Panelists - Fall 2022

Think Explore Share Panelists

The Arts Work Fund

For the Fall cycle of Think Explore Share grants, AWF gathered a dynamic group of experienced practitioners, administrators, and culture workers to review the proposals.


Jen Torwudzo-Stroh

Jen Torwudzo-Stroh is the Senior Operations Manager at SkyART and a freelance art writer and editor based in Chicago. Her writing focuses on contemporary art and the works of marginalized artists of color, specifically those across the African diaspora. In her role at SkyART, an organization that believes art is a powerful method for learning and discovery, Jen helps bring art and its benefits to children and young adults from underserved communities in Chicago and beyond.

Julia Perkins

Julia Perkins, principal and chief strategist of MBMD, has over 25 years of experience in strategic planning, facilitation, community engagement, and nonprofit management. She has become widely recognized for her expertise in guiding nonprofit leadership in skillfully uncovering and analyzing complex organizational issues and developing solutions strategically and creatively. Before establishing MBMD Consultants in 2001, Perkins served as Director of Community Programs for eight years at The Art Institute of Chicago. Perkins served six years as a Program Officer for the AFL‐CIO, working with labor unions in the Caribbean and Central America. She also was a volunteer with the United States Peace Corps. Perkins received her B.A. in Marketing Research from DePaul University and an M.A. in Arts Administration from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago. Julia is a racial healing practitioner, trained and certified in the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) model designed by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and is a Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF) endorsed by the International Association of Facilitators. Perkins is also the founder of Studio Yogi, located at 1840 E.71 St. Studio Yogi's mission is to amplify the importance of movement and meditation as part of our well-being.

Kate Bowen

Kate Bowen is an artist and educator living and working in Chicago, IL. She is currently the Executive Director of ACRE (Artists' Cooperative Residency & Exhibitions), an artist-led, community-driven residency and exhibition program based in Chicago, IL, and Steuben, WI, and Lead Organizer for the Chicago Arts Census. As an organizer and arts worker her practice is grounded in collaborative, abundant community building. She believes in open experimental platforms and feral pedagogical systems. She is a member of the board of the Pilsen Alliance, Video Programming Coordinator for the Museum of Contemporary Photography, and technical assistant to the artist Barbara Kasten.

Sidney Mori Garrett

Sidney Mori Garrett is a Houston, TX-born, Chicago, IL-based curator, arts administrator, and artist. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and Digital Media from the University of Houston and a Master of Fine Art in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of Art Institute of Chicago. Garrett has created multimedia works exhibited nationally and internationally at Alabama Song Art Space, Blaffer Art Museum, Art Licks Weekend, and Wedge Gallery, among others. Her written works have been published in Byline Houston, Gulf Coast Journal, and The Smartest Thing. In 2017, Garrett performed in Scales with Solange Knowles at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, TX, and later continued to work with Knowles in 2019 for When I Get Home. She is also a founding member of JUICEBOX, a community platform for Black and Brown women, queer, and transgender & gender-nonconforming (TGNC) DJs. She has curated exhibitions for Project Row Houses' Community Gallery, ICOSA Collective, and the School of Art Institute of Chicago's Wellness Center. Her artistic, administrative, and curatorial practice is rooted in her southern Black Feminist lens of love, mindfulness, and care. Garrett has previously held positions at Lawndale Art Center, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Hyde Park Jazz Festival, and Project Row Houses while serving as an Art League Houston Artist Board member from 2018-2019. She is currently Manager of Programs at 3Arts, a member of Nikkei Uprising, and a core member of Companion Cooperative (a volunteer-run art exhibition and programming space in Chicago).

Daryl Ritchie

Daryl Ritchie serves as the Director of Operations at Lawyers for the Creative Arts and acts as a Venue Coordinator with The Saints, Volunteers for the Performing Arts, bringing a wealth of experience from their years of working as a freelance designer, technical director, and stage manager. Driven by a passion for social justice, they've devoted their efforts to the Harriet Tubman Effect Institute—a human resource center and institute for justice advocacy research. They have taken on diverse roles, including serving as the Interim Executive Director and Company Manager at Theo Ubique Theatre. From front-of-house associate to Director of Audience Services to financial officer and executive assistant at The Den Theatre, they've been actively involved in the local arts community. Beyond these roles, their commitment extends to board service, where they have made significant contributions as a board member to various arts institutions in Nashville, TN, and Chicago. They hold a bachelor's degree in theatre production and are pursuing a master's in performing arts administration.

Matthew "Mateo" Mulcahy

Matthew "Mateo" Mulcahy was born and raised in Chicago of mixed Mexican and Anglo parentage. He has worked as an arts professional and cultural worker in many capacities for the last 35 years: radio host, musician, vocalist, band leader, band manager, promoter, DJ, venue owner, tour manager, grant manager, programmer, curator, and nonprofit administrator. Since January 2022, Mateo has been the Deputy Executive Director of the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago, a Pan-Latino, multidisciplinary arts organization. In this position, he programs over 100 music, dance, theater, and film events a year and manages all grant writing and reporting. He was the Director of Community Projects and Events at the Old Town School of Folk Music from 2006-2022. Mateo also manages the U.S. and Canadian tours for Bazurto All Stars of Colombia. He produces the Mexican Independence Day event in Chicago with another nonprofit, the Comité Cultural Mexicano de Chicago.

Meet the Grantees