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OUR MISSION

True Chicago supports the diverse and equitable development of young creatives and artists by providing programs and opportunities that connect young artists with emerging and established creative professionals. With an intentional focus on black and brown creatives ages 15-25, we provide education and mentorship that develop an artist’s work and expand the perception of viable careers in the creative arts.

OUR VISION

True Chicago strives to educate, expand, and energize creatives by encouraging them to use their creative voices with confidence. It is our intention to use our events and programming to inspire artists to challenge themselves and the world around them. Through their artistic practice we believe each person has the power to illustrate stories that evoke deeper meaning and become part of our culture, and in that success, give back to their communities.

OUR VALUES

COMMUNITY is our most valuable gift.

Honest STORYTELLING is necessary for positive change.

We value EDUCATION as the process to unlock our purpose.

We believe in the impact of YOUTH ASSEMBLY.

We believe that a DIVERSE and INCLUSIVE community is the foundation for progress.

OUR HISTORY

True Chicago was founded by David Johnson in 2017 as a means of challenging creatives to give of their knowledge and time to empower Chicago’s youth through creativity and the arts. True began as a community of artists working to create space for gathering young creatives and career mentorship. Through consistent investment in the future of young artists, True Chicago has built a space for growth grounded in community. 

OUR TEAM

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DAVID JOHSNON

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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DORIAN RUSHING

VICE PRESIDENT

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MELISSA HENNESSY

SECRETARY

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WALTER JOHNSON

TREASURER

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KAT TUSHIM

BOARD MEMBER

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SCOTT GOLDSTEIN

BOARD MEMBER

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TUAN HUYNH 

CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

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NICOLE HUMPHREY

CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

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BRANDON RITTER

DIRECTOR MARKETING &

COMMUNICATIONS

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DANIELLE FINK

MANAGING PRODUCER

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MARQUELL OLIVER

DIRECTOR COMMUNITY

GROWTH

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LENA HOWARD

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

PAST CONTRIBUTORS

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ELISE SWOPES

Photographer & Designer, Brand Partnerships

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MIKE CARSON

Creative Direction, Big Sean, Rhythm & Flow 

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COLBY LEWIS

Hamilton Actor & Producer

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TONIKA JOHNSON

Photographer & Activist

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COREY GILKEY

Founder, Leaders 1354 & Boxville

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MELISSA HENNESSY

Founder Hennessy Reps

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DAVID CHOI

Founder, Seoul Taco

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SCOTT GOLDSTEIN

Artist & Entrepreneur

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ROSS KIMBALL

Writer & Actor

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SCOOP JACKSON

Sports & Culture Journalist, ESPN

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MARCUS SMITH

Photographer

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SENTROCK

Artist

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TRASHHAND

Photographer

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LIZ MILLER GERSHFLED

Exec Art Producer, Energy BBDO

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TUAN HUYNH

Senior Art Director, Leo Burnett

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KAT TUSHIM

Creative Director, Upshot

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DAVE MATA

DJ, Founder, Soul Summit

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KATE SCHMIDGALL

Director, Founder of Bittersweet

CONTACT US

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630.800.6036

info@truechicago.co

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