Raising Voices

Raising Voices

The Foundation for Our Future

In 2016, Uniting Voices Chicago (formerly Chicago Children's Choir) embarked on a three-year campaign to invest in the sustainability, artistic vitality and expansion of service of our programs. Raising Voices inspired more than $12 million dollars in support to secure a bright future for the next generation of Chicago’s global leaders. Here’s how.

Artistic Initiatives

Productions, collaborations and performance partnerships are a cornerstone of Uniting Voices Chicago’s approach, strengthening young people’s voices and sharing their stories through hands-on experiences. Artistic Initiative funding has laid the foundation for ongoing work—and given new life to projects in response to the evolving landscape of our city. Support empowered new commissioned works, large-scale performances for broad Chicago audiences and artistic partnerships that inspire and change thousands of lives.

Artistic Highlights

  • Uniting Voices Chicago’s 2017 One Voice album, featuring compositions by Uniting Voices Chicago alumnus and Composer-in-Residence W. Mitchell Owens III

  • The critically acclaimed production of Long Way Home, a 2018 Uniting Voices Chicago-commission in partnership with The Q Brothers

  • 2019 performances of GRAMMY Award-winning composer and Uniting Voices Chicago alumnus Ted Hearne’s Unsettlement Anthems at the Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown Chicago

  • A Uniting Voices Chicago winter celebration of our singers and the season, Winter Glow, at The Geraghty in Pilsen

  • The album recording of Long Way Home, released in 2021 and available to stream on all major platforms

  • The development of Uniting Voices Chicago’s newest commission, Rainbow Beach, throughout 2020 and 2021 which tells the untold story of South Side Chicago activists as they worked to desegregate the city’s lakefront beaches


Program Expansion

Reflecting on a 65-year legacy of service, Raising Voices centered music’s accessibility and resonance for even more youth in our city. Engagement of up to 5,200 youth was funded by Program Expansion funds over multiple years.

Between FY16 and FY20:

  • School partnerships increased more than 16 percent (from 79 to 92 schools)

  • Neighborhood Choir service expanded by an overwhelming 55 percent (from 629 singers to 972 singers)

  • Uniting Voices Chicago opened its eleventh Neighborhood Choir program in Bucktown in 2019

  • We launched a twelfth Neighborhood Choir site in Gage Park in fall 2021

  • We expanded advanced Presto ensembles at several Neighborhood Choir locations



The Raising Voices campaign included the establishment of the first-ever Uniting Voices Chicago endowment, providing vital funds that, over time, will generate regular income to support Uniting Voices Chicago annual operations.

This reliable and sustainable revenue source will ensure that Uniting Voices Chicago can respond to economic changes, community needs, or unexpected opportunities—all without compromising our future.

Board of Directors

Donor Community & Philanthropic Leaders

Thank you to the members of the Uniting Voices Chicago Family who supported Raising Voices and the transformative work made possible by the campaign, forging a path for us to move toward a harmonious world.

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