Jubilation Fellow Hamlet Meneses

Hamlet Meneses

Chicago IL
Fellowship: 2020

“I chose to do this, because I love teaching.”

Hamlet is a Guatemalan-born artist, musician, and educator who moved to Chicago in the 90’s. In 2006 he founded GoCreative Programs, which provides Spanish classes using music and art for early childhood. He provides bilingual enrichment workshops for educators, and programming to preschools, libraries, and hospitals. His debut album, Happy Land is Tierra Feliz, was listed as one of Billboard’s top Latin Children’s Albums of 2018.

What led you to be a teaching artist?
It started with my strong desire to have my son grow up in a bilingual environment, surrounded by art and music. In early 2001 I started teaching Spanish and many parents liked how I worked with their kids. So I started a home tutoring program, as well as bookstore, library, and museum programs. In 2008 I started working with preschools, and K-8. After battling cancer in 2013, my focus became babies — 6 weeks to 6 years. Second-language acquisition should start as early as possible.

Teaching philosophy:
I use educational and cultural games, and always invite children to ask questions to create a dynamic conversational space. I believe a positive and welcoming bilingual community is essential to learning every time we are together.

Through art, students are able to express themselves, discover and grow new skills, engage with others, and gain confidence in their ability to create.

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