Board of Directors
Elise Kerr, chair
For over ten years Elise Kerr has worked for the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the Artistic/Operations Department. With over 20 years experience in theatre and opera production as well as arts administration, she has worked in production, box office, development, public relations, and marketing in companies in Chicago and Canada. Her exposure to all of these areas has given her an appreciation and solid understanding of the inner workings of arts organizations. Elise received her B.A. from Columbia College, Chicago. She serves as Vice Chair on the Board of ElevArte and is the former Vice President of the Chicago Lake Shore Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP).
Pablo Serrano, vice-chair
Pablo Serrano is an artist based in the Pilsen community in Chicago. As a son to Mexican immigrants who came to Chicago from Durango, Mexico in 1979, his work has focused on using the creative potential of art to explore different aspects of citizenship, education, and politics. Constantly seeking to engage different members of the broader community about important questions and concerns through his art classes and art shows, he believes that every creative means possible should be used to find and make meaning in this complicated world. With this interest in engaging in meaningful social discourse to deepen both a sense of self and a sense of community among strangers, every experience has the potential to reveal something about our world and ourselves. Sustaining an artistic practice has allowed Pablo to literally see the world in its creative potential where we all actively participate in its shaping.
Alejandro Espinoza, Treasurer
Alejandro Espinoza is a native of Chicago’s southwest side and a product of Chicago Public Schools. After completing his Bachelor of Arts, he went on to serve as a K-12 educator in Detroit, MI. He taught K-12 Spanish, 8th grade English Composition, and served as a coach to 48 novice first and second year teachers. His experience as an educator has led him to advocate for excellence and equity within public education. Alejandro volunteers as a committee chair at Illinois for Education Equity focusing on school funding reform. As a community representative for the Local School Council at Curie Metro High School, he aspires to support his alma mater by becoming a Level 1+ rated school. Alejandro graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago and currently works at Teach For America as a portfolio manager.
Elvia Rodriguez Ochoa is the Neighborhoods Program Director at Openlands. As an artist, teacher, and administrator with 20 years of experience, she has collaborated in the creation and maintenance of many nonprofits in Chicago, including Taller Mestizarte, Polvo, La Voz de Los de Abajo, and Calles y Sueños. She has also contributed to other organizations such as the National Museum of Mexican Art, Pilsen Neighbors Community Council, Marshall Square Boys & Girls Club, and Gallery 37 as an educator and artist. She is a former Director of Community Programs at ElevArte. She completed a B.A. in Fine Art from Trinity Christian College and earned an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts at Columbia College.
Ricardo Cervantes is a Visual Arts teacher with Chicago Public Schools. He teaches at Agustin Lara Academy in the Back of the Yards community, where he has worked for the past ten years. He earned degrees in Business Administration and Education from Roosevelt University and Rockford College respectively. He holds positions as a teacher representative in his school’s local school council, is a member of the school's instructional leadership team, and is the school's Arts Liaison. Ricardo has made a goal of working to bring opportunities for his students to expand their access to creative outlets. In his time at Lara Academy, he has helped the school to progress to a category 1 with the Creative Schools Fund, a partnership between Ingenuity and the CPS Department of Arts Education.
Ramzie Casiano grew up on the north side of Chicago, in the Humboldt Park and Logan Square neighborhoods; currently he lives in Pilsen. Ramzie holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a J.D. from The John Marshall Law School. He is currently an attorney in Chicago. As a former Chicago Public School student and participant in arts programs, Ramzie is looking forward to supporting ElevArte’s mission to utilize the arts to foster creative youth development in the community.
Beth Massura joined the ElevArte board in 2016. She holds a Masters in Arts Management with a concentration in Arts in Youth and Community Development from Columbia College Chicago. During her graduate studies she had the opportunity to collaborate with a number of community arts organizations throughout Chicago, and she has served as a teaching artist and volunteer. Her background is in graphic design and marketing; she is currently the Assistant Director of Marketing Operations at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Join the ElevArte Board of Directors
ElevArte currently seeks youth advocates who are interested in serving on the Board of Directors. Must be available for monthly meetings.
Interested? Send your resume and letter of interest to Elise Kerr at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ElevArte Board Members can make monthly recurring donations below: