It all started with a steelpan.

During a lively performance using this native Trinidad percussion instrument, we witnessed how the once-unfamiliar sounds could energize people, opening them up to new adventures.

Culture, Arts & Music was founded by Matthew Potts, Christina Guerrero, and Anthony Jay Houston. As CAM president and an accomplished musician, Matthew conceived the idea based on personal experiences. While growing up in the northwest suburbs of Illinois in Crystal Lake, he discovered the steelpan. His passion for it only grew as he and his friends performed, where curious audience members asked them about these strange instruments. People wanted to learn the behind- the-music stories and Matt became inspired when educating them on Trinidad’s robust culture.

The playful rhythm of the steeplan; the powerful spark of curiosity.

Matt began incorporating other types of world percussion instruments, expanding the possibilities for more performances and learning. Eventually he realized the idea was bigger than just a series of concerts — it represented a vision for a more connected world where diversity is cherished.

Fast forward to today. CAM staff coordinates community concerts, drum circles, festivals, and more. Residents of suburban Crystal Lake, Illinois and the surrounding area crave opportunities to experience diversity firsthand. Unfortunately, they are few and far between in the beautiful bubble of suburbia. CAM creates community events and programs that champion different cultures, exposing people to world heritages.

Entertainment and education go hand-in-hand.

In addition to engaging the local community, CAM aims to work with youth to pick up where many schools leave off by designing immersive activities. Enabling children to experience diversity at a young age sets them up to be responsible, knowledgeable, and compassionate global citizens.

What started as an idea is now transforming into a movement.

We believe culture, arts, and music are pathways to the soul of the world. By leveraging all five senses, they have the ability to instantly transport people to different countries. It’s not just a concert or festival — it’s a walk through Trinidad. And Brazil. And South Africa. The list will grow with our community and supporters. Find it on a map; experience it live through Culture, Arts & Music.