Steering Committee Members
- Mark Kelly – Commisioner, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events of the City of Chicago Commissioner Kelly created the original artistic vision for the Halloween Gathering
- Sharene Shariatzadeh – Executive Director, Chicago Cultural Mile Association
- Allison Gerlach – Producer, Chicago Cultural Mile Association
- Pam Capitanini – Marketing Director, Italian Village Restaurant – CCMA Board Member
- Tara Vock – Executive Administrator, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events of the City of Chicago
- Gwen K. Mullaney – Senior Associate, Chicago Cultural Mile Association
- John Pastuovic – John Pastuovic Communications, Inc.
- Delaney Morris – Assistant Producer, Chicago Cultural Mile Association
Special thanks to the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the Chicago Park District, 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly and his staff, 4th Ward Alderman Sophia King and her staff, the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Department of Transportation for all of their support.
We are also grateful for the assistance of Philip Purevich, Zaida DeGuzman and the staff at Chicago Festival Association, Commander Neil Sullivan, and our talented group of hard-working and enthusiastic interns: Marcellus Burt, Emily Haugen, Jonathan Kaminski, Catherine Kelly, Katia Podtynov, Sara Prescott, Zackary Rupp, and Marsden Watson
The Halloween Gathering relies on a dedicated team of industry volunteers to access Chicago’s vast creative communities and draw them out to participate in the Spectacle Parade.
Hailing from Cincinnati, Jenni Button is a curator, project manager, marketing specialist and all-around conduit of creativity. After Graduating from Ohio University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts, Jenni has worked in design and creative agencies, galleries and public arts programs throughout the Midwest. She currently resides in Chicago, where she works as Gallery Director at Matthew Rachman Gallery, and as Lead Curator for Chicago-based audial and visual artists’ collective, Thēarē Group.
Rock Fraire has been running Chicago agency and corporate advertising creative departments for more than 25 years. One of Fraire’s greatest cultural joys is Chicago’s exceptionally vibrant live theater. The nationally known regional theaters; the artistically groundbreaking mid-sized theaters; the over 200 hundred storefront theaters all offer him and thousands of other live theater aficionados a rich and vast palate of live performance. He has actively supported theater. He has been a frequent audience member, as well as, served on the boards of many of Chicago’s live theater companies. “Chicago is a theater town. I feel fortunate to have enjoyed and promoted this scene. I have been brought to tears; I have been brought to my feet in exhilarating celebration; I have been brought to enlightening, compassionate understanding by so many of the shows I have had the privilege to see. No other city I know has the theatrical vibrancy of Chicago.” He is honored to be part of 2016 Chicago Cultural Mile’s Halloween Gathering Festival and Parade.
Dave Hossler is a veteran high school teacher and coach, as well as event planner, and entertainer. He cut his Chicago-arts teeth as a promoter and host for the illmeasures DJ collective, and as a founding organizer and Communications Director of Lakes of Fire. Dave is also a founder of the Bold Urban Renaissance Network, 501(c)3, a Chicago-based non-profit that funds art and community projects, and spent eleven years as a musician and comedian with the Speakeasy Happy Hour Club, the long-running improv comedy show that ran in the Green Door Tavern. Dave is a veteran classroom teacher working in northwest Indiana, and coach of his team’s poetry slam club.
Jorge Luis Ortega Llanos Jr., a Colombia native, migrated to Chicago with his family in the early 1970’s landing in the Northwest side, growing up in Wicker Park, Humboldt Park and Logan Square neighborhoods. Ortega is the artistic curator, director, founder and musical selector of the annual Colombian Fest “El Gran Festival Colombiano” in Chicago now it’s second installation. Ortega has over 25 years of Experience in Event Development and Production, Sound Engineering, Marketing, Entertainment, Promotions, Media Relations and Urban Interdisciplinary Arts Management. He is known in the industry by his last name “Ortega”, the Festival Specialist. Ortega has been involved in thousands successful events and has held a variety of different roles from the last guy on the pole; flyer guy, food vendor salesman, roadie, sound engineer, stage manager, project manager to the big man, the promoter. Ortega has gone to work for an array of major players in the Entertainment industry along with Fortune 500 companies and Media giants. Photo Credit: Evita Ortega