MWAH! Headlines Quad Cities Youth Conference, January 24-25 at the RiverCenter Print
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Ray Moffitt   
Tuesday, 30 November 2010 14:44

The keynote presentation for the 25th-annual Quad Cities Youth Conference at the RiverCenter in Davenport on January 24 and 25 will be the MWAH! Performing Arts Troupe, an acronym for Messages Which Are Hopeful.

At its third appearance at this conference in the past nine years, the issues-oriented ensemble will combine real-life drama with contemporary music and audience interaction. An overall focus is what’s happening with today’s youth and their families, and a common thread is the importance of making the right choices. Current MWAH! troupe members range in age from nine to 19 and live in 11 cities and towns in the western suburbs of Chicago and across northern Illinois.

Its RiverCenter appearance will be the troupe’s second visit to the Quad Cities in two months.

On November 22, its audience was about 500 students from grades six through eight at Smart Intermediate School. (Photos from this performance are by Teresa Ousley of Wiz of Oz Photography in Rock Island.)

The Quad Cities Youth Conference, featuring various workshops and speakers that target issues relevant to youth, is expected to draw high-school and middle-school or junior-high students from roughly 25 schools throughout the Quad Cities area.

The overall mission of the conference is to provide youth with the opportunity to enhance those decision-making skills necessary for living in a socially complex world and to establish contacts with key community resources.

Coordinating the MWAH! troupe’s appearance is committee member and past co-chair Gail Jackson of the Moline School District.

Further information on the troupe is available at The not-for-profit ensemble can also be reached by phone at (630)993-0003. It’s affiliated with Kids Do Count, Inc., and the Chicago Area Project, a grassroots service and advocacy agency based in downtown Chicago and part of an Illinois-wide community-services network targeting at-risk youth and their families.

Ray Moffitt is director of the MWAH! Performing Arts Troupe.

Teresa Ousley is an award-winning photographer and Owner of Wiz of Oz Photography. Her studio is located at 1705 2nd Avenue Suite 308 in the VanDerGinst Building in the District of Rock Island. Teresa specializes in weddings, portraiture, children/families, events, boudoir, and model portfolios. Teresa offers “paper doll” sessions that allow clients to dress up in fun items from a wardrobe in her studio, with a makeup artist upon request. More of her work can be viewed at

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