William Camargo was born and raised in Orange County, California and currently residing in Chicago, Illinois. Informed by his parent’s own immigration from Mexico in the early 80’s, William Camargo explores notions of immigration, identity, and culture of the people he meets and is close to, through the medium of portrait photography and urban landscapes. He photographs in cities where immigrants from Mexico came to. His work has been widely published including in Time, Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, The Guardian, and others. William's photographs have also been displayed in art galleries in Los Angeles, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Chicago, New York, Indianapolis and Ventura including DNJ Gallery at Bergamot Station, the Chicago Cultural Center in Chicago, USC's department of Urban Education in Los Angeles, The Loisaida Center in New York and the Christen De Haan Fine Art Center at the University of Indianapolis.
Aymar Jean “AJ” Christian is an assistant professor of communication studies at Northwestern University and a Peabody Fellow at the Media Center at Peabody. Dr. Christian’s first book, Open TV: Innovation Beyond Hollywood, forthcoming on New York University Press, argues the web brought innovation to television by empowering independent producers. His work has been published in numerous academic journals, including The International Journal of Communication, Cinema Journal, Continuum, and Transformative Works and Cultures. He leads Open TV (beta), a research project and platform for television by queer, trans and cis-women and artists of color. Open TV (beta) programming partners have included the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, Block Museum of Art, and City of Chicago, along with numerous galleries, community organizations, and universities. He has juried television and video for the Peabody Awards, Gotham Awards, Streamy Awards, and Tribeca Film Festival, among others. He received PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.
Marcus E. Davis (Senior Program Specialist, TRACE) is a multimodal artist based in Chicago. With a critical interest in black joy and queered creativity, Marcus leverages music, images, scholarship and humor to explore new ways of being and seeing in the world. His work has been featured in Blacklines, Windy City Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Reader. Marcus received a BA in Visual Ethnography from DePaul University.
Melissa DuPrey is a Chicago native with roots in Humboldt Park. After earning two degrees from the University of Houston, she returned to Chicago to join Teatro Luna, a nationally recognized all-Latina theatre group, where she performed in Luna Unlaced (multiple roles), Crossed (Rita), PUTAS! (Daniela), Not Your Generic Latina (multiple roles), and Generation Sex(self). She recently made her debut on The Goodman stage in the world premier of Luna Gale (Lourdes). Her self-produced solo shows, SEXomedy and SUHI-frito, are both Chicago Reader "Recommended" and earned a "Member Pick" rating, the highest accolade of the publication. Ms. DuPrey is also a stand-up comedian that has performed in various venues throughout Chicago including Zanies, Laugh Factory, Second City (UP Comedy Club), Riddles, The Abbey Pub, and Joe's on Weed St. For more information, please visitwww.melissaduprey.com. As a musician and active member of her community, she is dedicated to the preservation of Puerto Rican culture by way of the folkloric music, Bomba y Plena.
Alexandria Eregbu (Lead Teaching Artist, TRACE) is a conceptual artist and disciplinary deviant. Her practice often takes shape in the form of maker, educator, curator, performer, and programmer. Alexandria’s concerns frequently address visibility, ontology, family, locality, and mobility. Her work tends to insert itself at the axis of personal experience and myth—usually reliant upon the collection of artifacts, material culture, and an attentiveness to current and historical events. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Nancy García Loza is a Chicago-based, Mexican-American writer and producer. She received her B.A. from DePaul University with a double concentration in Latina/o/x & Latin American Studies and Spanish. She serves as Co-Creative Director of The Alliance of Latinx Theater Artists of Chicago. From its launch, she has participated in El Semillero: ALTA Chicago’s Latino Playwrights Circle where she wrote and developed her first play: MACHA: a pocha sister story (ALTA Chicago - workshop). She is a national steering committee member of the Latinx Theater Commons (LTC) since its inception. She led the Chicago Host Committee for the 2015 LTC Carnaval of New Latina/o Work, co-producing the Carnaval’s Noche Victoria. From 2012-14, she served as Executive Director for Colectivo El Pozo, a Spanish-language theater collective. In 2012, she served as Marketing Coordinator for the 2012 YO SOLO Festival of Latino Solo Shows (Teatro Vista & Collaboraction), a role she has revisited on a few more occasions with other productions/companies. She is an Artistic Associate at Teatro Vista. In her day life, she is Director for Elementary and Latino Outreach at Junior Achievement of Chicago, personally overseeing 30+ school partnerships, overall charged with 150+ school partners and their corresponding volunteer base. She is a Board Member of Mujeres Latinas en Acción and Alumni Member of Mujeres’ YPAC.
Isaac Gomez is a playwright, dramaturge, and the director of new play development at the award-winning Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, IL. He is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, Co-Creative Director at the Alliance of Latinx Theatre Artists in Chicago (ALTA) where he runs and is a participant of El Semillero: ALTA Chicago’s Latino Playwrights Circle, an Ensemble Member with Teatro Vista, an Artistic Associate of Pivot Arts, a steering committee member of the Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC) and an artistic community member at The Hypocrites in Chicago.
Silvia Gonzalez is an Artist and Educator living in Chicago creating zines and curating workshops to address police violence, labor rights, imagination, play, freedom, and confinement. Collaborative justice based projects include work with local art groups such as the Chicago ACT (Artist Creating Transformation) collective and the 96 Acres Project, led by the Artist Maria Gaspar. Silvia Gonzalez has experience organizing educational workshops that centralize creative work with intergenerational participants interested in critically disrupting current power imbalances. As an multidisciplinary artist, she uses visual and performance work to make connections between justice work, education, histories of trauma, manners of healing, Xicanidad, the Nepantla state, and the radical imaginary. She is the organizer of an artist group called POCAS, People of Color Artist Space and connects artists of color from across Chicago to resources and each other.
Tempestt Hazel is a curator, writer, artist advocate, and director of Sixty Inches From Center. Over the years she has worked in arts administration, curating, and multidisciplinary programming at the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), Chicago Artists Coalition, and Arts + Public Life at the University of Chicago. Her exhibitions and research have been produced with the University of North Texas, South Side Community Art Center, Terrain Exhibitions, Contemporary Arts Council, Black Metropolis Research Consortium, and University of Chicago, with upcoming projects at the DuSable Museum of African American History and the Smart Museum of Art. Tempestt’s writing has been published in the books Support Networks: Chicago Social Practice History Series, Institutions and Imaginaries: Chicago Social Practice History Series, Contact Sheet: Light Work Annual, Unfurling: Explorations In Art, Activism and Archiving, The Shape of Spilled Milk, and for Artslant, Hyde Park Art Center, the Broad Museum, Duke University and several artists' monographs.
Imani Jackson is a writer and maker from Chicago. Imani earned her BA in Religious Studies from Reed College in 2014, and her current work is broadly concerned with geographies, group belonging, and unclaimed/unclaimable things and people. Imani's work has been featured on The Teal Ceramic and has been published with Cold Cube Press.
Kristen Kaza is the Creative Director and Founder of No Small Plans Productions, partying with a purpose since 2012 producing & programming events with and for Chicago's creative and philanthropic communities. She has programmed and produced events for the Museum of Contemporary Art, United States Artists, Chicago Community Trust, EMPIRE Fox, EXPO Chicago, and many more. NSP is the Executive Producer of Slo 'Mo, a longtime R&B dance party celebrating community & slow jams hosted by Kristen. In 2016, Kristen launched REUNION, a coworking & event/exhibition space in Humboldt Park prioritizing space for women, the queer community and people of color. At REUNION, they host classes, workshops, events and art shows, as well as work during the day in their bustling coworking studio. Kristen teaches marketing and public relations at Columbia College Chicago, her Alma Mater, and is an active member in the LGTBQ community.
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 U.S. and Mexico. The spaces in the “Candy Lands” of her work relate to immigrant utopian visions of the American Dream. The smell, decoration, and personal photographs in work serve to critique the glut of violence at the border. Mayorga has presented her work at The Vincent Price Art Museum, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, EXPO, The National Museum of Mexican Art, Grand Valley State University, and forthcoming at Gallery 400, The Arts Incubator, and Roots and Culture. Mayorga received her MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was featured in The Guardian, The Inter University Program for Latino Research, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Art News, and REMEZCLA.
Elijah McKinnon is a marketing maven, cultural producer, and artist. In addition to serving as the Founder and Director of People Who Care --- an independent consultancy that works exclusively with Chicago-based nonprofits and grassroots initiatives such as AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Northwestern University, Chances Dances and many more -- they are also actively involved in Chicago's queer, creative and philanthropic communities. Elijah recently directed and produced season two of “Two Queens in a Kitchen,” Open TV -Beta’s turn-to-relevance cooking series that examines the queer experience through food, lifestyle and personal anecdotes. They are constantly moving and shaking in an attempt to build meaningful relationships and encourage resource sharing. In addition to their professional and artistic credits, Elijah co-produced and starred in Chicago's #PrEP4Love campaign; manages REUNION, a co-working/event studio located in Humboldt Park; holds a seat on the board of IPaintMyMind; volunteers at Creative Mornings Chicago; serves as the Executive Director and host of Canvas Primer; and is the Head of Marketing and Design for Open TV - Beta.
Dr. Meida McNeal works with the Chicago Park District as Arts & Culture Manager supporting community arts partnerships, youth arts learning, cultural stewardship and civic engagement initiatives across the city’s parks and cultural centers. She is also Artistic and Managing Director of Honey Pot Performance, an Afro-feminist creative collaborative that integrates movement, theater, and first-voice to examine the nuanced ways people negotiate identity, belonging, and difference in their lives and cultural memberships. The symbiotic relationship between ethnography and choreography is at the heart of Meida’s artistic practice informing the ways she develops movement, story, and sound for the everyday body, tying together individual experience and collective social themes. http://honeypotperformance.com
Himabindu (Bindu) Poroori is a storyteller, musician, and curator. As co-curator at Salonathon, she creates space for underground, emerging, and genre-defying art in Chicago. Bindu also works as a Community Engagement Coordinator with Illinois Humanities. Her own artistic work deals with modern South Asian immigrant identity, primarily through music and written/spoken word. Catch her performing across the city solo and with her collective, LEELA.
Kamilah Rashied is performance artist, writer, educator, producer and arts administrator. She is a double alumnus of DePaul University where she received her BFA in Performance at the Theater School and her MFA in Arts Leadership. She has worked from every angle of cultural production working in capacities as an artist, educator and producer across several disciplines. She has contributed to the development of new and ongoing projects at many venerable arts and culture organizations in Chicago, some include: the Art Institute of Chicago, the School at the Art Institute, Columbia College Chicago, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library, Chicago Public Schools, Illinois Humanities, Rebuild Foundation, Open TV, Woman Made Gallery, Young Chicago Authors, Revival Arts Collective, The Silver Room, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Victory Gardens Theater, Writers Theatre, and the Court Theatre.
Amina Ross is an undisciplined artist and educator engaged in the reevaluation of visual and written language. As of late Amina’s interests have led to an exploration of conceptions of Body and Beauty within communities dedicated to alternative modes of healing. Amina’s process is consciously constructed and highly collaborative. Amina is committed to creating spaces that foster thinking, conversation, growth, and love. These ambitions manifested in the founding of 3rd Language (2011-2015), queer arts collective; which has received the Propeller Fund grant and Davis Foundation awards for its summer workshops series. Currently, these ambitions manifest themselves in Beauty Breaks, (beautybreaks.info), a participatory art project and workshop series developed during Amina’s fellowship at the Stony Island Arts Bank. Amina is currently Co-Lead artist of Teen Creative Agency at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
Lydia Ross believes in the radical power of art and artists to shape our world. As Manager of School and Teacher Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, she works with artists, teachers, and museum peers to develop and implement education programs for youth empowerment. Currently she is piloting an innovative program, the School Partnership for Art and Civic Engagement (SPACE), which places an artist physically in residence in a Chicago public high school to develop interdisciplinary curriculum on contemporary art and civic engagement, while building deep relationships with students, faculty, administration, and community members. Lydia holds an M.Ed. in Arts in Education from Harvard University, and a BA in American Studies from Columbia University. Previously, Lydia worked in programming, production, and development at Creative Time, New York City's vanguard public art organization, and in public engagement and advocacy at the Center for Arts Education.
Allie Stephens is a nationally recognized composer, music producer, singer and song writer who has composed music for over 500 national TV commercials and 100 feature length documentaries and independent films. They have composed & produced music for programming on A&E, PBS, The History Channel, Yahoo.com, WTTW and NPR, and worked for clients such as American Airlines, Budweiser, State Farm & McDonalds. They also teach as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago within the Art & Tech and Humanities Departments. Their days are spent exploring the intersection of music & film, and they bring a nuanced understanding of the cultural role of music to the classes they teach. They have a deep love of American regional and popular musical styles, and a fascination for the cultural counterpoint of the American vernacular. Allie identifies as trans-feminine and ‘gender-mobile.’
CO-FOUNDERS + EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
Laley Lippard is a Co-Founder and Executive Producer of Chicago Home Theater Festival. A director, producer, and educator, Laley is fueled by the belief that elemental storytelling engenders radical compassion which is the foundation of lasting social change. She investigates intimacy and invisibility through new work by creating devised performance, developing new plays, and freelance directing. Laley has directed with Steppenwolf Theatre, Virginia Stage Company, Cleveland Play House, Playwrights Foundation, Magic Theatre, foolsFURY Theatre, Seaside Repertory, side project, and TheatreWorks and has workshopped plays with Alliance Theatre, American Theater Company, O’Neill Theater Center, Just Theatre, and The Garage. Laley has worked with HowlRound and the AVNPI at Arena Stage, Guthrie Theater, American Conservatory Theater, Court Theatre, and Woolly Mammoth. Laley is a proud member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, The National Directors Fellowship, and SDC Directing Observership Program. She holds an M.F.A. in Directing from Northwestern University.
Irina Zadov is an artist, educator, and cultural organizer. A Soviet Jewish refugee, her practice explores the liminal space between individual and collective, home and state, diasporic community and chosen family. At its core, her work is relational. She builds with youth, artists, grassroots organizers, and cultural institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Hyde Park Art Center, Smart Museum of Art, National Museum of Mexican Art, DuSable Museum of African American History, Cambodian American Heritage Museum, Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, Chicago Freedom School, Free Street Theater, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, and DCR Studios in The Hague. She is currently the Senior Program Specialist at the Chicago Park District where she co-creates city-wide youth programs exploring identity, community, and solidarity through the lens of cultural stewardship. She is a Co-Founder and Executive Producer of the Chicago Home Theater Festival, which she loves with all her heart.