In January and April, One People hosted two installations of their signature program, The Lounge, led under the direction of co-founder, Jennifer Phetchareun. The evenings featured performances by local artists, including original pieces by spoken word poet and One People Signature Artist, Carrie Wells. In April, The Lounge partnered with a local nonprofit,  Community Choices, to raise awareness of the organization's mission and services. Community Choices partners with people with developmental disabilities in Champaign County to achieve independence, opportunity, and choice. Members and representatives of the organization performed at the event. Thank you to longtime One People supporter, Jason Jackson (Barah Capital Partners), for co-emceeing The Lounge in January and John Hailes (Meadowbrook Community Church) for taking the lead in April. Both events were co-emceed with Champaign-Urbana Board Member and community leader, Desa Philip Phetchareun.


In July, One People hosted their fourth annual One People's Summer Arts Camp. The program was coordinated under the direction of One People co-founder and CEO, Michelle Adeoye. In April, members of One People Champaign-Urbana attended local 6th-grade open houses to promote the program to area middle schools. Thank you for your time and enthusiasm, Jennifer Phetchareun, Desa Philip Phetchareun, Larissa Jackson, Luke Davis, Mallory Morris, and Kathleen Jackson. Congratulations to Champaign-Urbana Board Member, Mallory Morris, (Edison Middle School), for giving a spirited presentation on One People's Summer Arts Camp at the CUDO sponsored Pecha Kucha hosted at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts


In June, to raise local support for CU's camp, Naomi Ayodele, the team's fundraising coordinator, delivered another successful Trivia Night Fundraiser. The event was hosted at Guido's Bar & Grill in Downtown Champaign and raised over $900. Many thanks to the CU trivia duo, Trivia with Kris and Holly, for creating and delivering the arts-centric trivia questions. Thank you to all the 2017 raffle and prize donors. Donors included Brainstorm Escapes, Great Harvest Bread Company, The Art Theater, Regent Ballroom & Dance Center, The Illinois Marathon, Cafe Kopi, Danville Gardens, Christine Adeoye (Amazon), No Regrets Tattoos & Body Piercing, Jarling's Custard Cup, Defy Gravity - Pole Fitness and Aerial Arts Studio, Hammerhead Coffee, and Piper Pottery + Crafts.

One People hosted a two-day volunteer workshop at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts facilitated by Champaign-Urbana Board Member and area educator, Mallory Morris, and One People CEO, Michelle Adeoye. The workshop included a first-ever One People Genius Hour coordinated by Mallory  encouraging creative exploration and the art of play. The weekend also included a workshop on childhood trauma and best approaches when working with children led by Centennial High School Social Worker and youth advocate, Meghan Gentry, M.S.W. Thank you to Desa and Jennifer Phetchareun for providing the workshop with the delicious empanadas! 


One People thanks Champaign Unit #4 School District for being a continual camp supporter and partner. This year One People worked with District representatives, Assistant Superintendent for Achievement & Equity, Angela Smith, Garden Hills Principal, Elizabeth Ladd, and Site Administrator, Melissa Vessell, to host the camp at Garden Hills Elementary School. This was the third year the program was held at the school. 


Thank you to our 2017 Community Partners and donors! We appreciate all your support. The camp also received a generous donation by Champaign's own, Mckinley Freeman, star of VH1's Hit the Floor and Daytime Divas. Cash donations went to purchase art and other camp supplies. The camp partnered with several community restaurants to provide the 105 campers and 38 volunteers a free meal Monday-Thursday. Meals were coordinated by One People co-founder and Champaign native, Larissa Jackson. Thank you, Minneci's, Jet's Pizza, Longhorn Steakhouse, and Texas Roadhouse!


Thank you to Champaign's, Jeff Ross, for grilling the hotdog dinners for Friday's showcase event, Camp Celebrates, where the campers performed and presented their week's work. The event had over 300 people in attendance, including the campers' families. Thank you to the Lead Visual Arts Coach, Shanelle Koroma (Choices Coordinated Care Solutions), for working with the kids on designing the set for the evening. A special thank you to One People co-founder, Blessing Adeoye Jr. (OK Beast), for creating this year's camp video and traveling from Seattle, WA to his hometown to lead the Dance Creative Community. Also, a special thank you to the Lead Vocal Coach and area music educator, Torance Douse,(Jefferson Middle School), for inspiring the camp song, reminding us that "we all gotta work together like a Rubik's Cube". Torance also came up with the camp theme, RUBIK'S, with Blessing inspiring the idea for the tagline, Colorful Together. The acronym (Respectful, Unique, Bold, Kind, and Sincere) was created in collaboration with colleague and friend of One People, Lincoln Ajoku.


This year the camp featured its newest Creative Communities, Media Arts, inspired by and led under the direction of area educator, Leslie Lewis, and  Engineering Arts, led this year by University of Illinois Tech Specialist, Chinedu Onyejekwe. Photos from camp were taken by gifted Camp Photographer, Caesar Tata Talili.


One People is honored to have been awarded a $2,500 arts grant from the City of Urbana. To share the camp experience with the Urbana community, One People is hosting a series of events in the City of Urbana. Partnering with the Independent Media Center, One People will display artwork from this year's program. The RUBIK'S ART Exhibition runs from September 9-23 at the IMC.


One People is growing! To celebrate and raise support, One People is hosting a Party on September 23 at Pizza M in Urbana. The event begins a 6 PM and 100% of the proceeds go to support the ongoing hurricane relief efforts via Direct Relief. Learn more and purchase tickets online at

San Francisco
San Francisco

In 2017, One People grew from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois to the Bay Area, California. In August, One People hosted its leading program, One People's Summer Arts Camp in the Western Addition/Fillmore community in San Francisco. The program partnered with the University of San Francisco and the African American Arts and Cultural Complex to provide CAMP free to youth in the city. 


Student teams from Professor Neil Walshe and Instructor Amy Martin's service-learning Management and Organizational Dynamics course represented One People as the on-the-ground community representatives. The students were tasked with promoting the program and fostering community support. Students from Martin's course hosted the CAMP fundraiser at the Panda Express in Westfield San Francisco Center located in Downtown San Francisco. 


One People was gracious to have Board Member, Mallory Morris, lead campers on the first day through an exciting round of improv exercises. Camp volunteers Marjorie Smallwood (University of California San Francisco Medical Center) and Christine Adeoye (Amazon) joined the fun and provided the camp with encouraging lessons and treats. The 2017 program was also supported by the generous donation of Breanne Tcheng (Global Glimpse).


Campers were joined by poet and recent Bay Area resident, Annah Sidigu, who shared her original and thoughtful pieces. Later in the week, the campers viewed the art showing of AAACC Resident Artist, Micah Morgan. In addition to being a visual artist, Micah is AAACC's Youth Programs Coordinator. Thank you to Micah and Michele Black, AAACC's Business Affairs Manager, for your help with this year's program. A special thank you to Micah for attending the USF student team's final class presentation. Marcela Jackson, One People co-founder, also helped with the logistics of this year's SF camp.


The campers final artwork reflected the week's guiding questions, "What does it mean to be brave?", "What does it mean to be kind?", "What does it mean to be strong?" They were joined on the last day by their parents where they showcased and reflected on their week's work. 


Artwork from the San Francisco program will be on display at The RUBIK'S Art Exhibition in September. The exhibition is in partnership with the Independent Media Center and will be hosted in their gallery space in Urbana, Illinois, September 9-23.

Street art photography by San Francisco  photographer, Jim Block

"The tapestry of the One People collective is made up of threads of different lengths and shades that come together to create an amazing unity. CAMP, at least to me, is the outward expression of that unity and a chance for the tapestry to grow in its vibrancy and brilliance."

Luke Davis

CAMP 17 Creative Coach 

What is the city but the people?
When you're performing, you're creating a moment.
Erykah Badu

In addition to a space for local talent to perform, the Lounge is an opportunity to support important causes and celebrate the organizations who do good in the communities they serve.


Champaign native, Madison  Gardner, singing at The Lounge in January. Madison also participated in the Vocal Classical Category at the 2017 NAACP-ACTSO Competition in Baltimore, MD.

The Lounge provides a community space for social gathering and artistic expression. Thank you to past Lounge performers for sharing your art with your community.

Lounges are free and open to the public.

One People believes public speaking is an art. The Lounge invites energetic and community-minded individuals to take the lead as event emcees.

Jason Jackson (Barah Capital Partners) has emceed multiple Champaign Lounges, including the first one in April 2013.

The Lounge is a platform to celebrate the artist inside us all. One People partners with local businesses and organizations to host The Lounge for free, giving attendees an enjoyable community experience at no cost.

Friends, Lillian Randall and James Kolthoff, performing with their band.


 Photos taken by Champaign-Urbana resident and international photographer, Kirstyn Paynter.


All children are artists.
Pablo Picasso

One People's Summer Arts Camp (OPSAC) has been hosted by the Champaign-Urbana community since 2014. The program provides a free weeklong option for area youth ages 9-14. Campers enroll in weeklong cohorts known as Creative Communities (2017 communities: visual arts, creative writing, engineering arts, media arts, vocal performance, drumming, and dance) and participate in art-based projects and activities. Creative Communities work hard to develop a final project that is presented on the final day of OPSAC. Families and friends are encouraged to attend the final camp showcase, celebrating the campers and cheering them on.


Camper practicing.


Dance Community

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

OPSAC provides a dynamic community space for youth to engage in their artistic interests. The program draws support from the local community during an overarching programmatic season (CAMP) to operate the week free of charge. Volunteers play a strategic role in ensuring the program adhere's to CAMP rules of being Intentional, Inclusive, and Inspiring. Weeklong activities are workshopped at One People trainings and leadership functions. Training includes classroom management techniques, behavioral strategies, and skill-building exercises. Trainings also focus on volunteers as both community and creative leaders.

Volunteer and camper.

Creative Writing Community

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

"My name is James Harden. My children are Shaun and Nina Harden; they both attended your camp in Champaign. Shaun was the kid who gave the talk about 3-D printing. I'm a motivational speaker and Shaun has sat through many of my rehearsals and speeches. 'Never, in a million years...' would I have imagined Shaun would get up and speak before a group of strangers. For years, Shaun showed signs of extreme-nervousness in new, or uncomfortable situations. Being a part of your camp provided him with a level of comfort and confidence. I am super-proud of him and eternally grateful for your camp and your willingness to give. You are truly a blessing!" 

James Harden (Dad)

Shaun giving his presentation at OPSAC.

Engineering Arts Community

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

"Thousands of hours of practice requires ACCESS to the resources and equipment you need, and that is exactly what many of us were able to provide during One People's Summer Arts Camp. Throughout the book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell claims that the key to achieving expertise in any skill is the matter of practicing the correct way, for a total of 10,000 hours. The achievement gap can be summarized in access to 10,000 hours! Campers work their tails off to learn and perform skills in areas they otherwise wouldn't have access to! This is not a cut and paste camp. We do not teach macaroni necklaces. This is not field trips and guest speakers. It's not camp chants and friendship bracelets. It's work! It's the experience of seeing the difference between a camera phone and a DSLR. It's learning how to ask questions that will enable you to contribute to an overall story. It's chipping away at a child's 10,000 hours."

Leslie Lewis (Lead Media Arts Coach)


Leslie with campers.  


Media Arts Community

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

Representatives from Champaign nonprofit, Community Choices, volunteered at OPSAC in Champaign. Hannah Sheets, Engineering Arts Coach and Community Choices Membership Coordinator, shared the following quote from a volunteer's mom voicing, "Eric and his mom see this as an opportunity to be advocates and let others see there are opportunities for other people to contribute and be leaders in their community." 


"I am in awe how much Eric enjoyed this experience and in many ways himself, if that makes sense. As most of you know Eric has been rather resistant and nervous about some new social interactions but due to each of you and the wonderful organization sponsoring the camp, Eric genuinely felt he was a valued contributor to the group and the program overall. This feeling of being a part of something is hard for Eric, but also something he wants very much -- and he was gifted with this last week. I can't thank each of you and One People enough for all of your caring and hard work."

Lee (Eric's mom)

Eric (black shirt).

Creative Writing Community

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

In 2017, CAMP premiered in the Bay Area, launching OPSAC in the Western Addition / Fillmore  community. One People partnered  with the African American Cultural & Arts Complex and the University of San Francisco to bring this program 100% free to youth in the city. Campers created art murals that showcased their artistic skill along with their reflections on the week's guiding questions: What does it mean to be strong? What does it mean to be kind? What does it mean to be brave? 


Campers working on mural.


Visual Arts Community

San Francisco, California

At CAMP 17 Champaign-Urbana before campers were dismissed into their Creative Communities, the week's emcees share empowering messages that revolve around the week's theme. The week's theme was RUBIK'S, Colorful Together. Campers were reminded that as individuals, we can be Respectful, Unique, Bold, Innovative, Kind, and Sincere (RUBIKS). A happy happenstance, the week coincided with the inventor of the Rubik's Cube's birthday. "I love One People's Summer Arts Camp because I get to share an amazing experience with the future leaders of the world." 

Desa Philip Phetchareun (OPSAC Volunteer & One People Board Member)


DP speaking to the crowd at final camp showcase.


Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

One People's Summer Arts Camp exposes youth to the art in and from their community. Community Spotlight Artists join the week to share their work, inspiring messages, and personal story with the campers.

Grant Thomas, Comic Book Artist, speaking at camp.

Community Spotlight Artist

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

Campers in the Media Arts Community spent the week learning from and interviewing their fellow campers about their camp experience and love for the arts. Thank you to their Lead Coach, Leslie Lewis, for leading this inspired community!


News Room 44 News Reel

Media Arts Community


One People's Summer Arts Camp is the culmination of the hard work and dedication of leaders and volunteers. Thank you to everyone who made this year's camps a success, impacting the lives of youth in and around your community.


Luke Davis, U of I graduate student, presenting at camp. 

Community Spotlight Artist

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

Photos from CAMP Champaign-Urbana were taken by Caesar Tata Talili.


View complete Sept 2017 update in desktop view.

Racial and ethnic diversity is important. The graph on the left represents the racial and ethnic diversity of this year's campers at One People's Summer Arts Camp.

Racial and ethnic diversity is important. The graph represents the racial and ethnic diversity of this year's campers at One People's Summer Arts Camp.

I'm a reflection of the community.
Tupac Shakur
Art changes people and people change the world.
John Butler

Complete update in desktop view.



the arts available

to all.

At One People's Summer Arts Camp, we ask parents and guardians to voluntarily submit demographic information. Graphs represent the social demographics of CAMP 17 in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois and San Francisco, California. 

Press Mentions
WCIA 3   One People Arts Group to hold Fundraiser
September 15, 2017
Whether it is music, painting, or acting, exposing kids to the arts is an important part of growing up. However, since many lessons and summer camps come with a very hefty price tag, it isn't something many kids have the opportunity to enjoy. It is the reason One People arts group is making a tremendous difference in the lives of kids, through free arts camps. 
WCIA 3   Free Summer Camp Inspires Love of Arts for Local Kids
August 1, 2017
Come summertime, most classrooms across Central Illinois sit quiet. However, at Garden Hills Elementary in Champaign, plenty of noise can be heard billowing out of one classroom as kids get a lesson in drumming. 
WCIA 3   What's Happening: Camp Fundraiser
June 26, 2017
One People hosts annual Camp Fundraiser Trivia Night to raise support for their free arts camp. 
Pecha Kucha   Mallory Morris: One People’s Summer Arts Camp!  
June 21, 2017  
Champaign-Urbana Board Member and early One People supporter, Mallory Morris, sharing about One People's Summer Arts Camp, Champaign-Urbana.
Smile Politely   Better than free? One People keeps improving Summer Arts Camp 
May 31, 2017

What do you think of when you hear the word "summer"? For me, it’s all about festivals, outdoor activities, concerts, ice-cream in the park, street fests, long days, hot nights and all kinds of foods on a stick. For kids, it’s no school, waterparks, and summer camps. But for parents, summer can mean longer work days and costly childcare.  





WCIA 3   What's Happening: One People 
January 12, 2017

Larissa Jackson, Desa Phetchareun & Mallory Morris join us for What's Happening.