The Professional Theatre and Dance Youth Academy (PTDYA) is a non-profit 501 C3 organization.


Our Mission is to keep quality arts and music education alive in Chicago’s under-resourced schools and communities so that our city’s most vulnerable youth have a supportive space to learn, grow, and thrive.


Since 2011, our in-school and after-school programming has served over 2000 students, training Chicago’s youth in music, theatre, dance, and spoken word. Our educational curriculum, taught by highly trained professionals of color, successfully engages Chicago’s youth with mentor relationships, multiple learning opportunities, and renewed motivation to stay in school.



To date, our students have been 100% African American, a community that has been experiencing high rates of infection and deaths from Covid-19. In April 2020, 72% of Chicago’s deaths were African American despite making up just 30% of the city's population. Our student population will likely be suffering additional trauma from community infections as well as increased food insecurity, domestic violence, and other violent crimes, due to sky-rocketing unemployment and stay-at-home orders. Once our programming is restored in the fall, our students can rely on PTDYA as a safe, supportive place to process trauma in this new reality.




Founder Michael Jones Elected to

Americans for the Arts’ Advisory Council

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