The name is
MWAH! - an acronym for Messages Which Are Hopeful!
Messages which are hopeful
and hard to forget. Messages of energy
and creative thought.
Messages from young people on a mission to stimulate others to think and to react in ways which are positive. A mission to influence others through the performing arts - dance
and mime - as well as through discussion and by example.
From throughout the Chicago area and northern Illinois, the youthful performing artists convey a message of hope and promise for the future. Their repertoire reflects the changing times in which we live.
A focal point for MWAH! is the importance of choices.
An overall objective is to inspire young people to face life's challenges and opportunities with knowledge, confidence, and a positive selfimage.
The troupe is registered as a 501c3 charitable organization in Illinois under the name KDC / MWAH! (Kids Do Count / Messages Which Are Hopeful!) and is affiliated with the Chicago Area Project, a grassroots service and advocacy program based in downtown Chicago and part of an Illinoiswide community services network targeting atrisk youth and their families.
For Recent photo Highlights, click Highlights.
To read Feedback we've received about our performances, click Feedback.
The ever-changing troupe repertoire includes such various current issues as bullying, abusive relationships, diversity, self-injury, teen depression and suicide, positive alternatives to alcohol and other drugs, and the acceptance of differences among people.
MWAH! founder/director is Ray Moffitt, who has a background in social work.
The MWAH! Performing Arts Troupe and two of its guest participants following
the first of two performances on August 15, 2014 at Mannheim Middle School
in Melrose Park, a nearwest suburb of Chicago. Currently enrolled at
Mannheim are nearly a thousand students in grades 68 from Melrose Park,
Northlake, and Franklin Park.
Shown are (from left at the top) Mike Elkins, Executive Director of the
Cebrin Goodman Center; Chad Sype; Zori Schiffman; Levi Ballard; Sophie
Michael; Landon Ballard; Lindsay Kent; Ashley Stonehouse; and Illinois State
Representative Kathleen Willis, whose 77th legislative district includes the
communities where the Mannheim students live.
Shown in the bottom row are Leah Ballard; Taylor Oechsel; Jillian Gomez; and
Standing in the middle are Shannon and Max Sype.
(photo by Scott Harrington of Elmhurst, Illinois)
Click Bigger for a larger picture.
Shown outside Williamsfield High School with WHS senior Kristen LaFollette (far left) during their appearance at her school on April 28, 2014 are MWAH! troupe members (from left) Taylor Oechsel, Leah Ballard, Jillian Gomez, Joshua Payne, Landon Ballard, Jacob Metoyer, Rachel Plasch, Alex Oechsel, and Rob Delgado. In front are Chad Sype, Lilly Ballard, and Zori Schiffman. Kristen, a driving force for many of her school's activities, was responsible for the troupe appearing at her school.
(photos by Scott Harrington of Photography by Harrington)
Click Bigger for a larger Left picture.
Click Bigger for a larger Right picture.
Click Main page photos Archive for an Archive of Main Page Photos.
Recent articles and videos about MWAH!
For a video slideshow from a MWAH! appearance on April 28, 2014 at
Williamsfield High School in Williamsfield, near Galesburg in western
Illinois, please click Here . Shown above is the troupe with Williamsfield
High students following a 90-minute performance and a discussion session
over lunch. To enlarge the photo, please click Here .
(photo and slideshow by Scott Harrington of Photography by Harrington)
MWAH! troupe member Landon Ballard receives from the audience a story idea
for an improvisation piece on diversity during the troupe's appearance on
April 7, 2014 at Geneseo Middle School in Geneseo, located in western
Illinois east of the Quad Cities. To enlarge this photo, please click Here .
For a video-slideshow from this performance, please click Here .
video slideshow by Scott Harrington of Photography by Harrington)
On February 24, 2014 in Rock Falls, Illinois the MWAH! troupe appeared before an audience of about 1,400 students and staff
from the Rock Falls high school and middle school as well as from Newman Central Catholic High School in nearby Sterling.
A video-slideshow may be viewed Here .
Please click Here for an enlarged photo.
(slideshow and photos by Scott Harrington of Photography by Harrington)
About 700 middle school-age students from six schools in Davenport and
DeWitt, Iowa and Colona, Illinois participated in a MWAH! presentation on
January 13, 2014 at Assumption High School in Davenport.
video-slideshow, please click Here .
For a news video from KWQC-TV (Channel
6 - NBC) in the Quad Cities, please click Here .
For a news video from WQAD-TV (Channel
8 - ABC) in the Quad Cities, please click Here .
For a story in the Quad
City Times, please click Here .
Please click Here to make the photo above bigger.
(photo and video-slideshow by Scott Harrington of Photography by Harrington)
For a videoslideshow from a MWAH! appearance on November 18, 2013 at Greendale High School in Greendale, Wisconsin, a southwest suburb of Milwaukee, please click here .
To enlarge this photo of the troupe taken near the school's main entrance, please click here .
(photo and videoslideshow by Scott Harrington of Photography by Harrington)
For an enlargement of a photo of the troupe, please click here.
For a video slideshow of an appearance by the MWAH! Performing Arts Troupe at Brooks Middle School in Bolingbrook, Illinois, on November 4, 2013, please click Here.
(photo and video by Scott Harrington of Photography by Harrington)
For a video slideshow of an appearance by the MWAH! troupe at MacArthur
Middle School in west-suburban Berkeley, Illinois, on October 15, 2013,
please click Here .
For an enlargement of a photo of troupe members in front of the school,
please click Bigger for a larger picture.
For an enlargement of this photo of the troupe on the MacArthur Middle
School stage following its performance, please click Bigger . In front, from
left, are Alex Oechsel, Leah Ballard, Devaughn Sims, Jillian Gomez, Taylor
Oechsel, Luke Ballard, and Rachel Plasch. In the rear are Zorian Schiffman,
Landon Ballard, Rob Delgado, Jacob Metoyer, and Chad Sype.
(photos and video by Jeremy Reed of Impact Life Photography)
A Video Slideshow appearance by the MWAH! troupe at Wilson Middle School in Moline, Illinois, in the Quad Cities on September 30, 2013, please click Here .
For an enlargement of this photo of Landon Ballard, Luke Ballard, Jacob Metoyer, and Rob Delgado serenading Wilson eighth grader Lacey McMillion, please click Bigger .
For two slightly different video slideshows from an appearance by MWAH! at Prairie Central Junior High School in Forrest, Illinois, on September 9, 2013, please click
To enlarge the photo, please click
For a video slideshow of a MWAH! appearance on August 26, 2013 at LaMoille High School in LaMoille, Illinois, please click Here.
Shown on stage following the performance are the MWAH! troupe and members of the school's Operation Snowball chapter, which sponsored the troupe's visit.
Click Here to make the picture above Bigger for a larger picture.
For a video slideshow of a MWAH! appearance on May 6, 2013 at Blackhawk Middle School in Bensenville, Illinois, please click Here . The troupe is shown outside the main entrance to the school.
(photos and video slideshow by Jeremy Reed of Impact Life Photography).
Click Here to make the picture above Bigger
For prior Recent Articles and Videos info please click Here .
Any donation to assist in the MWAH! troupe's program development would be gratefully appreciated.