The name is

MWAH!

- an acronym for Messages Which Are Hopeful!


Messages which are hopeful…healthy…and hard to forget. Messages of energy…emotion…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…theatre…song…narration…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 self–image.

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 grass–roots service and advocacy program based in downtown Chicago and part of an Illinois–wide community services network targeting at–risk 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.




AssumptionHS_Collage
A contrast in moods: The MWAH! troupe following its performance on
January 13, 2014 at Assumption High School in Davenport, Iowa in the Quad Cities for an audience of about 700 middle school-age students and staff members from six schools in Davenport and DeWitt, Iowa and Colona, Illinois.
From left are Leah Ballard, Taylor Oechsel, Jacob Metoyer, Luke Ballard, Landon Ballard, Zorian Schiffman, Devaughn Sims, Jillian Gomez, Joshua Payne, and Rachel Plasch. Lying in front is Chad Sype. Not shown is Rob Delgado.
(photos by Scott Harrington of Photography by Harrington)
Click Bigger for a larger Left picture.
Click Bigger for a larger Right picture.
BrooksMS_Collage
Inside and Outside – from the stage inside to a sign outside with the name of the host school – the MWAH! Performing Arts Troupe following its presentation on November 4, 2013 at Brooks Middle School in Bolingbrook, Illinois.
(photos by Scott Harrington of Photography by Harrington)
For bigger photos, please click Here .
Spring2013_2
An appearance by the MWAH! Performing Arts Troupe at Blackhawk Middle School in west-suburban Bensenville on May 6, 2013. Participating with the troupe were Heather Briscolino of Rolling Meadows, whose teenage son, Quinn Dombrow, and his best friend, Dustin Frazier, were killed in a high speed crash near Galesburg in western Illinois; and Mike Elkins, Executive Director of the Cebrin Goodman Center, named in memory of his cousin, who died as a result of heroin addiction. Additional photos from Blackhawk may be viewed as a video slideshow and a photo slideshow.
(photos by Jeremy Reed of Impact Life Photography)
Click Bigger for a larger picture.
Spring2013_3
The MWAH! Performing Arts Troupe during their appearance at Northeast High School and Middle School in Goose Lake, Iowa on April 22, 2013, sponsored by the high school's SADD Chapter (Students Against Destructive Decisions). Additional photos from the stage of the new auditorium may be viewed as a photo slideshow at Showcase / Photos.
(photos by Jeremy Reed of Impact Life Photography)
Click Bigger for a larger Left picture.
Click Bigger for a larger Right picture.
Spring_2013_1
Two appearances during the spring of 2013 by the MWAH! Performing Arts Troupe in Menard County, northwest of Springfield - Athens High School in Athens on March 18th and PORTA High School in Petersburg on April 8. Athens and MWAH! dancers in upper left, PORTA and MWAH! dancers in lower left, and the troupe in upper right at Athens with (front row from left) Mary Kay Mace, Kay Daniel, and Bill Reed. Mary Kay Mace's daughter, Ryanne, was the youngest of the five students shot to death at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb on Valentine's Day of 2008; Kay Daniel heads the Menard County School and Community Task Force, sponsor of the troupe's two Menard County appearances; and Bill Reed is the principal of Athens High School and coordinator for the troupe's visit to his school.
(photo collage by Jeremy Reed of Impact Life Photography)
Click Bigger for a larger picture.
Snowflake 2013 1
Following its performance as part of the Livingston County Operation Snowflake retreat on March 9, 2013 the MWAH! troupe visited the Route 66 museum in downtown Pontiac, Illinois. From left are Chad Sype, Justice Henderson, Joshua Payne, Jacob Metoyer, Ashley Stonehouse, Sarah Saltiel, Taylor Oechsel, John Hix, Chris Oechsel, Jake Smith,
and Rob Delgado.
(photo by Jeremy Reed of Impact Life Photography)
Click Bigger for a larger picture.
Elgin IL 1
It was a snow day for the MWAH! troupe outside Abbott Middle School in Elgin, Illinois on February 28, 2013. In front (from left) are Chad Sype, Taylor Oechsel, Landon Ballard, and Luke Ballard. Standing behind them are Alex Oechsel, Rachel Plasch, Jacob Metoyer, Jake Smith, Leah Ballard, John Hix, Justice Henderson, Joshua Payne, and Rob Delgado.
(photo by Jeremy Reed of Impact Life Photography)
Click Bigger for a larger picture.
Davenport IA 1
MWAH! troupe members at a riverfront park in downtown Davenport, Iowa on January 23, 2013 following their keynote presentation and workshops as part of the 27th annual Quad Cities Youth Conference. From left are Joshua Payne, Alex Oechsel, Luke Ballard, Ashley Stonehouse, Leah Ballard, Justice Henderson, Taylor Oechsel, Landon Ballard, Rachel Plasch, Rob Delgado, John Hix, Sarah Saltiel, and Jacob Metoyer.
(photo by Jeremy Reed of Impact Life Photography)
Bigger

For a video–slideshow of additional photos of the MWAH! troupe's participation in the 2013 Quad Cities Youth Conference please click Here.
Davenport IA 2
Outside the River Center in downtown Davenport, Iowa - site for the Quad Cities Youth Conference on January 23-24, 2013 - are MWAH! troupe members (from left) Leah Ballard, Taylor Oechsel, Joshua Payne, Luke Ballard, Sarah Saltiel, Jacob Metoyer, John Hix, Rob Delgado, Ashley Stonehouse, Rachel Plasch, Alex Oechsel, Landon Ballard, and Justice Henderson.
(photo by Jeremy Reed of Impact Life Photography)
Bigger
Davenport IA 3
MWAH! troupe members inside the Skybridge in downtown Davenport, Iowa on a frigid January 23, 2013 following their keynote presentation and workshops at the nearby River Center, site for the 27th annual Quad Cities Youth Conference involving high school and middle school students from throughout the Quad Cities area of southeast Iowa and northwest Illinois. In the background is the Centennial Bridge, which connects Davenport with Rock Island on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River.
(photo by Jeremy Reed of Impact Life Photography)
Bigger
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Recent articles and videos about MWAH!

Geneseo MS, Geneseo, Illinois 4/07/14
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 .
(photos and video slideshow by Scott Harrington of Photography by Harrington)

Rock Falls HS, Rock Falls Illinois 2/24/14
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)

Assumption HS Davenport, Iowa 1/13/14
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.
For a 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)

Greendale HS Greendale, WI 11/18/13
For a video–slideshow 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 video–slideshow by Scott Harrington of Photography by Harrington)

BrooksMS
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)

MacArthurMS
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.

MacArthurMS 2
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)
Wilson MS
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 .
Prarie Central JHS
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 Here
and Here .
To enlarge the photo, please click Here .
LaMoilleCollage
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.
Blackhawk MS
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.


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