February 4, 2014

Theaster Gates, Maria Pinto, Carrie Nahabedian and Bob Teitel tapped by City of Chicago for keynotes at Creative Chicago Expo

March 14-15 Expo at Chicago Cultural Center includes 30+ workshops, 140+ exhibitors and connects Chicago’s creative community with resources they need to thrive

Mary May    312.744.0576 mmay@cityofchicago.org

The 11th Annual Creative Chicago Expo, March 14 and 15 at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) will provide important resources and information to Chicago’s creative community in over 30 workshops and via more than 140 exhibitors. The 2014 Expo theme, Moving Forward, is exemplified by the event’s four keynote speakers: artist Theaster Gates, chef Carrie Nahabedian, fashion designer Maria Pinto and filmmaker Robert Teitel.

All members of Chicago’s creative industries, our keynote speakers pioneered strategies and creative practices that have gained national and international recognition. Keynotes take place in Claudia Cassidy Theater (second floor north); they are un-ticketed, first-come/first-served – and doors open 30 minutes prior to each talk.

Internationally-known artist and activist Theaster Gates will speak on Friday, March 14 at 10:30am. Mr. Gates has an expanded practice that encompasses community development and reuse strategies, performance, object making and critical engagement with many publics. Founder of the non-profit Rebuild Foundation, Gates is currently Director of Arts and Public Life at the University of Chicago and is represented by Kavi Gupta Gallery in Chicago and White Cube in London.

Chicago fashion designer Maria Pinto gained fame with her one-of-a-kind designs worn by Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. Her new ready-to-wear line, M2057 by Maria Pinto, was launched online after a successful Kickstarter campaign that garnered over $270,000 in start-up funding. This new capsule collection of modern dresses, jackets and wraps reflect her desire to explore fresh and innovative ideas and techniques, with an urban flair. Pinto will speak on Friday, March 14 at 3pm.

Chef Carrie Nahabedian has pioneered culinary arts in Chicago, Atlantic City, Los Angeles and Europe and will share her experiences with Expo attendees on Saturday, March 15 at 10:30am. After departing her position as Executive Chef of the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, Carrie returned to her native Chicago to open NAHA in 2000, which garnered a James Beard Award and four consecutive Michelin stars. Chef Nahabedian is one of only 10 female chefs in the U.S. to garner a Michelin star. In the spring of 2013, she opened Brindille, serving refined Parisian fare celebrating her favorite spots in Paris

On Saturday, March 15 at 3pm filmmaker Robert Teitel will give the final keynote address. Teitel is the producer of some of the most successful urban studio and independent films and television series in motion picture history. The trendsetting comedies “Soul Food,” “Barbershop,” “Barbershop 2” and “Beauty Shop” sparked conversations about race across America, grossed over $100 million and led to several successful television series. A graduate of Columbia College Chicago, Bob formed his first production company with director George Tillman while both were in school, and went on to produce “Scenes for the Soul,” using Chicago talent and resources.

Attendees will have an opportunity to text a question to the keynotes via Textizen: 312.533.4101. Their questions may be selected and answered during the keynote address.

Over 30 workshops and more than 140 exhibitors contribute to make this event a must-do for professional and aspiring designers, musicians, filmmakers, artists, chefs and others. Workshop presenters include Kickstarter, Lawyers for the Creative Arts, Kartemquin Films, Links Hall, Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, Fractured Atlas and others. The 2014 Creative Chicago Expo visual identity was designed by Scott Reinhard Co.

Creative Chicago Expo is free admission; hours are 10am–4pm both Friday, March 14 and Saturday, March 15 with workshops and vendors located throughout the building. The Nosh, which has been producing a popup lunch service at Block 37, will be presenting several local food and beverage vendors with items for purchase each day. A complete schedule will be released soon.

The 11th Annual Creative Chicago Expo is presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and sponsored by WBEZ. For more information, visit creativechicagoexpo.org or cityofchicago.org/dcase. Join the conversation on Facebook (Creative Chicago Expo) and follow us on Twitter, @ChicagoDCASE (#ChiXpo).

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.


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