Teaching Artist

Marianna Gallegos is a puppeteer and actors with a passion for immersive theatre and new works.

Bio as of 2023


Dr. Adam Zanolini (he/him/his) (Musician, Executive Director of Elastic Arts Foundation) is a multi-instrumentalist, ethnomusicologist, writer, and arts organizer based in ChicagoHe is the Executive Director of Elastic Arts Foundation in Chicago and former Associate Director of Arts for Art, presenter of the annual Vision Festival of avant-jazz in New York City. He is also co-founder of the Participatory Music Coalition. He is an active member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and he serves on the Board of the Live the Spirit Residency, producer of the annual Englewood Jazz Festival. Adam plays flute, double bass, saxophone and other instruments, performing regularly with PMC, the AACM’s Great Black Music Ensemble, Sura Dupart’s  Sidepocket  Experience, with Angel Bat Dawid and the Brothahood, and Gira Dahnee in addition to his own projects, including the Heliacal Rising of Sothis. He received his PhD in music with a certificate in Africana Studies from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 2016. Adam’s highest ambition is to be a community musician: to cultivate and share knowledge through music in order to help heal, strengthen, and empower the Black community. 

Bio as of 2023


Ugochi Nwaogwugwu (she/her/hers) (Movement) is a multidisciplinary creative. An internationally renowned poet, singer, writer, poetry instructor and founder of Spirit Speaks, Inc., Ugochi has executive produced, written and co-arranged three album projects; African Buttafly, A.S.E. and Love Shot. Chicago Music Awards named Ugochi and her band African Soul Ensemble (A.S.E.) “Best Africa@n Entertainer in 2005 & 2022.” Her poems have been published in “Storm Between Two Fingers” & “Too Young, Too Loud, Too Different,” both international anthologies released in the UK. She is also featured in “Golden Shovel Anthology,” honoring Gwendolyn Brooks, “The Eternal Year of African People,” and “Wherever I’m At” released nationwide. Ugochi is a beloved member of her poetry community in Chicago and a member of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen in London, England. Ugochi has created an original pan African poetry form called, “Ike,” (pronounced EE-kay) #Ikepoem, paying homage to her Igbo heritage of Nigeria and fostering black appreciation worldwide. She has also written newsworthy blogs and essays for publication including, “Not My President” published by Third World Press. In addition, Ugochi is a playwright, activist, racial healing practitioner with Truth Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT), Treasurer of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM)and Recording Academy Chicago Chapter Governor. 

Bio as of 2023

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