Barrel of Monkeys (BOM) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in its 20th year. We provide arts education programs to students aged 7-13 throughout Chicago, focused on storytelling, theater, and social-emotional skills.

Our objectives are:

  • to teach fundamental creative writing skills;
  • to provide consistent and nurturing attention to each student over a sustained period of time ;
  • to build each student’s confidence in self-expression, self-esteem, and writing skills;
  • to perform high quality, professional theater to the students we serve and the broader community; and
  • to form lasting partnerships.

Our Mission

Barrel of Monkeys (BOM) is an ensemble of actor/educators who create an alternative learning environment in which children share their personal voices and celebrate the power of their imaginations. BOM accomplishes this through creative writing workshops and in-school performances of children’s stories. BOM also engages the broader community in support of the visions of children through public performances of their work.

Our Vision

A radically kind Chicago that champions children’s ideas.

Our Programming

BOM’s programming is comprised of three branches: our in-school residency program, an after-school program, and public performances. While each of these branches of our programming is essential to our mission of empowering the youth of Chicago with their creative voices, our school residency program is the core work of our organization.

View our 2014-2015 Annual Report

View our 2015-2016 Annual Report

From the Blog

Read more in the Monkey Blog

“I'll miss you guys so much, you made me start to love writing. I'll keep this notebook forever.”

–Marquisha, 5th grade, Chalmers Elementary