Maritza Cervantes is a proud alumnus of Columbia College Chicago graduating with a BA in Theater with concentration in Acting. She has been part of the Chicago theater scene for over 20 years, working with companies such as The Goodman Theater, 16th Street Theater, Aguijón Theatre Co. and was an Artistic Ensemble Member with Teatro Luna from 2005-2010. In 2001, she co-founded the Acoustic/hip-hop/soul band The Luna Blues Machine with sister Belinda Cervantes and were featured as "The hardest working band in Chicago" by Gozamos on-line magazine and as "Chicago's Very Own" for Hispanic Heritage Month by WGN Chicago. Maritza currently works as a Project AIM Teaching Artist at Pulaski International School of Chicago, Irma Ruiz Elementary and Calmeca Academy. She is passionate about using the Social Emotional aspect of her Project AIM work as a means to tap into a young person's creativity while changing their perspective of the world around them.
Luis DeLaTorre is a visual artist living and working in Chicago. He attended the American Academy of Art where he studied painting under Irving Shapiro. His work is concerned with patterns both on and off the canvas and celebrates the ephemeral nature of our existence. He has participated in exhibitions throughout the United States and Mexico with solo exhibits at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and Chicago State University. DeLaTorre’s work is in many private and public collections including The National Museum of Mexican Art, Patric McCoy collection, and Duchossois collection. DeLaTorre has participated in the various architectural restoration projects including Gilding the dome of the Iowa State Capital building, recreating Frank Lloyd Wrights stencils from the board of trade at the Art Institute of Chicago and decorated ceiling murals in the Illinois state capital building. DeLaTorre has committed to conveying his many skills and experiences to the youth of his community by leading visual art workshops and residencies within CPS through various organizations including ElevArte (Chicago) Changing Worlds (Chicago) and Project Aim (Chicago).
Guillermo Delgado is an interdisciplinary artist with a history of art creation and teaching since 1994. He shares his passion for art, literacy, and writing with children, college students, adults, incarcerated youth and adults, and educators wherever he goes. He engages students of all ages and backgrounds in the creation of their own interdisciplinary work. Guillermo collaborates with educators to create curriculum which infuses the arts into the academic and civic engagement experience. Exhibition of his art includes venues such as the National Museum of Mexican Art, Museum of Science and Industry, The School of the Art Institute’s Betty Rymer Gallery, Chicago History Museum, Noyes Cultural Arts Center in Evanston IL, Garrett Evangelical School of Northwestern University, Heard Museum in Phoenix, Mexican Museum in San Francisco, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Elmhurst College, and Michigan State University.
Guillermo started his art career as a self-taught printmaker and painter, and in 2013 he completed his Masters of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts. Guillermo integrates the transformative power of poetry, storytelling, movement, visual art, and contemplative practices, including meditation and yoga, into the projects.
In 2014, Guillermo was appointed Academic Specials in Community and Socially Engaged Arts at the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University, a position he holds today. He is active as a visiting artist in several organizations including Columbia College (Chicago), Argo High School (Summit, IL), and Ghost Ranch (Abiquiú, New Mexico), Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility (Michigan Dept. of Corrections), and Ingham County Youth Services (Lansing, MI). For more information about Guillermo Delgado and his projects, please visit his website at: www.gdelgado.com
Alice George is a visual artist and poet living in Evanston, Illinois. Her poetry appears in eight anthologies and her book of poetry was published in 2008 (This Must Be The Place, Mayapple Press). Her work has been recognized by Illinois Arts Council grants and Ragdale Foundation residencies. Alice began exploring text and image while pursuing her MFA in Writing from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago (2001), and her work has been exhibited in area venues, including a 3-woman show at the Evanston Art Center in fall of 2017. Her work includes paintings, prints, artist books and animations.
As a teaching artist, Alice has translated her interests into work with Columbia College Chicago's Project AIM, working in long-term text-image residencies in K-12 classrooms. She also teaches interdisciplinary workshops from her Evanston studio. Alice is also an active citizen and business owner; she and her husband Shawn Decker are co-founders of Sketchbook Brewing Company. Learn more at www.alicegeorge.org
Cecil McDonald, Jr
Through photography, video, and text, Cecil McDonald, Jr. explores the intersections of masculinity, familial relations, and the artistic and intellectual pursuits of black culture. Cecil studied fashion, house music and dance club culture before receiving a MFA in Photography at Columbia College Chicago, where he currently serves as an adjunct professor and a teaching artist at the College's Center for Community Arts Partnerships. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, with works in the permanent collection of The Cleveland Museum of Art, Chicago Bank of America LaSalle Collection and the Harris Bank Collection. He was awarded the: Joyce Foundation Midwest Voices & Visions Award, the Artadia Award, The Swiss Benevolent Society, Lucerne, Switzerland, Residency and the 3Arts Teaching Artist Award. While a graduate student, Cecil developed a counterpart to his art practice-- the role of the teaching artist, developing and integrating arts curriculum into the primary grades of Chicago public schools.
Among his recent projects is Black Bottom Boulevard, as part of a ten month artist in residency at the Washington Parks Arts Incubator and I Can't Turnaround: Where do we go from Here?, a teaching artist residency using photography and text to explore questions and affects of intensive, intervention initiatives in underachieving Chicago Public Schools commonly referred to as School Turnaround.
Jenn Morea has taught poetry since 1996 and with Project AIM since 2003. She holds a Masters of English Education and a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Jenn has edited more than twenty-five anthologies of writing by Chicago youth ages 7-21. She is an arts curriculum consultant for the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago.
Jenn's poetry was a finalist in the National Poetry Series, the New Issues Poetry Press First Book Prize and the University of Wisconsin Press Brittingham Prize. She wrote the lyrics for the Candy Claws album Ceres and Calypso in the Deep Time (Twosyllable Records). Her single edition handmade book, In a space along the margin of a field, was exhibited in The Magic Child Repository: A Collection of Handmade Books and Book Objects at Craftland Gallery in Providence, RI.
Sadira Muhammad is a seasoned Chicago dance artist whose practice is centered around Afro-Cultural movement accented by modern dance phraseology. She has a specialty background in the field of teaching artistry where she integrates history and literature with cultural dance to share with students in Chicago Public Schools, Chicago’s After School Matters program, and in community settings. She is also a guest lecturer at Columbia College Chicago. Her work in the classroom focuses on developing accessible structures for learning and promoting student voice and identity. Sadira has extensive experience performing and training in communities, schools and seminars. Sadira received her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and has continued her training with Deeply Rooted, Hubbard Street, Joseph Holmes, Ruth Page Dance Center, the Alfred Baker School of Dance, Muntu Dance Theater of Chicago, the Najwa Dance Corps, and many African and Caribbean nationals in the renowned Dance Africa Chicago workshop series. Sadira has performed professionally with the Najwa Dance Corps, Tamboula Ethnic Dance Company, Groupe Daara Gee, Pocomania Jamaican Dance Company, Mofindu Drum and Dance, and is a long standing principle performer and Administrative Manager of the West Indian Dance Theater Company. Sadira has also served on the administrative team that founded Columbia College’s Chicago Community Arts Partnerships and Project AIM. She assisted in the develop of Project AIM’s methodology with its first cadre of interdisciplinary artists.
Wilfredo (Freddie) Ramos Jr. is a Chicago-based playwright and educator. Freddie is a member of El Semillero, a playwriting collective sponsored by the Alliance of Latinx Theatre Artists of Chicago (ALTA). Freddie's play, Incorporate, was named as a Semifinalist for the 2017 O'Neill Theatre Center National Playwrights Conference and as an Honorable Mention for 50 Playwrights Project's Best Unproduced Latin@ Plays 2017. The second play in the trilogy, Incriminate, will receive a staged reading with Semillero later this year.
As an educator, Freddie teaches with Project AIM, Steppenwolf Theatre, Writers Theatre, Northlight Theatre, and others. In his teaching work, Freddie seeks to make space for young people to explore political themes through literary analysis, theatrical performance, and art-making. www.wilfredoramosjr.com
Arts Integration Focus: Theatre
Bio coming soon.
Luke Sequeira is a producer and mixed multi-media artist specializing in experimental sound design and experimental music. For the past 9 years Luke has served as a media mentor/resident artist at a wide range of schools throughout the City of Chicago assisting teachers in media, technology and software integration. Currently, Luke is a media mentor/resident with AIM and an Adobe Youth Voices certified trainer. Additionally Luke is a founding member and Director of The Elder Tree, an arts collective that produces live visual and aural experiences for mass gatherings. Luke also holds a monthly DJ residency at 8A5E at the Bridgeport Art Center.
Sun Yun has been a teaching artist for 18 years. She has taught for non-profit organizations like Urban Gateways and Marwen, as well as higher educational institutions like School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College. Sun will be working looking forward to working with with Project AIM this school year.
Sun is a graduate of the MFA program in Painting at the School of the Art Institute. She continues to work in her studio and has shown throughout Chicago as well as internationally. Her exploration and discipline in her studio is an asset when working with children in schools. Sun endeavors to be fearless and open to learning new things, and making mistakes as part of the process has expanded her teaching abilities. She feels privileged to work with and connect with children who has given her so much hope.
Clare Tallon Ruen
Clare Tallon Ruen, MFA, founder of LakeDance, is a dancer and Great Lakes enthusiast. Finding ways for movement to express processes and phenomena in our world is her passion. Partnering with engineers, researchers, artists and classroom teachers, Tallon Ruen seeks to create relevant and engaging educational experiences for all involved. Recently she launched Watershed Collective, an adult learning community, to gather knowledge and encourage passion for our watershed.