RISK! is a live show and podcast “where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public” hosted by Kevin
Allison, of the legendary TV sketch comedy troupe The State. The award-winning live show happens monthly in New York and Los Angeles. It’s featured people like Janeane Garofalo, Lisa Lampanelli, Kevin Nealon, Margaret Cho, Marc Maron, Sarah Silverman, Lili Taylor, Rachel Dratch, Andy Borowitz and more, dropping the act and showing a side of themselves we’ve never seen before. The weekly podcast gets around a million downloads each month. Slate.com called it “jaw-dropping, hysterically funny, and just plain touching.”
This special live episode will feature stories told by special guests such as Rhymefest, Lily Be, Rebecca Anderson, and Karen Hewett! Don’t miss out!
Che Rhymefest Smith
Driven by his motto, “true power is the power to empower others,” Che “Rhymefest” Smith is a writer, artist, activist, political organizer and teacher, shattering negative stereotypes about hip-hop and establishing himself as a positive role model for underprivileged youth.
In 2005, Rhymefest won a Grammy for co-writing the mega-hit “Jesus Walks” with his childhood friend, Kanye West. In 2006, he released his critically acclaimed “Blue Collar” album and shortly after that, became the first rapper to meet in the British House of Commons when David Cameron invited him to discuss hip-hop and policy, resulting in an initiative called “Hugs for Hoodies.”
A dedicated community leader, social and political organizer, Rhymefest ran for Chicago’s City Council in one of Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods in 2011, and after pushing the incumbent into a run-off and defeating four candidates, he lost by a narrow margin. In 2013, Rhymefest, together with his wife, founded Donda’s House, a non-profit arts program that teaches youth health and wellness techniques, studio etiquette and creative writing. Donda’s House has served over 200 youth with free instruction and continues to be a force for creative change in Chicago.
In 2015, he won a Critics Choice award, Golden Globe and Academy Award for “Glory”, his collaboration with John Legend and Common for the film, Selma. Also in 2015, Rhymefest added model to his impressive resume, when Kenneth Cole selected him to be featured in his “Courageous Class” campaign that showcases individuals dedicated to making positive change. Che earned his second Grammy for his work on “Glory” in 2016.
Che chooses to live on the South Side Chicago. Che believes that in order to counteract violence, systemic barriers and apathy, we should encourage entertainers, athletes and entrepreneurs to remain and invest in the communities they come from. Recently, after experiencing being robbed at gunpoint, Che was treated with disregard by the Chicago Police Department resulting in a public apology from the Mayor and the police department. Both situations inspired Rhymefest to consider solutions on how to heal the relationship between law enforcement and community resulting in Heal Chicago, a city-wide therapy session.
Rebecca Anderson has been a farmer and gardener, a docent at a Shaker village, an ox-drover, a nanny, a stand-up comic, and now she’s a minister. She owns a loom, and uses it. She runs outside year-round but won’t bike into a headwind. In Chicago, Rebecca has worked with companies and events like 2nd Story, The Moth, This Much is True, and co-hosts a Do Not Submit open mic. She’s a founding pastor at GileadChicago.org, a new inclusive creative church where they tell true stories that save lives, and the founder of EarshotStories.com.
Karen Hewett is a native of Illinois, she was the co owner of the critically acclaimed Indigo Duck restaurant in Franklin Indiana with her husband Joseph for 10 years. Currently she is working as massage therapy and enjoying life.
Lily Be is a Chicago native born and raised in Humboldt Park and is a proud Afro-Latina mother, nanny, educator, and storyteller. She’s the creator and co-host of The Stoop, a monthly live storytelling show that takes place at Rosa’s Lounge. She is a teacher at Second City and is an artist in residence at Free Street Theater. Her one woman show will be debuting in late January, 2017. She will also be teaching storytelling at Northeastern University in February, 2017. Lily is voodoo and magic and everything in between.
Venue: The Promontory
Date: November 18th