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Our Team

Andreana Donahue

Chicago Art Manager

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Originally from Chicago, Andreana received her BFA from SAIC in 2003. She is a visual artist, writer, and co-founder of the interdisciplinary advocacy project Disparate Minds. Working across painting, sculpture, and textiles, she has organized and participated in exhibitions throughout the US and Iceland. Donahue is a 2018 Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant recipient.

Anna Kramer

North Shore Arts Specialist

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To Anna, Arts of Life served as the perfect blend of art and disability activism. When she learned more about the values the organization had, and the art that was being created, she knew she had to be a part of it. Anna received a BFA in painting and a BA in Art History from the University of Iowa in 2016.

Anne Cauley

Director of Development & Communications

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Anne was searching for an organization committed to strengthening and positively impacting our community, and found it in Arts of Life. Graduating from Butler University in 2007, she received a BS in Arts Administration. Passionate about building cooperative and creative teams, she is proud to have supported the creation of Milwaukee’s Three Bridges Park and nine Chicago Fringe Festivals.

Catherine Norcott

Community Resources Manager

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Hailing from Western Pennsylvania, Catherine found out about Arts of Life through the artist community. When an opportunity arose, she was excited to participate more fully and continue her own creative practice alongside this vibrant community. Catherine got her Bachelors in Fine Arts with Minors in Art History and Psychology from AIB.

Denise Fisher

Co-Founder & Executive Director

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Arts of Life simply would not be what it is today without Denny. As one of the co-founders, Denny was inspired to open Arts of Life because she saw a lack of opportunities for supporting people with intellectual/developmental disabilities and wanted to promote equity and leadership. When she’s not working or thinking about work, she’s outside as much as possible or inside enjoying Chicago’s vibrant creative culture.

Diane Florian

North Shore Art Manager

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Diane graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington in 2011 with a B.A. in Fine Art and Psychology, and minors in Art History and Italian. After learning about Arts of Life she immediately wanted to be a part of its creative culture. When inspiration strikes, she can be found carving linocut prints that explore the impacts of the urban environment on its wild animal denizens.

Erica Bittner

Grant Writer

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Arts of Life needed a grant writer, and luckily, Erica was looking to write about things she was genuinely passionate about. Our mission and studio culture was immediately a cause she felt compelled to support, and the generosity and sense of community inspired her to join us in 2017. If you’re looking for Erica, you can find her in the middle of a good book, the middle of a yoga backbend, or professionally acting on The Chi, Chicago Fire or various notable theatres in Chicago.
Haerim by NW

Haerim Lee

Chicago Studio Art Specialist

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Born in Seoul, S. Korea, Haerim graduated from the MFA Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in the Painting and Drawing Department as well as the MA Program at the Visual and Critical Studies, and was an instructor in Arts and Street Culture at SAIC. She was awarded Love, Unity & Values (LUV) Institute’s Parade of Hearts Project grant from Luv Institute (2021), an Ox-bow fellowship (2021), Make Together (2020) from the Hyde Park Art Center, the Downtown Gary Public Art Competition from the Legacy Foundation (2017).

Joshua With

Chicago Studio Coordinator

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Joshua did his initial growing 45 minutes west of Chicago (without traffic), and graduated with a B.A. in Community Art from Wheaton College in 2017. His current artistic practice is centered in printmaking using familiar manufactured and organic materials, as well as percussion. Joshua is committed to expanding the walls of the art world, and is grateful to be a part of Arts of Life’s inclusive and challenging community of equals.

Lexi Krebs

Community Resources Coordinator

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Lexi found Arts of Life as a volunteer, and drawn by the level of autonomy given, the ownership and leadership opportunities that the Arts of Life community provides for a population that is often denied those things, decided to stay. She received her degree in Political Science from Northeastern Illinois University in 2016.

Lily Harper

Development Coordinator

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Originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan, Lily received a BA in American Studies from Wellesley College in 2015. Having discovered Arts of Life through a friend who volunteered, she was immediately impressed by our commitment to artist independence and community. Lily is a ceramicist and painter, in addition to being an avid bread baker and spending not an insignificant amount of time playing fetch with her cat Pickles.

Morgan Mandalay

Social Media & Digital Communications Consultant

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When he is not busy in his studio or posting on social media, practicing artist Morgan can be found spending time during the warmer months in his community garden plot with his wife. Hailing from sunny San Diego where he received his MFA, Morgan has founded a number of itinerant exhibition platforms including Date Night, Sunday Project, & SPF15, including his current project space called Fresh Bread which is presented out of a nook in his kitchen.

Tim Ortiz

Community Resources Coordinator

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Tim is a painter and writer with a BFA from Elmira College in New York. Ortiz began working with adults with developmental disabilities in 2008, spending two years as a case manager for over 100 individuals in a job-training program. He then transitioned to working with artists in progressive art studios and as a home/community-based personal care provider. His paintings reflect a minimalist perspective – seeking the absolute through the deconstruction of mark-making, while rendering space and form in an abstract context. As a Disparate Minds co-founder, he received a 2018 Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant.

Vincent Uribe

Director of Exhibitions and External Relations

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Milo the dog is owned by Vincent. Milo’s owner Vincent can be found curating dozens of notable exhibitions within Chicago and abroad. Vincent is the founding director of LVL3, an artist-run gallery, and online publication. As an Alum of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, his focus is to help align Arts of Life with the contemporary art scene.