Abbéy Odunlami is a Nigerian-American filmmaker and cultural worker, living and working in Chicago, Detroit & Switzerland. He did his undergraduate work at Eastern Michigan University in Electronic Media & Film Studies w/ a minor in Theatre Comprehension. In the past few years he's focused on cultural production and worked as a curator, and in programming, coordinating and management for Sundance, Telluride film festival, Doha-Tribeca International film festival, and the Chicago International Film Festival. He's currently pursuing two Masters degrees: 1.) at the School of the Art Institute Chicago in Art Education and the 2.) at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland in Conflict Transformation & Peacebuilding. His current trend as a maker is to focus on creating livable "situations" as a means of producing ephemeral material that's exhibit-able.
Anna Felicity Friedman is an interdisciplinary scholar and artist who has focused on areas of research often neglected by traditional academics. Her main area of research is in the history of tattooing, however she also studies (in no particular order) myriad other body arts, contemporary performance art, the history of celestial cartography, and the history of rare books. Her current performative alter-ego, The Burlesque Butcher, explores the interplay between masculinity/femininity and food/sex. She feels that parody, humor, and a lack of clothing can empower and critique. Her events range from relational-aesthetics dinner parties to demonstrations to more formal "proper" performances. You can find her various projects at burlesquebutcher.wordpress.com
Bill Ayers, Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (retired), and founder of both the Small Schools Workshop and the Center for Youth and Society, taught courses in interpretive and qualitative research, urban school change, and teaching and the modern predicament. A graduate of the University of Michigan, the Bank Street College of Education, Bennington College, and Teachers College, Columbia University, Ayers has written extensively about social justice, democracy and education, the cultural contexts of schooling, and teaching as an essentially intellectual, ethical, and political enterprise. He is currently the vice-president of the curriculum studies division of the American Educational Research Association.
Faheem Majeed is an artist, curator, and community facilitator. Majeed blends his unique experience as a non-profit administrator, curator and artist to create works that focus on institutional critique and exhibitions that leverage collaboration to engage his immediate, and the broader community, in meaningful dialogue. From 2005-2011, Majeed served as Executive Director and Curator for the South Side Community Art Center (SSCAC). In this role he was responsible for managing operations, staff, programs, fundraising and curation for the SSCAC. During his time with the SSCAC, Majeed curated exhibitions of numerous artists including Elizabeth Catlett, Dr. David Driskell, Charles White, Jonathan Green, and Theaster Gates. Majeed received his BFA from Howard University and his MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). While at UIC, he received both the Lincoln and DFI Fellowships and was nominated for the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant. He was also part of a small group of students selected to take part in the New Insight exhibit during Art Chicago.
LaShana Jackson is a Senior HR Director for Aon Corporation and is responsible for working with executive leaders to identify HR solutions and strategies needed to support business results and growth for the Corporate Marketing, Strategy, Legal and Human Resources groups.
After receiving her B.A. in Marketing from Howard University in 2002, LaShana began with Aon that same year as a participant in the Firm's Early Career Development Program, a rotational program designed to accelerate the development of high potential, recent college graduates.
After completing the rotational program, LaShana transitioned to a role in talent development where she worked on various initiatives and programs. Her responsibilities included creating and managing leadership development programs, mentoring programs and various diversity initiatives. LaShana eventually transitioned into a global diversity leadership role where she was responsible for developing and executing Aon's diversity strategy and Affirmative Action programs.
LaShana is active in her community and currently sits on the board for Teen Living Programs, a nonprofit that helps transition youth who are homeless into independent living. She is also a member of the Uhlich Children's Advantage Network (UCAN) Diversity Advisory Board. Lashana currently resides in Chicago with her husband and 3 children.
Laura Ramírez was born in México City but calls Chicago her second home. She is a scholar activist, mother of two and popular educator. Her academic work explores moments of awakening in activism as experienced by women of color. She has had the privilege of experiencing people power through her work as an advocate for quality public education in the city of Chicago. She currently works as part of the Social Justice Initiative at UIC while also holding the Diversifying Higher Education in Illinois Fellowship and is looking forward to completing her PhD in Education Policy Studies in 2014.
Laura Shaeffer works as an inter-disciplinary artist-organizer and cultural producer based in Chicago, Illinois. From 2007 to 2009, Laura and her husband Andrew Nord hosted a series of contemporary art exhibits in their home in a project fittingly called Home Gallery. In 2009 she started The Opportunity Shop (Op Shop), a collaborative artist project utilizing otherwise empty urban spaces on a temporary basis to create sites of community involvement and artistic exchange. Laura is interested in creative community development, informal education and experimental sites of cultural exchange and activity. She is currently serving as artistic director of SHoP: Southside Hub of Production and as co-producer of exhibitions and events for HPK: Hyde Park Kunstverein. Laura also facilitates and organizes programs throughout the year that explore ideas of cooperativism, informal education, social engagement in the arts and co-production.
Lisa Yun Lee is the Director of the School of Art and Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Formerly the Director of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Lisa is also a member of the Art History faculty at UIC. Lisa is the co-founder of The Public Square, now a program of the Illinois Humanities Council, an organization dedicated to creating spaces for dialogue and dissent and for reinvigorating civil society. Lisa has published a book on Frankfurt School philosopher Theodor Adorno, and researches and writes about museums and diversity, cultural and environmental sustainability, and as spaces for fostering radically democratic practices. Lisa is currently working on a cookbook that addresses contemporary food justice issues with Hull-House history and questions of immigration and democracy. Lisa received her BA in Religion from Bryn Mawr College, and a Ph.D in German Studies from Duke University. Lisa also serves on the boards of the National Public Housing Museum, Young Chicago Authors, the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Third Coast International Audio Festival, and the Ms. Magazine Advisory Board.
Moki Tantoco is a third year BFA student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with emphasis in art education program. An active volunteer in the Chicago community, she has worked with Chicago Public Art Group, After School Matters, and North Branch Projects. She is also involved in student leadership at SAIC as member of SAIC Student Government, Career + Co-op Peer Advisor, and as founder and student group leader of North Branch at SAIC.
Regin Igloria maintains a studio practice which revolves around teaching and serving as an arts administrator. He teaches studio courses at Marwen, a nonprofit youth arts organization, where he has also served as program and exhibitions coordinator. An alumnus of the program, he helped establish their Alumni Advisory Board and served as its co-chair, run their Alumni Gallery, and served as a teaching artist for many of their study trips to New York City, Boston, and Maine. He has also taught for the children's program at Anderson Ranch Arts Center, where he served as a studio assistant for three summers and worked with many influential artists. Other teaching experiences include Rhode Island School of Design, Terra Museum of American Art, Kenosha Institute of Art, and various workshops throughout the Chicagoland area. Currently he serves as the Director of Artists-In-Residence at The Ragdale Foundation, an artist residency program for visual artists, writers and composers in Lake Forest, IL. He received his MFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design and is represented by Zg Gallery in Chicago, IL.
Teresa Albor is a project-based artist who works in installation, performance, sculpture/painting, interactions and video. She has been based in Chicago for two years, following over a decade living and working in London and Eastern Europe. Selected exhibitions and projects include a group show at the Soane Museum, London; a series of nine installations in Macedonian villages in collaboration with local poets and workers; and a large scale installation at the American Centre in New Delhi. Upcoming exhibitions include the Lodz Triennial (Poland) and an installation: All that lies beyond us, at the Loyola Museum of Art in Chicago. Albor received her MFA from University of the Arts, London - Chelsea College of Art and Design. She is married to the British Consul General, Robert Chatterton Dickson. Her website is www.TeresaAlbor.com.