OUR STAFF

CARRIE SPITLER – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

She/Her/Hers

Carrie Spitler joined Snow City Arts in 2013 and has led the organization through strategic planning, strengthened assessment efforts, and increased fundraising capacity to fully support the mission.  She was selected through a competitive process for the University of Chicago’s inaugural cohort of the 2015 Chicago Leadership Academy and is a prior member of the Steering Committee of the Civic Knowledge Project’s Southside Arts and Humanities Network. Prior to joining Snow City Arts, Carrie served for 10 years as the Executive Director of the Neighborhood Writing Alliance, a social justice and popular education literary arts organization, and as Publisher of the Journal of Ordinary Thought. From 1997 to 2002, she was the Director of Development at Access Living. Carrie holds a BS in Political Science from Central Michigan University, and a Certificate in Baking and Pastry from Kendall College.

VERONICA STEIN – PROGRAM DIRECTOR

She/Her/Hers

Veronica is an active member of the Chicago arts and non-profit communities, most recently having led teams at Youth Service Project and BUILD, with a focus on public arts programming and education justice. Her pedagogy investigates how learners may advocate for their own learning in contested spaces. Veronica has led workshops and training across Illinois around trauma-informed practices, creative placemaking, and early elementary restorative justice practices. Veronica is also a practicing artist whose work in multimedia and fiber arts confronts the complex intersections of space occupation as it relates to access. She has exhibited her works in museums and galleries in New York and Chicago. Veronica is a member of several grant writing organizations, including the Kentucky Foundation for Women, in her pursuit of transformational philanthropy. She received her Master of Arts in Art Education from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BFA in Photography, Film and Electronic Media from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

DEIRDRE HARRISON – DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT

She/Her/Hers

Deirdre Harrison was thrilled to join Snow City Arts in February, 2020, directly from her role as Chief Operating Officer and before that Interim Development Director for GRAMMY award winning sextet Eighth Blackbird. Previously, she was the Director of Development for the MacArthur-funded shared advancement staff project Creative Partners, Director of Development and Communications for Rush Hour Concerts/Make Music Chicago through its merger with the International Music Foundation, and for several years Music Institute of Chicago’s first Director of Community Engagement. She is a member of the 2013 cohort of the Community Arts Education Leadership Institute of the National Guild for Community Arts Education. Additional non-profit administration experience includes launching Global Citizenship Experience Lab School and work as Director of Admission and Financial Aid for Baker Demonstration School. Deirdre earned a double BA at Yale before completing her theater training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She is currently in the midst of earning her certificate at Northwestern Kellogg’s Center for Nonprofit Management. A dual American-Irish citizen, she worked in the UK, EU and US for many years as an actress, singer and director. Deirdre produces Chamber Music at Bethany with her former colleague, cellist Nick Photinos and pianist Yasuko Oura, and performs all over Chicagoland with her literacy chamber band, The Lucky Trikes, who are currently preparing to record their second album “How to Listen”.

CHINYERE (CHI) ACHEBE – PROGRAM MANAGER

She/Her/Hers

Chi joined Snow City Arts in February, 2020, shortly before we became a distributed office team and the entire team dove into creating and launching our Virtual Learning platform.  Chi comes to this new role with a wide array of experiences and skills as an educator, spiritual advisor, reiki practitioner, singer, poet, artist, and curator who uses art as an outlet for community building and self-awareness. Past positions include serving as Program Coordinator for the House of Blues’ Music Forward Foundation; Director of Operations and Programming for Art Devour Gallery; Reiki practitioner for the Black Youth Project Healing & Safety Council; and as Digital Media Specialist for BlackDoctor.org. Chi has served as an Artist Curator, as well as Outreach and Engagement Cultivator, for the SWARM Artist Residency; sits on the Junior Board of the Africa International House (African Festival of Arts); and has presented workshops and facilitated speaking engagements for multiple organizations ranging in size and scope.  She is a recipient of a grant from Grinnell College.

Danielle Patterson

DANIELLE PATTERSON – DEVELOPMENT & COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATE

She/Her/Hers

Danielle comes to Snow City Arts from Leo Catholic High School, where she served as the Registrar until mid-July, 2020. Prior to that, Danielle worked for Metropolitan Services in job development and for four years was a Program Manager with the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence.  Danielle founded Postpart_y, a safe-space community following the birth of her own daughter at Rush Hospital, to help new moms cope with the challenges of parenthood and to promote much-needed dialogue about maternal health and the often ignored social-emotional struggles of postpartum, especially within  Chicago’s communities of color. Danielle received her Masters in Nonprofit/Public/Organizational Management from DePaul University, a BS in Public Relations and Communications from Kansas State University, and recently earned a certificate in digital marketing.  

Nakyung Rhee, Ph.D.

NAKYUNG RHEE – ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT/RESEARCH SPECIALIST

She/Her/Hers

Nakyung is a researcher and arts administrator, specializing in arts management and cultural policy analysis. Her core research interest is in the arts and health, with an emphasis on the instrumental and instructional values of the arts. Her theoretical work is primarily aimed at improving communication in multidisciplinary collaborations in the arts and/for/in other areas to enhance the societal wellness of individuals and communities through lifelong learning and art appreciation. Nakyung majored in Business Administration and minored in Art History at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea. She holds her MA and PhD in Arts Administration, Education and Policy from the Ohio State University, with a specialty in Cultural Policy & Arts Management, Museum Education & Administration, and Aging studies.

Nakyung serves as a research fellow for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, conducting analysis on state, federal, and private grantmaking in the arts and visualizing that data for more accessible use in the field. She continues her work presenting models of local arts education management, including the social value of arts education to Korean organizations in the field of arts management via the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; and recent responses to the COVID 19 pandemic, including Snow City Arts’ nimble pivot to Virtual Learning and its forward-looking fiscal management for the Korean Society of Arts and Cultural Management.

TEACHING ARTISTS

MONICA ACOSTA

She/Her/They/Them

Monica Acosta is a visual artist in residence at Central DuPage Hospital. She graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with degrees in Interior Architecture and Fine Arts. In addition to being a teaching artist at Snow City Arts, Monica is also an art curator for American Indian Veterans Exhibits at The Trickster Gallery in Schaumburg. Her interest is in color science and theory. She is an active artist in the Chicagoland area working with water-soluble mediums. She has worked with the Field Museum, Trickster Gallery and The Filipino Historical Society, collaborating an exhibit about cross-generational identities titled, “We Are Family.” Her work, “Unveiled Through The Arts”, exhibited at the Trickster Gallery and was chosen to exhibit with the Illinois Secretary of State during Asian-American Heritage Month. As an art instructor, she teaches workshops in mindful creativity. Monica believes that art has the capacity to empower one to find their own authenticity.

EMMY BEAN

She/Her/Hers

Emmy Bean is a musician-in-residence at Children’s Hospital University of Illinois and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and is a singer, theater artist and teacher living in Chicago. She performs frequently with Theatre Oobleck, Curious Theater Branch, and The Neo-Futurists. She writes songs and performs with Chris Schoen and T-Roy Martin in the trio 80 Foots Per Minute. Other performance work includes appearances at the Parlor in Philadelphia, Judson Church in New York City, Studio Theater in Washington DC, and Sandglass Theater in Putney, VT.  She has toured with Amanda Maddock’s play “Mrs. Wright’s Escape” and co-created the “Three Piggy Opera” at Links Hall in Chicago. Since 2008, she has worked as an Associate Curator at the Great Small Works International Toy Theater Festival in New York City. She holds an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts from Columbia College Chicago and a B.A. in Religion from Vassar College, with a concentration in Music and Culture.

ERIC ELSHTAIN

He/Him/His

Eric Elshtain is a creative writer-in-residence at Children’s Hospital University of Illinois and Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital. He has taught poetry and other subjects through the Poetry Center of Chicago’s Hands on Stanzas program, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the University of Chicago, and the Better Boys Foundation. His poetry, reviews and interviews have been published in such journals as the Notre Dame Review, McSweeney’s, American Letters & Commentary, among many others.  His book, Here In Premonition, was published in 2006. His most recent book, This Thin Memory A-ha, was published by Verge Books. Additionally, Eric is the editor of the on-line poetry press Beard of Bees. He received his PhD in Poetry from the University of Chicago.

DAN KERR-HOBERT

He/Him/His

Dan Kerr-Hobert is a Theatre Artist-In-Residence at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Rush University Children’s Hospital. He is an ensemble member of The Neo-Futurists Theater, a long time collaborator of Blair Thomas and Company, and the former Artistic Director of Sans-culottes Theater and Manifest Theatre. As a prolific writer, director, deviser, performer, and puppet designer, his work has been seen at The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, La Monnaie de Munt in Belgium, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, The Wooly Mammoth Theatre in Washington D.C., the Detroit Institute of Art, NJPAC, Steppenwolf Theatre, the Pritzker Pavilion, HERE Arts Center in New York, Dad’s Garage in Atlanta and The Actors Theatre of Louisville. Additionally, he has taught at The Theatre School at DePaul University and the Art Institute of Chicago. Dan is an alum of the Acting program at The Theatre School at DePaul University.

JOHN LYONS

He/Him/His

John Lyons is a filmmaker-in-residence at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. John is an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker and a teaching artist, who has been making films with students in the Chicago area for over 10 years with various arts organizations. He is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago and is also the Assistant Director of Technology and Administration at Marwen. When he’s not teaching, he enjoys hiking with his wife Jessica and discussing outer space with his daughters Catie and Annie.

MIKEY PETERSON

He/Him/His

Mikey Peterson is a media artist at Children’s Hospital University of Illinois. His moving-imagery, influenced by pre-CGI Sci-Fi films, experimental cinema, and sound collage, aim to disturb the viewer’s self-perception and sense of place. Subtle events appear dramatic and nature’s movements become surreal transformations, as they reside within the boundary between the physical and the virtual. His work has shown at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City; Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Photography; the Chicago Cultural Center; the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum; Chicago’s Zhou B Art Center, Rome’s MAXXI Museum; South Korea’s CICA Museum; the Armory Center For The Arts in Pasadena, California; Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum; the SIGGRAPH Conference in Los Angeles, California, the Lucca Film Festival in Lucca, Italy, London’s Visions in the Nunnery, CURRENTS New Media in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Under The Subway Video Art Night, the STREETVIDEOART exhibition in Paris, France, Brooklyn’s Ende Tymes Festival, New York’s Under The Subway Video Art Night, and the Video Art and Experimental Film Festival at Tribeca Cinemas in New York City. His work has been featured in publications including CICA Museum’s Post Human: New Media Art 2020 and Digital Body: New Media Art 2018; Mexico City’s Blancopop; Paris’ Stigmart 10 – Videofocus; LandEscape Art Review and the online audio publication, Text Sound. Peterson develops and teaches courses in the Film, Video, New Media, Animation Department and Contemporary Practices Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In addition, he writes and performs sparse melodic songs as a solo musician.

KEVIN SMITH

He/Him/His

Kevin is a musician-in-residence at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital and Rush University Children’s Hospital, and is a guitarist, composer, and music educator from the Chicagoland area. He began studying classical guitar performance at the University of Georgia with John Sutherland before finishing his degree at the Chicago College of Performing Arts under the instruction of Denis Azabagic. During this time, Kevin took first prize in the 2005 Society of American Musicians Competition and the 2006 D’Addario Classical Guitar Competition. Along with his classical and solo engagements, Kevin can be found performing and recording with a number of bands around Chicago, such as Gussied, Third Coast Percussion Ensemble, and Ami Saraiya and the Outcome. He has also recorded several studio albums with his band Cpt. Captain.

ALLISON SPICER

She/Her/Hers

Allison Spicer is a visual artist in residence at Rush University Children’s Hospital and Lurie Children’s Hospital. She is an exhibiting 2D visual artist and art educator in Chicago. Her work delves into the documentation of time and space, social theory, and relationships. She works primarily in drawing, painting, and photography (manual and digital). Allison earned her B.A. in Political Science at the University of Michigan and her M.A. in Art Education at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has been a teaching artist since 2002, developing her pedagogy at the Rush Day School, Sherwood Academy Columbia College, Detroit and Chicago Public Schools, the Smart Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Marwen, Hyde Park Arts Center, and Street Level Youth Media. She is a certified Aesthetics Education instructor from the Lincoln Institute of Arts in New York. She also teaches children with emotional/behavorial disorders and autism at the Rush Day School. She was the first to pilot a visual arts education program on the pediatric psychiatry unit at Rush University Medical Center. In 2013, Allison was awarded the Artigiana Artist Residency in Sicily, where she was granted her first international exhibition by the Italian Consulate.

JONATHAN STEIN

He/Him/His

Jonathan Stein is Visual Artist-in-Residence at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Rush University Children’s Hospital. He is an abstract painter and printmaker, as well as being an art educator who has been working with Snow City Arts since 2007. His artwork has been shown in exhibitions in Chicago IL, New York NY, London UK, Miami FL, Iowa City IA, Highland Park IL, and Bloomington IL. He is an Illinois Arts Council grant recipient.

LENNY ZIEBEN

He/Him/His

Lenny Zieben is a musician-in-residence at Rush University Children’s Hospital and has worked at Snow City Arts since 2011. Lenny also teaches music movement, principles and fun to preschool-5th grades as well as music production, history and theory (and fun!) to 6-12 grades. He has taught in public and private schools for Merit, Chime, Columbia College and Intonation, preparing students for a lifetime of musical enjoyment (and concerts). He has also worked at the Chicago Cultural Center as a sound engineer for events including World Music Fest and Summerdance. Lenny loves to sample and transform ordinary sounds into extraordinary music and soundscapes. He loves to perform, playing ukulele, voice, percussion and piano as Music For New People (MusicForNewNewPeople.com) throughout Chicagoland and sometimes the USA. Their debut recording “Innovations In Fun” is streaming world-wide and is a delight for all ages! Lenny is a graduate of DePaul University’s Sound Recording Technology program.