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Kuumba Lynx Wins $10K In Lyric Opera Contest, Will Bring Story To Stage

 Kuumba Lynx members gather after their Louder Than A Bomb victory
Kuumba Lynx members gather after their Louder Than A Bomb victory
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Mike Bump/ Kuumba Lynx

UPTOWN — The wins just keep coming for Kuumba Lynx.

Last month, the urban arts youth development organization founded in Uptown walked away with its sixth team championship from the annual Louder Than A Bomb youth poetry competition.

And on Wednesday, the group was announced as one of the three winners of the Lyric Opera of Chicago's Community-Created Performances competition.

"Honestly, it felt absolutely amazing. You know that feeling when your skin feels tight, and your veins feel thick, and you're so on edge for so long you stop noticing it? That's how I felt," said Alexis Pettis, a Kuumba Lynx alumna in charge of it publishing collective.

The competition, which is part of Lyric Unlimited's Chicago Voices initiative, will help the winning groups bring their stories to the stage. The winners are given a $10,000 stipend and support from a Lyric-hired creative team.

Pettis, 20, was at work when her phone began blowing up with texts from friends saying "we won," she said.

"Everything kind of just froze, and all my anxiety up until that point literally rushed out of me," Pettis said. "This is an opportunity that we've wanted for a long time, and is just so gratifying."

Blu Rhythm Collective and YOLO Boomers were also winners. All the groups can be followed as they work on their pieces here.

The original pieces will be performed for free at 2 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph St.