glencoe has greatly served to provide much needed programs in our community and to safeguard our students during the vulnerable after school hours. Fields Auto Group’s collaboration with LBP is proof that we are “stronger together” and can make a bigger impact while demonstrating the power of partnership.

LBP 25th Anniversary Celebration

Powered by Fields Auto Group


Wednesday, July 19, 2019

SNKRFest, Chicago’s greatest sneaker conventions hosted over 800 sneaker heads and sneaker enthusiasts. Fields Auto Group provided the Countryman to be placed on prominent display in the venue with spot lighting and signage. LBP’s Jordan Shoe was also displayed with the Countryman.

Bud Billiken Parade

Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Bud Billiken Parade has the distinction of being the second largest parade in the country with more than 1 million people watching and in attendance.

Little Black Pearl Founder & Executive Director, Monica Haslip, served as Honorary Grand Marshall for the 2019 Bud Billiken Parade. Courtesy of Fields Auto Group MINI Countryman cars, with signage to highlight the partnership, were used throughout the parade and had a premium televised position in the parade line-up. 

PearlFest 2019

Saturday, August 24, 2019

PearlFest is a world class festival hosted on Chicago’s picturesque lakefront and welcomed more than 3,500 attendees this year. As the Premier Sponsor, Fields Auto Group provided Countryman cars for activation throughout the venue at the entrance to the event, near the stage and entrance to the park. The Countryman cars were also used for car shuttle service over two days of activities for our performing artists, Robert Glasper, Avery Sunshine, Terri Lyne Carrington, Lizz Wright and Nona Hendryx.

Mentoring Ride-Share

2019-20 School Year

Fields Auto Group is the official dealership for the LBP Mentoring Ride Share program for students, providing Countryman cars for activation throughout the school year. The goal is to combat school truancy, support families who lack funds for public transportation, and address the issues of safe travel across our neighborhoods by allowing students to use a vetted ride to/from LBP in order to receive high quality programming.

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NOVEMBER 30, 2019

11AM – 4PM

Support small business at Little Black Pearl and Carver 47 Juice and Experiment Bar! Our Boutique Pop Up Market will feature some the best local entrepreneurs and artisans showcasing gifts for men, women, and children! While you are shopping enjoy a warm meal and beverage at Carver 47 café!


(Enter café on Greenwood Ave.)

With Mayor Lori Lightfoot beside her, Monica Haslip tells the crowd at Little Black Pearl’s 25th anniversary: “I know with every fiber of my being that these young people have the capacity to take us to the next level.” (Photo by Marc Monaghan)

With Mayor Lori Lightfoot beside her, Monica Haslip tells the crowd at Little Black Pearl’s 25th anniversary: “I know with every fiber of my being that these young people have the capacity to take us to the next level.” (Photo by Marc Monaghan)

Thousands celebrate Little Black Pearl’s 25th anniversary

On Saturday, Aug. 24, thousands came to the 39th Street Beach to celebrate Little Black Pearl’s quarter-century with Pearl Fest. Spoken word poets performed. R&B singer-songwriter AverySunshine, jazz singer Lizz Wright and soul elder stateswoman Nona Hendryx performed. Musicians played violins and keyboards. Two DJs tag-teamed. Alumni rapped.

Sherwin-Williams holds 8th Annual National Painting Week at Little Black Pearl

In celebration of Sherwin-Williams' 8th annual National Painting Week, local Sherwin-Williams employees from across the country gave back to their communities with a fresh coat of paint. Sherwin-Williams employees from Chicago went to Little Black Pearl to give a fresh coat of paint to a classroom, computer lab and the main atrium. Little Black Pearl is an organization that focuses on countering the challenges urban youth face by providing a variety of art-based opportunities.

For more on National Painting Week, visit Sherwin-Williams' website.

AJ “Ajani” Carr was the keynote speaker for Little Black Pearl Academy’s 2019 graduation.

AJ “Ajani” Carr is a 16 year old SAG actor from the Showtime series “The Chi”, & NBC’s “Chicago PD”. AJ recently graduated high school as a Junior, at the age of 16. He’s a professional speaker who did a TedTalk, & is currently on a Youth Empowerment Tour that he started through his non-profit organization “Building Bosses”, to help empower the youth by creating a forum where the youth can openly address the many issues that affect their communities everyday, & suggest possible ways they can make a difference. He was recently featured in the Chicago SunTimes. He’s a published author, & his children’s book, “Ballardine”, can be purchased on Amazon. He’s also a Hip Hop artist. His new single “Gotta Make It” is available on all platforms. More information about AJ can be found at


Treasures and Troves

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Little Black Pearl’s 25th Anniversary is an incredible milestone and testimony of our collective power and determination to provide our community with the quality and excellence it deserves. As we celebrate our Silver Anniversary, we take the time to reflect on the many extraordinary partnerships that have blossomed over the past two and a half decades. We honor every relationship knowing that each person leaves behind pieces of themselves to scatter among the children that we have been entrusted to shine the light of hope and possibilities upon.

LBP’s unique partnership with Saatchi Art has allowed the organization an international platform to showcase our talented students and introduce them to innovative curated environments in which to meet other artists, and exhibit and sell their work. As the charitable partner for The Other Art Fair, LBP would like to celebrate our talented students and the featured artist for the event.

LBP Student Exhibition: A collection of glass sculptures, acrylic paintings, photography and graphics curated to emulate the colors, fluidity and peacefulness of an aquatic environment. Glass blown Jellyfish serve as the center focus of the installation.  Students captured the unique qualities of the Jellyfish to represent the fluid nature of our environment. An environment that allows for creative artistry and individuality, much like the Jellyfish. The paintings are images of women draped in bright fabric showing the sinuous grace of underwater movement. The exhibition also includes a series of individualized comic book cover prints and photography that provide viewers into the world of pop culture and underwater schematics while also addressing the playful nature in which we fantasize about supernatural powers. The purpose of this installation is to use diverse subject matter to give the viewer a vibrant and fun under water experience.

Lead Artists: Armand Morris, Daria Amerik, Nikki Vitchner

Apprentice Artists: Aisha Littleton, Camryn Broaster, Christiana Blount, David Edwards, Devonte Carpenter, Erin Taylor, Keenan Brown, Kendall Rosco, Lamaya Watkins, Nasia Duncan, Reina Hugley, Steven Austin, Turone Jackson


You are invited to be our guest for the free Exhibition Preview 

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‘Technology Is Really What We Need To Help Us Succeed’

Little Black Pearl has teamed up with Best Buy and Oculus to introduce students from underserved communities to the world of virtual reality and show how the technology can be applied to their future career aspirations. The Teen Tech Center at Little Black Pearl is the first of four Teen Tech Centers across the country to receive Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headsets and computers donated by Oculus.

The Oculus team will also provide tailored out-of-school educational content, mentorship and support from their own engineers and designers to students at the Center, ensuring they get the most out of their VR experience.

With this partnership, Best Buy and Oculus aim to transform Teen Tech Center students from VR users to VR creators through modifying existing VR content, as well as create VR content of their own. Members of the news media are invited to attend a surprise celebration event for students.


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.


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



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.