BOARD OF DIRECTORS
For Board Bios scroll to the bottom of this page
Bob Eisen, Carol Bobrow, & Charlie Vernon
Mike Anestor – bio coming soon!
Amy Chavasse, (she/her/they) choreographer, performer, educator, improviser, and Artistic Director of ChavasseDance&Performance is currently a Professor at the University of Michigan, located on the land of Odawa, Ojibwe, Boodewadomi and Wyandot peoples. Current collaborations include a co-curated project, with colleague, Charli Brissey, “What Democracy Means To Me”, and How to Stay in a Dream, (or) Ratas de dos Platas, with Luciana Acuña and Luis Biasotto of Grupo Krapp (Buenos Aires), Austin Selden, Nola Smith (Brooklyn) and Paty Solorzano (Puebla, Mexico). Her choreography and collaborations have been presented across the U.S., Beijing, Shanghai, Italy, Costa Rica, and Uppsala, Sweden with a wildly diverse group of artists. www.chavassedanceandperformance.com
Ellen Chenoweth is the Director of the Dance Presenting Series at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago. She is a writer and editor with the online dance journal thINKingDANCE and holds degrees from Rice University and Texas Woman’s University.
Kim Davis has more than 20 years experience as a movement practitioner, dance instructor, and arts administrator and has been one of Links Hall’s residency and fellowship mentors for over 5 years. She is working towards her Doctorate of Education from Arizona State University where her research focuses on creating equitable, diverse, and inclusive spaces in predominantly white institutions. Currently, she is the Senior Director of Education at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago.
Raj Goel architects solutions and is an entrepreneur at heart. He brings to Links Hall what he has brought to his clients and teams at Microsoft for 20 years: method, measurement … and a passion for incubating ideas and amplifying fresh perspectives. Raj brings a consultative lens, asking the right questions and fervently working to help solve Links’ mission-critical problems. Raj also brings a world view and an appreciation for the arts and for creating a space for the expression and new voices. He sees the parallels between artistic incubation and tech innovation – both as pathways to connect people and communities. Raj enthusiastically supports Links Hall as an organization that nurtures the artists who are our friends and neighbors.
Vesna Grbovic is currently the Strategic Planning Director at ARLEMM, classical music summer school and music festival (in Serbia) and a former VP of Academic Affairs at the Illinois Institute of Art Chicago. She holds a BFA in Film/Photography/Electronic Media from UIC and an MFA from University of Chicago.
Alyssa (Uhh-lee’sa) Gregory is a performer, teaching artist and arts administrator. She’s currently the Marketing Communications and Membership Manager at The Arts Club of Chicago and she is also the Social Media Manager and Associate Choreographer for The Fly Honey Show. Alyssa is the creator and host of The Process, a podcast highlighting Chicago dancers and dancemakers. (She/her)
Tracie Hall is Executive Director of the American Library Association. She previously served as Director, Culture Program at Chicago’s Joyce Foundation and as Deputy Commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) where she oversaw the Arts and Creative Industries Division. Prior to her work at DCASE, Hall served as Vice President of Strategy and Organization Development at Queens Library; in The Boeing Company’s Global Corporate Citizenship Division where she worked as Community Investment Strategist for 9 US and 16 non-US sites and later as Chicago Community Investor; as Assistant Dean of Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science; as visiting professor at Catholic, Southern Connecticut State, and Wesleyan Universities and in non-profit and public sector posts across the country. Hall is also founder of the now itinerant Rootwork Gallery which has been widely recognized for its exhibitions and programming.
Ross Stanton Jordan is a curator interested in the confluence of politics, history, and visual culture. As Curatorial Manager at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Ross supports the production of exhibitions and programs that connect the social justice issues of the past to the present via collaboration with artists who work with community. He holds dual master’s degrees in art history and arts administration and policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Maggie Kast – In the 1970s, when Maggie founded her dance company, Links Hall was a most essential resource. Her first book, The Crack between the Worlds is a dancer’s memoir of loss, love and family. A novel, A Free, Unsullied Land, followed, and her recent collection, Side by Side but Never Face to Face ranges from Austria of the 1890s through Chicago of the 1970s, up to Door County of the near-present.
Molly Baltman Leonard serves as Communities Program Assistant Director at the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, dedicated to advance racial and economic equity by working in partnership with communities that have historically suffered disinvestment. Prior to joining McCormick in 2007, Molly ran the Archeworks Design Lab, serving as Executive Director for 6 years working to address social issues through good design. She has held various positions in government, philanthropic and non-profit organizations and currently is a Fulcrum Fellow through the Center for Community Investment at the Lincoln Land Institute applying the capital absorption framework to her work in Chicago.
Trevor Martin is a Chicago-based artist, educator, and administrator. He currently serves as the Executive Director of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and is a Senior Lecturer in SAIC’s Performance Department.
Daniel L. Nichols brings to Links Hall decades of knowledge, experience, and interest in contemporary performance. He has been immersed as an audience participant in Chicago’s arts and cultural scene, including Links Hall since the 1980s. Recently retired after 27 years as a university administrator, Dan spent 18 years as Associate Dean for Finance and then Operations in two different academic divisions (Social Sciences and then Humanities) at the University of Chicago.
Jon Pagac has worked for JPMorgan in affordable housing investments for the past 15 years and has been a big fan of Links Hall for nearly as long. In his free time, he can be found racing sailboats on Lake Michigan, biking, running and catching up on too many unread books.
Tina Post is an assistant professor of English and Theater and Performance Studies at the University of Chicago, where she is also an affiliate of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture. Her scholarship focuses on racial performativity. She is a writer of creative nonfiction (see, for example, this).
Doreen Sayegh is a Producer/General Manager with Pemberley Productions, which tours work from Europe in the USA and operates as general managers for commercial theatre productions across the USA. Previously, Doreen was Manager of International & Special Projects at Chicago Shakespeare and Managing Director of the Satori Group (Seattle). Doreen is the Board Vice President of the League of Chicago Theatres.
Michael Tokoph is a digital and marketing strategy consultant based in Chicago. He has experience advising clients on how they can better connect with their customers and communities, as well as how to grow in meaningful ways that create value for all stakeholders. He holds a BS in applied economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Tara Aisha Willis is a dancer, PhD candidate in Performance Studies at New York University, and Associate Curator in Performance & Public Practice at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. She co-edited the first dance-focused special issue of The Black Scholar with Thomas F. DeFrantz and the performance writing book, Marking the Occasion with Jaime Shearn Coan. Willis performed in a 2016–21 collaboration between Will Rawls and Claudia Rankine and in the “Bessie” award-winning 2016 improvised performance by The Skeleton Architecture.
Stephanie Pacheco (Executive Director) oversees Links Hall’s artistic and strategic planning, fundraising, financial management, and operations. A producer with over two decades experience in performing arts presenting and partnerships, Stephanie directed community engagement and arts education at the Hopkins Center for the Arts (Dartmouth College); led the studio theater and BRIClab residency program at BRIC (Brooklyn); and managed the Bronfman Center Gallery at New York University. She has served as an independent fundraising consultant, creative producer, and production/stage manager for a variety of nonprofit theater, music, and dance organizations; and a panelist for . Stephanie is a graduate of New York University, and was the recipient of an executive arts management Fellowship at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.).
Giau Minh Truong (Production Manager + Associate Curator) was born in Vietnam and lived in a refugee camp with his family for two years in Indonesia before arriving in the USA in 1982. Giau oversees Links Hall’s production and technical needs for artists and performances, maintains Studio A performance space, and does curatorial work focusing on developing use of tech in performance.
Aaliyah Christina (Artist Programs Manager + Associate Curator) maintains operations for Links Hall’s Co-MISSION Residency and Fellowship, fosters relationships with artists, co-presenters, and partnerships, and organizes projects & performances in the revered White box studio. As a curator, administrator, improvisational dancemaker, and writer, Aaliyah consistently collaborates and supports Chicago’s community artists & organizations including Keyierra Collins, Darling Shear, The Fly Honey Show, Assata’s Daughters, Red Clay Dance Theatre, and Chicago Dancemakers Forum to name a few. Alongside her work at Links Hall, she is an artist-in-residence at High Concept Labs and a Co-Organizer & Content Curator for Performance Response Journal.
Katie Collins (Marketing + Development Manager) manages Links Hall’s marketing, box office/front of house, and the Walder Foundation-funded communications technology initiative implementing a new database, as well as new box office, donation, and website systems. Katie has 12+ years of experience in arts administration, community partnerships, and production. Katie holds a Masters of Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago and a Bachelor’s degree in Photography and Graphic Design from Indiana Wesleyan University.
EXTENDED FAMILY BIOS
Yvonne P. Afable is the Managing Partner of Afable Consulting LLC, helping nonprofit organizations tell their financial story for the past 20 years. She serves as Treasurer on the board of Kartemquin Educational Films, teaches the Financial Management course at the School of Art Institute and Zumba at LA Fitness. She and her partner have 3 amazing children, 2 energetic dogs and LOVE Chicago!
Teresa Tristan is an Accounting Associate with a Bachelor of Business in Accounting and has 8+ years’ experience in corporate, nonprofit, and individual accounting. She resides in San Antonio, TX where she enjoys carne asada tacos and a good prickly pear margarita. Teresa takes pride in providing excellent client service with integrity and positivity. In her free time she is writing a book of poetry.
Kesha M Pate (Ahsek Innovation)is a highly skilled and experienced polymath and multidisciplinary thought-leader who drives sustainable growth by providing innovative, mission-driven solutions that cultivate synergy between disparate ideas, resources, processes and people. As a results-driven executive strategist, solutionist, synergist, technologist, storyteller, servant leader and fearless innovator, Kesha helps organizations purposefully define and intentionally articulate their mission and vision; activate and steward customers, donors and stakeholders to achieve strategic goals; design and implement human-centered, technology-based policies, processes and procedures that empower talent and drive excellence; and cultivate stable and responsible capacity building pathways for long-term, strategic and sustainable growth. Kesha is “a YES person” who moves organizations from surviving to thriving by implementing proven best practices while developing innovative next practices that challenge the status quo, inspire ideation and optimistically ask, “Why not us?”. Kesha’s leadership embraces and celebrates diversity in all forms; equitably empowers internal and external partners; and facilitates an inclusive culture of success through collaboration, empathy, advocacy and impact.