Isaiah Mākar (Founder of Impact Mākars™), found his voice in the Spoken Word Club at Oak Park and River Forest High School (OPRF). There, Isaiah learned to overcome his fear of public speaking and social anxiety.*
After graduating with his degree in Organizational and Corporate Communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Isaiah presented his research on how poetry can be used in the classroom to enhance and sustain student engagement, at the Illinois Summer Research Symposium. There, he won the Outstanding Oral Presentation Award. Based on his research, he developed the Mākar Method™, which ultimately led to the creation of Impact Mākars.
*To learn more, check out these interviews.
The Mākar Method is a cross-interdisciplinary learning model focused on developing transferable communication skills from spoken word poetry.
Isaiah first demonstrated the Mākar Method by teaching a workshop, entitled, Teaching Is a Performance, to undergraduate students at Roosevelt University. He taught them how to blend creative spoken word techniques into a teaching style that better engaged students.
He also led the Teaching is a Performance workshop at Uncharted Learning’s National Summit, instructing entrepreneurial educators on how to apply poetic performance techniques to foster an “edutaining” learning environment.
For the Disrupt-HR Chicago event at 1871, Isaiah performed an original rap titled, The Ten HR Commandments: Don’t Think Small. Think Biggie, in front of an audience of over 250 HR representatives from companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Google, and Amazon, among others. For each commandment he rhymed about how communication skills from spoken word poetry can train employees.
Next, Isaiah led the workshop, Your Emotions Are Your Employees, for nearly 200 HR professionals at the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) Conference, which focused on stress relief, team building, and learning creative transferable communication skills from spoken word poetry.
In 2018, Isaiah served as an Arts Education Panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. He was also the Spoken Word Coordinator and Teaching Artist for the Oak Park Education Foundation where he organized and hosted poetry slams and events for middle school students in the Oak Park community.
Isaiah has been a guest lecturer at several universities including University of Illinois at Chicago, Roosevelt University, and Loyola University as well as a teaching artist or performer at nearly 20 schools ranging from elementary to universities. He currently serves as mentor for OPRF’s Spoken Word Club and Louder Than A Bomb slam team.
Isaiah continues to host Mākarshops teaching others how spoken word poetry techniques can be used to improve communication while developing the next generation of employees to apply creative arts into their work environments.
To learn more about Mākarshops, click here.
Here are some organizations Isaiah has worked with.
College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR)
Communities First Association
Ernest Hemingway Foundation
Frank Lloyd Wright Studio
Guild Literary Complex
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
One Earth Film Festival
One Hope United
Oak Park Education Foundation
Oak Park Public Library
School of Rock
Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
Catherine Cook School
Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School
Lake Forest College
Loyola Chicago University
Northern Illinois University
Oak Park and River Forest High School (alumni)
Percy Julian Middle School
River Forest School Middle School
University of Illinois at Chicago (alumni)