Creating. Sharing. Growing.
2010 W Carroll Ave
Chicago, IL 60612
United States
T
(312) 829-2787
1963 Johns Drive
Glenview, IL 60025
United States
T
(847) 486-0808

Team

One of the many aspects of our program that sets us apart is our truly talented staff.

The team that is charged with facilitating our model and moving our mission forward have bachelor's degrees in art, design, education and/or psychology. We have very high expectations for them as leaders of our program and mentors to our artists. We are very proud of the work they do every day and can't thank them enough for their committment to our artists and The Arts of Life.  

Denise Fisher

Co-Founder & Executive Director

Denise Fisher co-founded Arts of Life, Inc. in 2000, and has served as the Executive Director over the course of development for the last eight years. She has become known and respected in the disability field for her innovative programming, as well as her compassion and advocacy for adults with developmental disabilities. As a child, Denise assisted her mother in a special education classroom. She went on to volunteer at several Special Olympics and worked as a summer counselor and cabin leader at New York’s Camp Jened for three summers. In her professional career, Denise worked for over ten years in residential and support services for people with developmental disabilities. As founder of Arts of Life, she led the development of an innovative program model, recruitment of artists, staff, and board members, and achieved a 3-year accreditation with The Council of Quality & Leadership (CQL), a respected international accrediting body. She continues to inspire the artists in our community, those who work for her, and all those who come in contact with our studios. Denise has her B.A. in education and psychology from Eastern Illinois University. She is also a qualified support professional (QSP), trained to meet the needs of people with developmental disabilities.

  • Chelsea Yang

    Marketing Coordinator

    Bio coming very soon!

  • Teni Odunsi

    Business Coordinator

    Bio coming very soon!

  • Emily Tuesday

    Grants and Foundations Manager

    Emily graduated with BA in Contemporary Performance Practice from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music in Drama in Glasgow, Scotland in 2008. Since graduating she has created and performed solo, group and collaborative performance work for a variety of venues and communities in the USA and Europe. Currently based in Michigan, Emily is Board Member for Every house has a door in Chicago and a volunteer with Telling It at SOS Community Services in Ypsilanti, MI.

  • Sara Bemer

    Development Manager

    Sara first joined The Arts of Life as a volunteer in January 2014 and is now the Development Manager. She graduated from DePaul University with a B.A. in Public Relations in 2009. Prior to The Arts of Life Sara worked for a local municipality overseeing multiple public projects. Sara’s favorite things about working at The Arts of Life are planning fun events (hello Chili Cook-Off!) and being a part of such a creative and supportive community. Outside of The Arts of Life, Sara enjoys exploring Chicago, running, and traveling as much as possible.

Chicago Studio

  • Kennedy Healy

    Studio Coordinator

    Kennedy Healy received her Bachelor of Arts in Women's and Gender Studies from DePaul University where she created an individualized concentration in Disability Studies. A person with a physical disability, Kennedy has previously done cross-disability work with young women with disabilities at Access Living. Before her position as Studio Coordinator, she volunteered in The Arts of Life's Chicago Studio and was a member of our Associate Board.

  • Vincent Uribe

    Arts Coordinator

    Vincent Uribe is an artist and creative entrepreneur who joined the Arts of Life staff in November of 2013 as the Arts Coordinator for their Chicago Studio. Vincent is also the Founding Director of LVL3 gallery in Wicker Park, an artist run space dedicated to supporting collaborative work and group shows of all mediums to foster connections between emerging and established artists from around the world. Vincent has a breadth of experience working within the arts as a team leader and initiator. He has organized hundreds of artists and dozens of noteworthy exhibitions. Along with art, Vincent enjoys traveling, dancing, pizza, the Internet, and dogs. Vincent holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. vuribe@artsoflife.org 323-216-0631

    LVL3media.com

  • Catherine Norcott

    Studio Manager

    Catherine Norcott currently resides in Chicago. Her sporadic creative practice includes printmaking, works on paper, alternative process photography and other forms of mixed media artmaking. She received a BFA in Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Boston with minors in art history and psychology. After graduating, she spent several years in L’Arche communities in Alabama and Illinois. That was her first entrance into community, and it changed her life. During her time in Alabama, she coordinated a printmaking project and organized an exhibition of the finished work with the local Arts Council. Now at the Arts of Life, she is happy to engage both relationship-building and artistic expression as part of her role. As Studio Manager, she is primarily responsible for case management and self-advocacy programming, and has QIDP certification in Illinois. She hopes to help create more integrated spaces, both within the studio and across the state.

North Shore Studio

  • Rick Sindt

    Studio Coordinator

    Born and raised in Hastings, Minnesota, Rick grew up alongside the Mississippi River and moved to Chicago, Illinois in 2009 for school. During his time in school he worked for Stepping Out, Inc, a residential living program in Minnesota for adults with Prader Willi Syndrome, and taught private swimming lessons to children with disabilities at Galter Life Center. He graduated Magna Cum Laude and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from North Park University in 2013. Rick continues to live and work in Chicago. He joined the Arts of Life in March 2015, is on staff at Comfort Station–a multi-disciplinary art space in the Logan Square neighborhood, and is affiliated with Pitchfork Music Festival. Primarily a painter, his practice centers around the questions of embodiment and is heavily influenced by literature. He was the featured cover artist for OCHO’s Spring 2015 issue and exhibits with an arts collective he co-founded in the fall of 2013.

    www.ricksindt.net

  • Megan Harrigan

    Arts Coordinator

    Megan Harrigan joined the Arts of Life in 2013 as a volunteer at the North Shore Studio. She later started their photography group and worked as a direct support professional with one of our amazing artists. Before joining The Arts of Life she also developed and instructed a beginning photography class for youth students with dyslexia. Photography is her primary form of artistic expression, and over the years her photographs have been shown in Chicago area galleries, private collections, and at the Rockford Art Museum. She graduated cum laude from Western Illinois University, majoring in photography while earning a double minor in art and journalism. Megan also holds an Associate of Applied Science degree in digital media and design from the College of Lake County. Megan finds inspiration in the tenacity and freedom of expression that she observes daily in The Arts of Life artists; leaving the studio each day with the sense that anything is possible.

  • Hilary Marshall

    Studio Manager

    Hilary joined the staff of Arts of Life as the North Shore’s Studio Manager in January 2010. She has worked with adults with disabilities since graduating from North Park University in 2005 with a BA in Creative Writing. She previously held positions at Center for Independent Futures in Evanston and Neighborhood Services in Chicago. She has also worked independently with families to provide community based supports in the home. She's certified as a Qualified Intellectual Disability Professional (QIDP) by the state of Illinois. Hilary first encountered The Arts of Life when working as a direct support professional for several long-time members of the studio. Our commitment to those individuals’ personal and professional growth convinced her that this would be the perfect place for her to work and grow, too. Her favorite thing about the studio is it's radical hospitality. Hilary’s creative interests include tiny things, working with found objects, putting things together, and taking things apart.

  • Grace Guillebeau

    Volunteer Coordinator

    Grace Guillebeau joined the Arts of Life community as a volunteer in January 2016. She has had the opportunity to work with two different artists as a direct support professional before being hired full time May 2016. Grace graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education in 2014 and attended the San Francisco Art Institute for an Undergraduate Residency Program in 2013. Her art practice consists of portrait drawing and painting with heavy experimentation. Since 2009, she has had a small business creating custom painted canvas shoes. Each pair is collaborated with her customer using their ideas to create wearable art. Grace loves the inspiration; sense of community and creative involvement the Arts of Life brings to her life!

    http://www.gbeausartdesign.com