Creative Response

With the people

by Sadia Nawab and Monica Rickert-Bolter

“With the People” is a collaborative animated music video that features the voices of Chicago youth. The song was written and developed by Sadia Nawab, illustrations and concepts by Monica Rickert-Bolter, and animation by Diana Torres. All three women come from different backgrounds, but the message of looking out for one another is amplified by the music and artwork. The song tells the story of four individuals that collectively inspire and show support for their neighborhood community.

In progress work:

Sadia Nawab

Hip Hop Artist, Cultural Organizer, Curator, Creative Strategist, IMAN’s Director of Arts & Culture, Mother

Raised in the southwest suburbs and throughout the city of Chicago, Sadia aka DiJa knew creativity and music was integral to life. Her style is influenced by her complex identity, life experiences, and stories. Her background in community work and overall health gravitates her towards hip hop that heals the soul and moves our people forward. Through emceeing, she reaches a wide audience as a storyteller and connector who uses her eclectic taste in music – credited to her career as a hip hop DJ – to bring people together and inspire towards Oneness. Sadia serves as the Director of Arts & Culture at IMAN (the Inner-City Muslim Action Network) on Chicago’s south side which entails producing large-scale live performance shows and festivals, curating artist residencies and retreats, and overseeing a neighborhood ceramic studio. Sadia awakens the creative process amongst community organizers, returning citizens, and high-risk men and women to identify community solutions and facilitate a transformative self-healing.

Monica Rickert-Bolter

Artist, Illustrator, Indigenous Futurist, Journalist, Collaborator, Wife

Monica Rickert-Bolter is a Chicago-based visual artist and journalist of Potawatomi, Black, and
German descent. Her artwork consists of traditional mediums, such as charcoals and pastels,
graphic design, and digital coloring to creating expressive characters and telling their diverse
stories. After receiving her undergrad in Media Arts and Animation, Monica became more
involved with Native nonprofits, where she combined her love of art and education to develop
programs and resources for children. She worked with Chicago Public Schools to create a new
interdisciplinary Latino and Latin American Studies curriculum incorporating Indigenous history
and contributions. Passionate about storytelling through art and writing, she advocates for
cultural representation in any project she undertakes and serves as a consultant for various
institutions and organizations, like The Field Museum and the Terra Foundation for American
Art. Monica writes under the pen name “Whitepigeon,” her family name, for online
publications related to Native issues, creatives in the entertainment industry, and Indigenousowned
businesses. In 2020, she completed two children’s books as illustrator and layout
designer, Journey of the Freckled Indian by Alyssa London and J.W. The Deaf Drummer by Myles
Hunt. The following year, Monica co-founded the Center for Native Futures, a nonprofit for
Natives in the arts, with a fellow artist group to nurture, elevate, and advocate for Indigenous
Futurists. Currently, she participates in the Hyde Park Art Center’s Center Program and serves
as an Embedded Artist for “Imagine Just,” an anti-racist arts community project in collaboration
with Enrich Chicago and Greater Good Studio.