A small but dedicated group of individuals who work passionately to fulfill ElevArte’s mission.
Maria León has been the Executive Director since March of 2016. For over 10 years, she has been working in the non-profit sector in the City of Chicago on various community programs for youth and Latina women, especially in Chicago's Southwest Side. Maria is passionate about living her personal mission to be an agent of social change and make a positive impact in the lives of young people and their families. She has worked with organizations such as Mujeres Latinas en Acción, After School Matters, Instituto del Progreso Latino and the Rauner Family YMCA of Metro Chicago. Maria completed a BA in Applied Psychology and Latin American & Latino Studies from the University of Illinois in Chicago. She was born in Mexico, but was brought by her parents to the U.S. when she was just six years old. She grew up in the Back of the Yards neighborhood in Chicago and is a product of Chicago Public Schools.
Linda has worked in this position since January 2002. Her duties include keeping the books, making payroll, accounts payable, audit preparation, cash-flow projections and general financial management.
Stephanie Barragan is a Graphic Designer by trade, but a youth advocate by heart. For the past seven years Stephanie has worked in a variety of non-profit settings, with the personal mission of arming youth with the tools to advance their career and educational goals. Working as a graphic designer, teaching artist and administrative staff for creative youth development organizations has given her an appreciation and solid understanding of the inner working of arts organizations. As the Education Manager for ElevArte, Stephanie oversees all areas of education program management, curriculum development, assessments for the organization and strives to ensure quality arts programming for youth. Stephanie is a 2008 Cum Laude graduate from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in Graphic Design.
Thelma joined the ElevArte team in 2011 as the Youth Programs Assistant. As the Communications/Development Coordinator, her current responsibilities include advancing the organization's communication strategies in social media and web maintenance; plus she lends needed support with promotional management and fundraising. Thelma received a BA in Studio Art/Photography from Illinois State University in 2008. A self-proclaimed Juana of all Trades, Thelma is enthusiastic about all things handmade and loves teaching teens to make their own accessories. Other blissful obsessions include baking pies, thrift store shopping and her dog Tula.