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The Business Creative: Shared Traits of Artists and Entrepreneurs

  • The Arts & Business Council of Chicago 100 South State Street Chicago, IL, 60603 United States (map)

What happens when a Midwest city, founded on farming and manufacturing, emerges as a capital for tech and creativity? That city is now driven by the idea economy.

Join the Arts & Business Council of Chicago and moderator Genevieve Thiers - Sittercity founder, tech investor, and opera singer - and a panel of WeWork entrepreneurs as they discuss the core competencies shared among artists and entrepreneurs, and how business now needs the creative mind more than ever to spur innovation. This is a preview event for the A&BC’s March 20 luncheon, Arts & Business and Capital: Impact Investing in Chicago’s Creative Economy.

Panelists currently include:

Wine, beer, and bites from Dos Toros to be served. $10

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Genevieve Thiers, moderator, is an entrepreneur, tech investor, and opera singer based in Chicago. Her first company,, now has millions of users in the US, UK, and Canada. She was recognized by President Bush at the White House as the Small Business Administration Young Entrepreneur Champion of the Year for 2006, and her companies have won over 18 major awards. She is an investor in TechStars and the Firestarter fund, and in female-run new tech startups that target women and lesser-known industries.


Matthew Searle is the Assistant Director of Experimental Station, an innovative non-profit working to build independent cultural infrastructure in the Woodlawn neighborhood in Chicago's South Side. He provides leadership and support for the organization's arts and cultural programming, youth education program (Blackstone Bicycle Works), and resource development. Matthew's background is in the visual arts, youth development, and non-profit management.


Rachel Bernstein is the Director of Programming at Sage Corps, a global entrepreneurship program that sends top college students to study abroad and/or intern with startups. The program arms Fellows with immersive and impactful global experience. Bernstein has worked in the education arena for more than a decade, whether teaching high school history and economics or developing programming for Sage Corps Fellows – our world’s next generation of leaders.



Mike LaHood, aka Hoodie, is an interdisciplinary artist who uses a variety of materials to focus attention and practice on the relational spaces between people. He is the lead organizer for the Chicago Full Moon Fire Jam that takes place on the lake shore many months of the year.




Aviva Rosman is the COO and co-founder of BallotReady. Aviva Rosman recently won a Midwest Woman in Tech award for co-founding BallotReady, a company that engages voters at every level of Government. BallotReady recently received the 2017 Up and Coming Award at the 2017 Chicago Innovation Awards. BallotReady's goal is to cover every candidate and referendum in every election and will cover all 50 states in November, 2018 elections.

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