Artist Empowered: The Ultimate College Coaching for the Performing Artist

Published April 14th, 2017

College and career coaches and consultants can help students and parents in several ways. College coaching helps to navigate the college search, assesses students' goals and skills, and prepares students for the application process. Coaches are experts in what colleges look for and how they make admissions decisions.

Unfortunately, parents and students do not always have this knowledge. That's why the college admissions process can feel intimidating and overwhelming.

  • Completing FAFSA
  • Researching schools
  • Touring campuses
  • Applications (Forms, reference letters, transcripts, essays, portfolios/videos, etc.)

However, this is not the end of the road for performing arts students. You can add auditions to the list.

If you aren’t prepared for an audition, overwhelmed doesn’t begin to describe the sinking feeling in your stomach.

For over 25 years, this is something that Barbara Yokom, Executive Director and Founder of The School of Performing Arts has witnessed first hand. “We have been working with students and parents on their college and career choices over the years. We have discovered a greater need and demand in consulting and coaching. “

About Artist Empowered

Established in 1990, The School of Performing Arts fosters creativity, builds self-esteem, develops a love for the arts, and prepares students for life. Artist Empowered is a new division of The School of Performing Arts with a focus on college and career coaching services. “We help students one on one understand their strengths as an artist and how they can project that in their college or professional auditions,” Yokom shared.

This summer, students ages 14-19 are invited to spend two weeks receiving coaching and perfecting skills for audition preparedness. From July 23 – August 5 Artist Empowered will hold a Summer Intensive in downtown Chicago. Concentrations offered include Contemporary Voice, Classical Voice, Musical Theater and Acting.

Students work with faculty, coaches, and mentors who are industry professionals and from top universities and conservatories in the world. Among some of the program faculty are award-winning lyric soprano Claudia Benack, associate professor of voice at Carnegie Mellon University, and Cameron Knight, head of the BFA Acting program at The Theatre School at DePaul University.

The Ultimate College Coaching

What sets this program apart from others? Not all programs offer college consulting. According to Yokom, “there are less than a handful of college consultants who specifically work with arts students throughout the country.”

And that’s not the only reason. Artist Empowered uniquely combines training in your discipline with coaching. Yokum shared why this is a formula for success. “Training is a continuation of practice exercise to perfect skills to create muscle memory. When combined with coaching a piece of work becomes a performance.”

What’s in it for me?

Without further ado, here’s what you not only want to hear, but need to hear.

Artist Empowered - College CoachingArtist Empowered Offers:

  • Guidance in college navigation and selection, which best suits your talent
  • Private coaching on all audition materials
  • Professional services, including:
    • Tips on Networking
    • Resume building
    • Video/recording of work
    • Headshots
    • Building confidence!
  • And performing in a final showcase for Chicago agents and casting directors!

In their words, “Our program focuses on building YOU, the artist, by making sure you not only have the artistic capabilities to achieve your goals but the courage, strength and tenacity to survive in today’s artist and entertainment field.”

Deadline is May 5. Visit Artist Empowered on Acceptd to apply.

Auditions will be held  Sunday, April 23 at the American Rhythm Center from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. To register for an audition slot, visit and click on Artist Empowered. Prospective students not available for an in-person audition may submit an online audition video and application on Acceptd.

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