Dedicated Artists Making a Change
Our board is diverse, trained, and capable of providing expertise in given fields such as art education, public relations, community organizing, fundraising, accounting, marketing, grant writing and graphic design. We are a highly engaged group with strong ties to the Evanston Art, Education, and Non-Profit Communities. Present members most of whom are parents of children in District 65, 202 and private schools, are uniquely qualified to bring this event to fruition and to help position it to grow in the future.
Hope Washinushi, Board Chair
Sarah Laing, Board Event Chair, 2018
Alex Schultheis, Treasurer
Beth Goldberg, Secretary
Lisa Degliantoni, Communications
Evan Finamore, Community Outreach Coordinator
Geeta Maker-Clark, Community Relations
Nan Stein, Teacher Liaison for District 65
Baxter Swilley, Strategy & Public Relations
Hope Washinushi, Board Chair, has a Bachelor in Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute in Chicago. She is the owner of Yasuko Design Company in Evanston. She creates custom murals, mosaics, graphic design and textiles with over 20 years of experience leading projects for schools and organizations throughout the Chicagoland area. She has been the Artist-in-Residence at Martin Luther King Literary and Fine Arts school, creating three different large scale art projects all in different mediums, coordinating and facilitating the project with art teachers, students and volunteers. Hope has also served as co-chair for the school’s large fundraiser for 2015-2106. Hope is currently serving her second year on the Evanston Arts CounciI. In addition she has volunteered with Tellin’ Tales Theatre in Chicago as co-chair for silent auction for their annual gala for the past three years.
Sarah Laing, Board Event Chair 2018, has a Master of Arts in Art Therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a Bachelor in Science in Studio Art from Skidmore College, NY, and completed a program in Public Art at Chelsea College of Art, London. She is a visual artist, teaching artist, and a Registered Art Therapist. Through a number of leadership roles in community, education, and healthcare settings, she is known as a proven catalyst for creative expression. Sarah teaches elementary and middle school at Chiaravalle Montessori’s “DaVinci Studio” Makerspace. In addition she is an active non-profit consultant and advisor. Currently she works with Ingenuity Inc. on the Creative Schools Fund and Government Affairs panel to support the expansion of Arts Education in Chicago Public Schools. She leads the Evanston Arts Education Coalition where she advocates for arts infrastructure in D65 schools. Sarah served as PTA President at Lincoln School, as a board member of Foundation 65, and the Chicago Public Art Group. Sarah has contributed on staff and with the Advisory Board at Open Studio Project since 2000.
Alex Schultheis, Treasurer, has had a successful career as an Environmental Chemist in a variety of operational roles with positions such as Laboratory Director, Director of Research and Development and Project Manager for firms to include, Clean Harbors, Camp Dresser & McKee, United Technologies in positions that demanded managerial and financial excellence. He holds an advanced degree in Chemistry from Northeastern University, Boston, MA. Alex is currently a stay at home dad and for the past 2 years actively engaged as Treasurer for the King Arts School PTA (D65). In this position, the PTA’s accounting system was updated and revamped to focus on budget based accounting and management procedures for numerous restricted accounts within the school. Other responsibilities included IRS Forms 990 and 1099 Misc. filing. Aside from the PTA’s financial duties, Alex also manages the accounting for Charlestown Advisors LLC, his family’s consulting company. Other community endeavors have included participation in Districts 65’s Math Tutoring program, work on several school art projects and volunteering at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Beth Goldberg, Secretary. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and further education at National -Louis University MAT, Beth taught in the Chicago Public Schools for several years - both in the classroom and in the library. She then went on to consult in Language and Literacy for in Head Start programs for CPS. After a stint on the Board for a local early education school, Parent Day Out, she worked at Cherry Preschool, Lincolnwood, Haven, ETHS and eventually serving as President of the PTA at King Arts. Along with current YEA! duties, Beth is also involved with supporting another local not-for-profit, The Kindness Connection.
Lisa Degliantoni, Communications. Lisa Degliantoni wears many hats, all of them in support of the arts in Evanston: Co-Chair of the Evanston Arts Council; Art Encounter Board Member; Host and Producer of the “The Lisa D Show”, a podcast that features 20-minute conversations with creatives; Founder of Evanston Made, a community arts initiative that facilitates engagement between creatives and the public; Co-Owner & Curator at 1100 Florence, an experiential gallery space.
Evan Finamore, Community Outreach Coordinator. Evan graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Art History. She worked for several years as both an exhibit developer and exhibit and program consultant for Chicago Children’s Museum. She also worked as an exhibit and program evaluator for two independent evaluation firms in Chicago conducting qualitative data analysis in a variety of museums around the country. She has recently completed a certification in arts management and dedicates much of her free time to volunteering in the community, particularly when there is an opportunity to lend her creative or artistic skills to a good cause. She has served on the board of Parent Day Out and Cherry Preschool and the SpringBoard of Evanston Arts Center. She is currently on the board of Foundation 65 having served as chair of the Marketing Committee, as a member of the Programs Committee, and as lead for the foundation’s arts task force.
Geeta Maker-Clark, Community Relations. Geeta Maker-Clark is a physician board certified in both family medicine and Integrative Medicine. She has a NorthShore Medical Group integrative practice in Evanston that focuses on the therapeutic and preventative use of food as medicine. Her integrative practice also utilizes herbs, botanicals, mind body therapies alongside allopathic medicine. She has always held the belief that any meaningful healing must involve the mind, body and spirit, and that whenever possible the most natural and least invasive intervention serves the highest good of the person. She has pursued study with traditional healers, midwives, herbalists and energy healers in many countries around the world.
She is a graduate of the University of Arizona Fellowship in Integrative Medicine, under the supervision and mentorship of Dr. Andrew Weil, and travelled with him to Cuba to study the system of natural medicine that has been in place there for many years.
She lectures nationally on plant based diets and integrative health at medical conferences and to the public at farmers markets, festivals, community organizations and schools. Geeta is a clinical assistant professor at the Pritzker School of Medicine of University of Chicago, and co director of a new Culinary Medicine curriculum that teaches future doctors about clinical nutrition while cooking in a teaching kitchen with a chef. She and her students teach this class to 7th graders at the Montessori School of Englewood throughout the school year. Geeta has 3 children in Evanston schools, and serves on several boards committed to health and social justice, Natures Farm Camp, True Health Initiative and Brightwater Food Studies Council.
Nan Stein, Teacher Liaison for District 65, is part of the Art Department for D65, as an educator of Visual Art & Media Arts at Martin Luther King Literary and Fine Arts School. She holds a BS in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and M.Ed. in Educational Administration from the National - Louis University. Nan has served on the Evanston Arts Council, Columbia College Project AIM Arts Advisory, Verizon Innovative Program Leader, Seminar Teacher Mentor, Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust, and One Planet Art Auction Whole Foods. Nan is a freelance photographer and exhibits her photography in juried shows.
Baxter Swilley, Strategy & Public Relations. Baxter is a social entrepreneur and a 17-year political campaign veteran. He served as Midwest Political Director for John Edwards for President in 2004, Political Director for Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and campaign manager for numerous state and local campaigns across the country. As a social entrepreneur Swilley launched grassroots initiatives to win Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympics. He envisioned and brokered a partnership between the Chicago Sun-Times and Presence Health Care to register thousands of low-income families for public health insurance. Swilley has lobbied on behalf of many small businesses, including taxicab fleet companies hoping to level the regulatory playing field between taxicab companies and ridesharing firms, such as Uber. As a business entrepreneur and strategic writer, Swilley helped launch a ride-hail app that rivaled Uber after he drafted a proposal that won a Chicago city government contract to dispatch all city wheelchair accessible vehicles. Now, Swilley is ramping up another startup company offering live language interpreters through a smartphone app for individuals and businesses who need interpreters on-demand.
As a public affairs and government relations consultant, Baxter has represented global and local, large and mid-sized companies including T-Mobile USA, the Chicago Metropolitan YMCA, Presence Health Care and Meade Electric Company.