Co-founders: Kevin Simmons and Molly Feingold
Steven Wang has over seven years of experience within the consumer packaged goods industry, helping Fortune 500 companies develop and grow their store brands. His experience spanned the realms of retail execution, new product development, market research and analytics, and category management for such retailers as Kroger, Office Depot, Safeway, and Kmart. His passion for opera—and the desire to find ways of getting younger generations involved in the artform—influenced him to pursue his MBA at the University of Cambridge in the UK, specializing in Culture and Arts Management. During his studies, Steven produced a modern interpretation of Dido and Aeneas, and worked as a budgeting consultant for the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle. After his program, he assisted the Aldeburgh Music in Suffolk on multiple consulting projects, including a revamp of their marketing message to improve their recruitment strategies for the Aldeburgh World Orchestra. Steven also holds a B.S. in Marketing (Honors) and Economics from Arizona State University. He joined the organization in 2015.
Billie Howard is a Chicago-based musician, educator, and arts administrator. She has over 12 years experience working with non-profits to produce artistic programming and develop audiences across Chicago. She is dedicated to serving artists of all disciplines, helping them bring their ideas to fruition from the ground up.
As a violinist and pianist, she frequently works in collaboration, often with one of her groups: NbN Trio (Fall 2012 Sponsored Artists), The Paver, a.pe.ri.od.ic, and Akosuen. She performs frequently with many ensembles including Wrekmeister Harmonies, Bobby Conn, and Chicago Composer’s Orchestra. An active session musician, she has been featured on studio recordings by American Idol winner Lee DeWyze, Grammy-nominated children’s artist Justin Roberts, and many other recording artists. She maintains a large piano studio at Concordia University where she is Adjunct Professor of Piano. Billie holds violin, piano performance, and pedagogy degrees from Northwestern University and Montana State University. More about Billie can be found here.
Peter Weathers is a musician and arts producer, originally from Oregon. With HCL since 2014, He brings ten years of experience in arts administration and development, interactive online marketing, integrated campaigns, visual design, and content creation to High Concept Labs. He is dedicated to promoting the work of HCL to the Chicago community, and to working with artists to effectively shape their own promotional messaging.
As a musician, Peter has performed and produced opera in Boston and Chicago, and received his masters in the form from Northwestern University. He was a founding member of the Chicago “queer epic rootsy opera-folk” band thnku4sex, and has collaboratively created sound scores for dance, theater, film, and installation. Samples of his work can be found here