Chicago City Council Approves New Members to the Cultural Advisory Council of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

January 15, 2020

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334,


CHICAGO—Chicago City Council today approved the appointments made by Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot to the Cultural Advisory Council of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), including Council Chair Amina J. Dickerson and Vice Chair Alison Cuddy.

“A robust Chicago arts community inspires us, engages us, questions the status quo, and has the power to bring our diverse city together in conversation around the critical challenges of our day,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “I am grateful to the outgoing members of the Council and excited to bring these new voices to the table, who will work with us to ensure that Chicago remains a vibrant and innovative cultural hub – and that all Chicagoans have equitable access to the arts.”

The entirely new slate of Cultural Advisory Council members will advocate for a vital Chicago arts community and help advance the Mayor’s arts and culture priorities, which include making Chicago livable and affordable for artists and creative professionals, expanding public arts programming to help drive the economic life of our neighborhoods, collaborating with communities and creative industries to engage our artists and expand quality jobs, and expanding equitable access to high-quality arts education for all young people in Chicago.

The appointees are a diverse group of Chicagoans from across the city representing a broad cross-section of arts genres. They include practicing artists, representatives from major cultural organizations, neighborhood and community organizations, and the community at large.

“Mayor Lightfoot has appointed an incredible group of Chicagoans to serve on the reinvigorated Cultural Advisory Council and I am looking forward to working closely with all of them to strengthen the cultural landscape,” said DCASE Commissioner Mark Kelly.

The new Cultural Advisory Council will be comprised of the following individuals:

  • Paola Aguirre Serrano, Founding Principal, Borderless Studio
  • Alison Cuddy, Artistic Director, Chicago Humanities Festival
  • Sandra Delgado, Theatre Artist, Writer, Actor and Producer
  • Amina J. Dickerson, President, Dickerson Global Advisors
  • Juan Díes, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Sones de México Ensemble
  • Bob Faust, Owner, Faust and Special Projects Director, Nick Cave Studio
  • Robert Gomez, Owner, Subterranean/Beat Kitchen/Underbar
  • Esther Grisham Grimm, Executive Director, 3Arts
  • Tracie D. Hall, Director, Culture Program, Joyce Foundation
  • Akilah S. Halley, Executive Director, Marwen
  • Tempestt Hazel, Arts Program Officer, Field Foundation of Illinois
  • Kevin Iega Jeff, Creative Director, Deeply Rooted Productions
  • Ginger Lane, Arts & Culture Project Director, Access Living
  • Josephine Lee, President & Artistic Director, Chicago Children’s Choir
  • Tonika Lewis Johnson, Artist, Folded Map Project
  • Bill Michel, Associate Vice President and Executive Director of UChicago Arts and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago
  • Heather A. Miller, Executive Director, American Indian Center
  • Cesáreo J. Moreno, Chief Curator & Visual Arts Director, National Museum of Mexican Art
  • Margaret C. Murphy-Webb, Executive Director & Co-Founder, South Side Jazz Coalition
  • Coya Paz, Artistic Director, Free Street Theater
  • Claire C. Rice, Executive Director, Arts Alliance Illinois
  • Silvia Rivera, Managing Director, Vocalo
  • Myrna Salazar, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Chicago Latino Theater Alliance
  • David Schmitz, Executive Director, Steppenwolf Theatre Company
  • Jennifer A. Scott, Director & Chief Curator, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Paul J. Sznewajs, Executive Director, Ingenuity
  • Vivian Teng, Managing Director, Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival
  • Omar Torres-Kortright, Executive Director, Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center
  • Tanner Woodford, Founder & Executive Director, Design Museum of Chicago
  • One additional member to be named later


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