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Design Led Innovation in Tourism, Arts, and Culture

March 24, 2016
6:00-8:00pm CST
Chicago Cultural Center
78 East Washington Street 5th floor
Garland Conference Room, Chicago

Discovering the layers of narrative in Chicago 

Vamonde is a new Illinois Tech incubated technology start-up in Chicago that is radically changing how the arts and cultural institutions present themselves to the world.

Join Institute of Design professor Anijo Mathew (Founder and CEO of Vamonde) as he engages in a dialogue with a distinguished panel composed of Michelle Boone (Commissioner, City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events), Lou Raizin (President, Broadway in Chicago) and Elspeth Revere (former VP for Media, Culture and Special Initiatives, MacArthur Foundation) as they discuss technology shifts in the arts and culture arena and the impact of design-led innovation on tourism, arts, and culture.


Michelle Boone
Michelle T. Boone is the Commissioner of the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), which presents and promotes high-quality free festivals, exhibitions, performances and holiday celebrations each year in parks, the historic Chicago Cultural Center, and other venues throughout the city. She was appointed to the post by Mayor Rahm Emanuel May 2011. During her inaugural year as Commissioner, Michelle led the ambitious process for crafting a new Chicago Cultural Plan; it was released October 2012. The Plan includes over 240 initiatives to support 10 key priorities to guide Chicago’s cultural future.

Elspeth Revere
Elspeth Revere is former vice president of media, culture, and special initiatives of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She left the Foundation last year after more than 24 years of service. Her responsibilities included support for media in a technologically changing environment; a changing set of special initiatives – currently work is underway on strengthening American democracy; arts and culture in Chicago; grants in response to special opportunities, and the Foundation’s program of institutional grants.

Lou Raizin

Lou Raizin has over 30 years experience in the entertainment industry. As a founder and the prime mover behind Broadway In Chicago, a joint theatrical venture formed in 2000, his leadership propelled the transformation of Chicago from a short-term stop on “the road” to the third most important city in the world for theater. Encompassing the five premier theater stages in the city, Broadway In Chicago has brought an economic impact of up to over $800 million annually to the City of Chicago and State of Illinois, and supports more than 9,200 local jobs.

Raizin’s focus on economic development, tourism and culture has led to the creation and continued sponsorship of the annual League of Chicago Theater’s Emerging Theater Award and the Illinois High School Musical Theatre Award. Raizin’s stint as Chair of the Chicago Loop Alliance led to the creation of Pop Up Art Loop, comprised of over 14 galleries, and a number of major public art projects in the city. 

Raizin serves on the Executive Committee of Choose Chicago, and has chaired the State Street Commission and serves as a director of a number of other civic and not-for-profit organizations. 


Anijo Punnen Mathew
Anijo Punnen Mathew is an Associate Professor at IIT Institute of Design. His research looks at evaluating new semantic appropriations of place as enabled by technology and media convergence. Mathew has a PhD in Computing from the Open University in the UK, a Master of Design Studies (MDesS) from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi (India). He has consulted and conducted research for several international organizations and serves on executive committees and advisory boards of Choose Chicago, the Chicago Architecture Foundation and the Chicago Loop Alliance.