Make a Wave

Make a Wave is a groundbreaking artist-to-artist giving program that erases the traditional gatekeeper by inviting each of the previous year’s 3Arts Award recipients to select another artist to receive a surprise $2,000 grant—in effect sending a wave through Chicago’s brilliant cultural core.

In 2017, we inaugurated the Make a Wave program to celebrate our organization's 10th anniversary by inviting all past awardees at that time (2008-2016) to select another Chicago artist to receive a surprise grant from 3Arts. At our annual 3Arts Awards Celebration we announced Make a Wave would be an annual initiative. 

Three cheers to the individuals, circles of friends, and institutions who made generous contributions to our 10th anniversary Make a Wave program in 2017.

2017 Make a Wave Champions

Anonymous, The Field Foundation of Illinois, The Joyce Foundation, The Siragusa Family Foundation. Sydney Sidwell & the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Lisa Yun Lee Circle (Adam Bush, Henry Ewing, Josephine Ewing, Theaster Gatees, Dedrea Gray, Jim & Lydia Lee, Barbarra Ransby) Rose Parisi & Donald James Meckley, Cat & Gregg Tager, The Arts Circle Hosts: Antonia Contro & Rose Parisi (Pamela Crutchfield,  Ginger Farley, Melissa Franklin, Tony Grant, Jason Kalajainen, Kate Lorenz, Julia Perkins, Angelique Power, Caitlin Strokosch, Jacqueline Terrassa, CHristy Uchida, EEllen Placey Wadey) The Past Board Circle Hosts: Laurel Appell Lipkin & Phoebe Chandler Turner (Bruce Doblin & Lisa Wainwright, Lloyd A. Fry III, Barbara Leland, Beth Loeb, Christy MacLear, Lynn Lockwood Murphy, David Pinkereton, Cynthia West Podmajersky, Kristine RUll, Phyllis S. Thomas, Melissa Weber & Jay Dandy)

over 100 artists posing for a photo at the 10th annual 3Arts Awards

2017

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    Anna Bahow

    THEATER

    Anna Bahow (Director) is committed to the development of new work and a diversity of voices. Her productions have received Jeff Awards for new work and use of multimedia. Anna’s work has appeared on many best of the year lists, …

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    Debra Yepa-Pappan

    VISUAL ARTS

    Debra Yepa-Pappan is a Korean and Jemez Pueblo artist who utilizes digital imagery to share her story about being mixed race. Her earlier works consisted of traditional black and white photography and examined issues of Native American stereotypes. This path …

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    BrittneyLove Smith

    THEATER

    BrittneyLove Smith is currently playing the role of Prix in Eclipse Theatre's production of Breath Boom. BrittneyLove was Jane Eyre in both the original and remounted production of The Hypocrites production of You On The Moors Now. She …

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    Nikki Patin

    MUSIC

    Featured in The Guardian, Chicago Tribune, HBO's Def Poetry Jam, and on international television and radio, Peabody Award-winning poet Nikki Patin has been writing, performing, and educating for almost 15 years. She has taught hundreds of workshops …

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    Christian Ortiz

    VISUAL ARTS

    Christian Ortiz was born in Mexico but has lived in Chicago for most of his life, where he now works as an artist and educator. Christian received his BFA in fiber studies and his BSED in art education from Northern …

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    Kirsten Fitzgerald

    THEATER

    Kirsten Fitzgerald is a proud member of the Artistic Ensemble at A Red Orchid Theatre and its Artistic Director since 2008. She is on stage there now in Wallace Shawn’s Evening at the Talkhouse. With a love for nurturing …

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    Sarah Cullen Fuller

    DANCE

    Sarah Cullen Fuller is an educator, dancer, and choreographer who is dedicated to the transformative power of dance. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Sarah began her career in dance performance working with the Joffrey and Boston Ballets, …

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    Nicole Malcolm

    VISUAL ARTS

    Nicole Malcolm graduated from Chicago State University in 2006 with a BA in fine art and later graduated from Adler University in 2016 with a Master’s in counseling and art therapy. She currently assists youth with mechanisms of coping, expression, …

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    Ricky Ruiz

    DANCE

    Ricky Ruiz grew up in Miami, Florida where he began dancing at age six. He attended the University of South Florida and graduated with a degree in Modern Dance Performance. Upon graduation, Ricky relocated to Chicago where he began dancing …

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    Bethany Collins

    VISUAL ARTS

    Bethany Collins is a multidisciplinary artist whose conceptually-driven work is fueled by a critical exploration of how race and language interact. In her Contronym series, for instance, Bethany transposes defnitions from Webster’s New World Dictionary onto American Masters paper, then …

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    Arianne Urban

    MUSIC

    Violinist Arianne Urban is a Chicago-based freelance musician and an active solo, chamber, and orchestral player. Over the past two years, Arianne has been working on a personal project revolving around the collaboration of mindfulness meditation and music making and …

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    Jenn Freeman | Po’Chop

    DANCE

    Hell-bent on creating a repertoire that sparked conversations regarding notions of gender, sexual prowess, and race, Jenn Freeman made her debut as burlesque artist Po’Chop in 2010. With over a decade of dance training, including studying at Columbia College Chicago, …

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    Kelly O'Sullivan

    THEATER

    Kelly O’Sullivan’s theatrical credits include BLKS, This is Modern Art, The Internationalist, Honest, Good Boys and True, The Crucible, and 100 Saints You Should Know (Steppenwolf Theatre); Men on Boats, Bruise Easy, The Humans, Columbinus, and The Dark at …

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    Sam Kirk

    VISUAL ARTS

    Sam Kirk’s work is a visual exploration of cross-cultural intersections, walking the viewer through various layers of one’s identity. A celebration of culture and individuality, her work aims to inspire pride and recognition for underrepresented communities. She uses a multi-layered …

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    Josh Rios

    VISUAL ARTS

    Josh Rios is an educator, media artist, and writer whose projects deal with the histories, archives, and futurities of Latinx subjectivity and US/Mexico relations as understood through the intersections of modernity, postmodernity, and neocoloniality. Josh’s projects highlight moments of intercultural …

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    Rinska Carrasco

    THEATER

    Rinska Carrasco is a Dominican-American who is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA, Gray Talent Group, Halcyon, Teatro Vista, and Collaboraction. She has worked alongside companies such as Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Silk Road Rising, Victory Gardens Theatre, …

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    Stephanie Paul

    DANCE

    Stephanie Paul is a Chicago-based choreographer, director, performer, and educator whose artistic quest is to affirm the visual, sonic, and storytelling power of all bodies and all people. Stephanie is the Founding Artistic Director of Be the Groove, Chicago's high-energy …

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    Jay Worthington

    THEATER

    A proud ensemble member at The Gift Theatre, Jay has appeared in the world premiere of A Life Extra Ordinary, The Grapes of Wrath, Richard III, the world premiere of David Rabe’s Good for Otto, the …

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    Ricardo Gamboa

    TEACHING ARTS

    Ricardo Gamboa is an award-winning artist, activist, and academic working in their native Chicago and New York City, creating radically politicized work. In Chicago, Ricardo is a member of the Free Street Theater, the Goodman Theater Playwrights Unit, a resident …

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    Keyierra Collins

    DANCE

    Keyierra Collins hails from Columbus, Ohio with a focus in West African and Afro contemporary dance styles. She graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Dance creating work about the sociopolitical climate and her views thereof as a Black woman. …

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    Isaac Gomez

    THEATER

    Isaac Gomez is a Chicago-based playwright, dramaturg, and educator. His plays include La Ruta (developed at Primary Stages, Steppenwolf Theater Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Goodman Theatre, and Pivot Arts); Wally World (Sideshow Theater Company Commission); PerKup Elkhorn (developed at Northlight …

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    Cameron Harvey

    VISUAL ARTS

    Cameron Harvey is an artist currently living and working in Chicago. She graduated cum laude from Wellesley College in 1999 with a BA in Studio Art and moved to Chicago to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, …

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    Susannah Papish

    VISUAL ARTS

    Susannah Papish is a Chicago-based artist, writer, and curator who earned a BA in art history from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a MFA in painting and drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her …

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    J. Nicole Brooks

    THEATER

    J. Nicole Brooks is an actor, director, and author with ties to Los Angeles and New York, but is proud to call Chicago planet home. She is an ensemble member at the Lookingglass Theatre Company. Selected directing credits include Black …

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    Anita Fillmore Kenney

    DANCE

    Anita Fillmore Kenney has been a dance educator, choreographer, and performer in the Chicago area for over 20 years. She is the Associate Executive Director of MOMENTA and has been influential in MOMENTA’s physically integrated dance programming. Her work there …

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    Keaton Bell

    TEACHING ARTS

    I'm a teacher, a student of life, and an illustrator with a strong desire to positively impact communities through art. As a youth I always desired to be the "Mrs. Frizzle " of visual arts, someone that could sneak science, …

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    A.J. Wester

    TEACHING ARTS

    A.J. Wester is a stage director and teaching artist. As a teaching artist, A.J. has been the stage director/vocal coach for the Opera Music Theatre Ensemble at Merit School of Music since its inception in 2010. She created and led …

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    Karen Rodriguez

    THEATER

    Karen Rodriguez is a Chicago-based actor hailing from Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. She recently appeared onstage at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in The Rembrandt with ensemble members John Mahoney and Francis Guinan. Most notably, she starred in the critically-acclaimed solo show The …

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    Jennifer Ortiz

    MUSIC

    My love for music started when I was very young at seven years old. We had a small marimba at home and I was curious to know how it worked. I was amazed by the sound this instrument made. My …

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    Yvette Mayorga

    VISUAL ARTS

    Yvette Mayorga is an interdisciplinary artist and educator. She uses confection, industrial materials, and the American board game Candy Land as a conceptual framework to juxtapose the borderlands of the US and Mexico. The spaces in the "candy lands" of …

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    Jessie Fisher

    THEATER

    Jessie Fisher is a Chicago-based actress, musician, improviser, and teacher. Her Broadway credits include Once and the upcoming Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Local credits include productions at Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, The Gift Theatre, TimeLine Theatre …

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    Darling Shear Squire

    DANCE

    Darling is a Chicago native but has roots in Atlanta where Darling started dance training. Darling attended North Springs Charter School of the performing arts where Darling was trained in ballet, modern, jazz, and African. Darling began dancing professionally right …

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    Ayanna Woods

    MUSIC

    Ayanna Woods is a composer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist from Chicago. She earned her BA in music composition from Yale University. Her pieces have been performed by the Wet Ink Ensemble, members of Fifth House Ensemble, the Chicago Children’s Choir, and …

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    Rozalinda Borcilă

    VISUAL ARTS

    Rozalinda Borcila is interested in the ways that imperial border regimes are produced, experienced, and contested. Her work traces the local geographies of global racial finance, grasping the patterns of flow that link warehouse districts, weapons manufacturing sites, detention centers, …

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    Ericka Ratcliff

    THEATER

    Originally hailing from Baltimore, Ericka Ratcliff has performed regionally and locally in A Red Line Runs Through It and We Are All In This Room Together (Second City); Marie Antoinette (Steppenwolf Theatre); You Can't Take It With You (Northlight Theatre); …

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    Blake Lenoir

    VISUAL ARTS

    Blake Lenoir is well-known for his finely detailed, colored-pencil drawings of lush, natural landscapes teeming with wildlife. He renders the flora and fauna of his native Illinois with the same intense passion he uses to depict endangered species in the …

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    Kellie Romany

    VISUAL ARTS

    Kellie Romany is an abstract, non-representational, figurative painter interested in bodily representation, materiality, and the history of the painting process. She received a Masters of Fine Arts in painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011 …

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    Amaniyea Payne

    DANCE

    Amaniyea Payne, Artistic Director of Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago for three decades and Adjunct Faculty at Columbia College School of Dance for three years, is an artistic force in global dance communities around the world. She is recognized for …

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    Carris Adams

    VISUAL ARTS

    Carris Adams is a visual artist whose practice consists of drawings and paintings that reference signs and signifiers in the landscape pointing to systemic inequality and resilience. The conceptually multi-layered works seek to inform and position viewers to recognize their …

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    Eddie Taylor Jr.

    MUSIC

    In memoriam (March 27, 1972 - March 8, 2019):

    "I was born in 1972 in Chicago, Illinois. My father was the great Eddie Taylor Sr., who played with Blues greats such as Jimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker, Elmore James, Sunnyland …

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    Eric J. Garcia

    TEACHING ARTS

    Eric J. Garcia blends history, culture, contemporary themes, and a graphic style to create politically charged art that reaches beyond aesthetics. Using his comic books, mixed media installations, murals, and hand-printed posters, he aims to educate and challenge. Being a …

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    Leina`ala Dietmeyer

    DANCE

    Leina`ala Dietmeyer has been a performance artist for most of her life. She began with ancient and modern hula dance at the age of four. Trying to blend a little more with the culture around her growing up, she took …

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    Daniel Kyri

    THEATER

    Daniel Kyri is a Jeff Award-nominated actor, singer, writer, and curator native to Chicago. He is featured in Stephen Cone’s Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party, streaming on Netflix, and has starred in productions at Lookingglass Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare …

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    Sonja Henderson

    VISUAL ARTS

    Sonja Henderson, an aborigine American artist, is originally from McSherrystown, Pennsylvania and now dwells and works in Chicago. Sonja received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in painting and drawing. She concentrated on the figure …

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    Mary Williamson

    THEATER

    Mary Williamson is an actor, writer, and visual artist who is proud to call Chicago home. Her work often focuses on themes of gender, sexuality, body, horror, and humor. She is a founding member and former Creative Director of The …

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    Devin Cain

    TEACHING ARTS

    Devin Cain is a Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist, filmmaker, and educator. He received his Bachelor of Art in Cinema Art + Science from Columbia College Chicago and has training in theater and performance. He is a Teaching Artist for the School of …

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    Rachel Bunting

    DANCE

    Rachel Bunting started making dance as "The Humans" in 2002. Her work uses objects, masks, video, and voice to create visual worlds and theatrical happenings. Her interest in poetic and episodic forms allows her dances to sometimes misbehave as film …

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    Emjoy Gavino

    THEATER

    Emjoy Gavino founded The Chicago Inclusion Project in 2015 and since then has collaborated with different theater companies for staged readings, sat down with theater leaders to help talk through more inclusive artistic practices, and provided salon-style readings for new …

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    Renée Baker

    MUSIC

    Renée Baker, founding music director and conductor of the internationally acclaimed Chicago Modern Orchestra Project, has composed more than 2,000 works for ensembles, including numerous commissioned pieces for the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Chicago Sinfonietta Chamber Ensemble, Berlin international Brass, …

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    Krista Franklin

    VISUAL ARTS

    Krista Franklin’s poems and visual art have been published in Poetry, Black Camera, Copper Nickel, Callaloo, Vinyl, BOMB Magazine, Encyclopedia, Vol. F-K and Vol. L-Z, and the anthology The BreakBeat Poets: New …

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    Lili-Anne Brown

    THEATER

    Lili-Anne Brown is former Artistic Director of Bailiwick Chicago, where she directed Passing Strange (Chicago premiere; BTA Award, Best Director of a Musical), Dessa Rose (Chicago premiere; Jeff Award, Best Director of a Musical), and Michael John LaChiusa's See What …

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    Rae Chardonnay Taylor

    MUSIC

    Rae Chardonnay Taylor is a DJ and arts administrator with a background in events management and production. She began DJing in 2010 and has since held residencies at Chicago venues including Underground Wonder Bar and The Promontory and has circulated …

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    Kurt Chiang

    THEATER

    Kurt Chiang is Artistic Director and Ensemble Member with The Neo-Futurists. For nine years, he has written/performed/directed over 250 of his own two-minute plays in the company’s signature and distinct mode of theater and non-illusory performance. In 2017 he has …

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    Richard Costes

    Theater Artist and Accessibility Consultant Walder Foundation Awardee

    Richard Costes is a deaf actor of color who has also worked as a director, playwright, and accessibility consultant. Richard grew up near Youngstown, Ohio where he graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies. …

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    Lauren Deutsch

    VISUAL ARTS

    Born and raised on Chicago’s South Side, Lauren Deutsch attended Columbia College Chicago in the mid 1970s and served as Artistic Director of Photography for the city’s Artist in Residence program later that decade. She served on the Board of …

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    Ivelisse Diaz

    Afro-Puerto Rican Dancer, Musician, and Educator Community Awardee

    Ivelisse Diaz was born and raised in Humboldt Park, the heart of Chicago’s Puerto Rican community. At the age of five, she began studying Bomba under the mentorship of her uncle Eli S. Rodriguez at the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural …

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    Stephen Flemister

    VISUAL ARTS

    Stephen Flemister is an interdisciplinary artist working in sculpture, print media, and new media, with practices invested in the intersections of portraiture and influences of digital culture. Through objects, installations, and experimental studies, Stephen explores methods of visibility and fabricated …

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    Kenyatta Forbes

    VISUAL ARTS

    Kenyatta Forbes is a multi-disciplinary artist who uses her own experiences as a Black woman to open a dialogue about the construction of "blackness." Using humor, gamification, and her experience as an educator, Kenyatta fuses together a safe space for …

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    Lional "Brother El" Freeman

    MUSIC

    Lional 'Brother El' Freeman is a spontaneous composer, multidisciplinary creative, and educator who uses music and visual arts to express ideas while connecting people to a higher plane of consciousness. Raised in the hip hop aesthetic and DIY movement, he …

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    Sydney Chatman

    THEATER

    Sydney Chatman is an educator, director, producer, writer, and founder of the Tofu Chitlin’ Circuit. She was accepted into the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF) Observership Program for the Broadway Revival and Tony-nominated play The Trip to Bountiful starring …

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    J'Sun Howard

    DANCE

    J’Sun Howard is from Chattanooga, Tennesee and a Chicago-based dancemaker and poet. J'Sun recently received a Co-MISSIONS Fellowship at Links Hall, a Sybil Shearer Fellowship through Ragdale Foundation, a nomination to participate in an emerging artist laboratory at Maggie Allesee …

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    Deidre Huckabay

    MUSIC

    Deidre Huckabay is a Chicago-based performer, composer, writer, photographer, and record producer. Her work reflects a solitary, interior world, drawing on a musical life that requires long hours alone and listening. She tends to make work that undermines authorship by …

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    Kevin Iega Jeff

    DANCE

    Kevin Iega Jeff is an award-winning choreographer, accomplished dancer, renowned director, and respected and devoted dance educator. Iega creates transcendent works while inspiring those around him to foster extraordinary lives through dance. "The foundation of my practice is to examine …

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    Erin Kilmurray

    DANCE

    Erin Kilmurray is a performer, choreographer, and teaching artist whose work is strongly influenced by dance and performance places acting as creative and social centers. Drawing upon a contemporary dance practice, space-making, and a long-standing relationship with theater and nightlife …

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    Yoshinojo Fujima

    DANCE

    Yoshinojo Fujima (a.k.a. Rika Lin), is a shin-nisei, a part of postwar Japanese American diaspora, an interdisciplinary performing artist, choreographer, and a Grandmaster in Fujima style Japanese classical dance. She has performed in venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago Cultural Center, …

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    Ramah Jihan Malebranche

    MUSIC

    Ramah Jihan Malebranche is a Haitian immigrant with interdisciplinary talents spanning music, visual arts, education, and the accompanying project management skillsets. His music is a lush yet austere brand of chamber pop; honest and sentimental while set in a mature …

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    Nicole Marroquin

    TEACHING ARTS

    Nicole Marroquin is a teacher, educator, and artist whose work explores belonging and spatial justice. She has been researching student uprisings in Chicago Public Schools dating between 1967-74. In 2018 she participated in a Project Development Innovation Lab at the Magnum …

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    Alexandra Olsavsky

    MUSIC

    Alexandra Olsavsky, a "beautifully voiced" soprano (Herald-Times, Bloomington Early Music), is a collaborative musical artist who actively performs with a diverse array of artistic ensembles, including those specialized in Renaissance and Baroque era music, world music, chamber …

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    Christine Pascual

    Costume Designer Lakeside Bank Awardee

    Christine Pascual is a costume designer based in Chicago since 1994. She was born in New York City and grew up on Long Island in Dix Hills, New York. She is the oldest of seven children whose parents immigrated to …

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    David Richards

    VISUAL ARTS

    David Richards was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1952 and currently lives and works in Chicago. His work has been shown at: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Chicago Cultural Center; the Illinois State Museum, Springfield; The International Museum of …

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    Evaristo "Tito" Rodriguez

    MUSIC

    Evaristo "Tito" Rodriguez was born in Chicago of Puerto Rican parents. At age six, he moved with his mother to the town of Dorado in Puerto Rico, where he attended grammar and middle schools. At age 14, Tito returned to …

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    James Sanders

    MUSIC

    Violinist James Sanders confidently crosses stylistic borders, yet stays true to both the jazz violin legacy and his rigorous classical training to create music that transcends category yet remains faithful to its multiple inspirations, which include his Caribbean heritage. He …

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    Anna Soltys

    VISUAL ARTS

    Anna Soltys has dedicated herself to the language of art, both personally and professionally. The first five years of her life were spent in Poland, followed by five years in France, before finally settling in Chicago. Art was truly the …

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    Edra Soto

    Visual Artist

    Edra Soto (b. Puerto Rico) is a Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist, educator, curator, and co- director of the outdoor project space THE FRANKLIN. She is invested in creating and providing visual and educational models propelled by empathy and generosity. Her recent …

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    Allison Marie Spicer

    TEACHING ARTS

    Allison Marie Spicer is a practicing visual artist and educator in Chicago. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally with art works delving into themes of nature, the human condition, cycles/patterns of relationships, space + time, the built environment, cultural …

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    Vanessa Valliere

    THEATER

    Vanessa Valliere is a performer who uses elements of clown and puppetry to create original work. She has toured nationally as a solo performer and she was part of a clown ensemble for Tour De Fat from 2011-2016. She has …

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    Eric Von Haynes

    VISUAL ARTS

    Eric Von Haynes is an artist, designer, and curator whose work synthesizes old and new printing methods and aesthetics. While design and printmaking are his passions, he is energized by collaborations and the ideas and challenges that come from working …

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    Michael Covenant Watson

    TEACHING ARTS

    Michael Covenant Watson has been one of the judges of the Annual Haiku Festival since its inception. Prior to that, and for ten years, he leveraged his experiences as an itinerant poet and event organizer into highlighting the works of …

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    Rhonda Wheatley

    VISUAL ARTS

    Rhonda Wheatley is a multidisciplinary artist whose sculptures, paintings, written works, and interactive performance projects are grounded in the speculative and metaphysical and explore healing, consciousness expansion, and transformation. She has had solo exhibitions at Hyde Park Art Center, David …

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    Meghann Wilkinson

    DANCE

    Meghann Wilkinson has been an ensemble member with Lucky Plush Productions since 2004. A former company member of Mordine and Company, she has performed in The Arrow with The Neo-Futurists as well as in works by Lisa Wymore and Peter …

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    Danièle Wilmouth

    VISUAL ARTS

    Danièle Wilmouth is fascinated by the unconscious choreography of ordinary life and how cinema reveals the miraculous spectacle of the everyday. She creates hybrid forms of film, video, installation, and live art that explore ritual, pattern, monotony, and impermanence. Her …

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    Sadie Woods

    Sadie Woods grew up in Chicago during the takeoff of hip-hop, electro, and the proliferation of musical styles that matched the multiple subcultural and counter-cultural identity movements, which have been a vehicle for her re-examination of celebrated voices in pop …

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    Sara Zalek

    DCASE Artist

    Sara Zalek is a visual artist, choreographer, and curator rooted in Butoh, the avant-garde, and investigations of personal identity. She is obsessed with time travel, experimental science, hybrid animals, permaculture, and the intentional act of transformation. Through Butoh Chicago, Zalek …

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