Jon Baskin is a founder and co-editor of The Point, a Chicago-based magazine of ideas and culture. A Chicago native, he is a doctoral candidate in The Committee on Social Thought at The University of Chicago, and holds a B.A. in English and History from Brown University. He has also worked for the Center for American Progress, The Atlantic Monthly and Agate Publishing, and published articles on literature and philosophy in Bookforum, Salon and n+1.
Cindy Blikre has over 20 years of experience in marketing blue-chip brands with a career in global advertising agencies Ogilvy, JWT and Leo Burnett. She spent 16 years of her career at Leo Burnett in account management, including four years as an Executive Vice President/Group Account Director. Passionate about the power of people, creativity and ideas to drive change, Cindy is currently back at Northwestern getting a Master’s in Learning and Organizational Change and is continuing to consult in the marketing space. She also has a Master’s in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern and an undergraduate degree from the University of North Dakota where she sits on the Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Sarah Curran is the Programming Director for the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts, where she creates multidisciplinary arts programs to align with the teaching and research mission of Stanford University. Sarah began her career in Chicago, teaching high school theater, and has worked with a variety of arts organizations, including the Tribeca Film Festival, the Martha Graham Dance Company, and the Chicago Humanities Festival. She holds an A.B. from Princeton University, an M.A. from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and is a member of the inaugural cohort of the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University.
Shoshona Currier is the Director of Performing Arts for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. In her four years with the department she has been integral in the development and integration of dance and theater into Chicago’s civic programming. She has directed and overseen such large-scale civic events as the Chicago World Music Festival, SummerDance, Downtown Sound, and Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz. She also oversees a robust performance residency program at The Chicago Cultural Center.
Prior to her role at DCASE, Ms. Currier served in Producer positions at Dance New Amsterdam and Performance Space 122 in New York City. Shoshona holds an Associates Degree from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, a B.S. in Liberal Arts from the New School University in New York City and was a member of the inaugural class of the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University. She is an Advisor for the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project, a Consortium Member of the Chicago Dancemakers Forum, and serves on the board of High Concept Labs.
Mónica is an attorney in Chicago with a passion for the performing arts. For the past four years, she has served as counsel for a Chicago-based aircraft leasing company, managing all aspects of motion practice, discovery, and trial preparation for the company’s complex commercial and criminal litigation. She holds a B.A. in Politics from Princeton University, with Certificates in Latin American Studies and Musical Performance, and a J.D. from the University of Chicago. Throughout her studies, Mónica was actively engaged as a soprano soloist for the University of Chicago Motet Choir, Women’s Chorus, and University Chorus and the Princeton University Chamber Choir and Glee Club.
Mark Robinson is a professor at DePaul University. His academic research explores the bioethical and social implications of emerging developments in translational science, biomedicine, and technology. Mark’s cross-disciplinary research has garnered recognition from the Ford Foundation, Italy’s Giannino Bassetti Foundation, and Harvard University’s Institute for Social Inequality. Mark has also worked in a number of capacities with organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Public Health Foundation Enterprise, the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and the Heartland Alliance for Health and Human Rights. Mark has published on topics spanning neuroscience, the history of antipsychotics, and new developments in stem-cell research, genetics and prosthetics. An alumnus of the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, he received his Ph.D from Princeton University as a Presidential Fellow.
As an accomplished designer, sculptor, and business owner, Kempe Scanlan seeks to address issues at the intersection of human behavior and empowerment through product design. He’s the president of KEMPE Clothing, a line of performance wear focused on healthy ways of gender expression for those who find themselves outside of the gender binary of male and female. He’s worked in marketing and nonprofit in Boston, publishing in Charleston, and conceptual design in Chicago. Kempe has a degree in economics from Skidmore College, and a master of design in designed objects from The School at the Art Institute of Chicago. He is from South Carolina and New York, but now calls the Windy City home.
For more than a decade, Kevin Simmons has worked in Chicago and abroad as a program strategist, project designer, and consultant for diverse cultural, environmental, and philanthropic initiatives. A former AmeriCorps*VISTA member and Site Director for LIFT, he studied housing and education policy at Princeton University, Russian language and Slavic literature at the Nevsky Institute in St. Petersburg, holds a certificate in Conservation Finance from the Yale Center for Business and the Environment, and is an NAI-certified interpretive guide and naturalist. Institutions for which he has worked in development, communications, or program management capacities include the UNDP/Global Environment Facility, Audubon Society, ANAI, ArtBasel (Basel), and the BioMuseo, in collaboration Frank Gehry, Bruce Mau, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). He is a member of the Society for Ethnomusicology, and serves on the boards of The Foundation for National Progress & Mother Jones Magazine, Molly Shanahan / Mad Shak, Opera Omnia, and is the Board Chair of Opera Cabal.
Robyn Trem is a Researcher for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She joined the Foundation in 2015 as a Program Assistant to the Arts and Culture in Chicago and the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions (MacArthur Award) programs, before moving into her current Research position in early 2016. Previously, Robyn has worked as an urban educator in Boston (Senior Fellow, AmeriCorps Urban Fellowship) and as the grants coordinator for INTUIT: the Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, a Chicago arts non-profit. Professionally Robyn focuses on program development, evaluation, and grant writing; she is dedicated to work that supports understanding and ending institutional racism and urban inequality. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster in Ohio and a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Chicago. Robyn is a life-long student of the arts.