Letter from the Executive Director
September, 2016

Heidi Diedrich


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ART WORKS Projects has a growing team with a shared commitment to global human rights, the arts, and impact. You can learn about us below and see active job descriptions by clicking here.


Heidi Diedrich
Heidi Diedrich is executive director of ART WORKS Projects for Human Rights (AWP), a post she assumed in July 2016 after working in human rights in the Middle East for nearly five years. She brings a diverse background in international development and photography, complementing more than two decades of leadership experience in nonprofit communications. From 2011 to 2016, Diedrich was based in Iraq and served in leadership roles with international non-governmental organizations focused on international development, emergency humanitarian response, and advocacy. Diedrich was also director of Metrography – the first Iraqi photo agency, where she led efforts to operationalize the agency and established a non-profit training center focused on cultivating an independent Iraqi media and ethical human rights reporting in the Middle East. Prior to Iraq, Diedrich held various leadership roles with U.S. non-profit organizations, directing strategic communication initiatives for issues related to U.S. health policy and access to health care; academic medicine; bench and clinical research; nutrition science and research; product research and development; higher education; and social services for the most vulnerable populations in Illinois. Her experience also includes for-profit communications leadership, representing the pharmaceutical industry and global consumer brands. Diedrich began her professional career as a photojournalist and holds a bachelor of science degree from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, where she studied photography, journalism, and communications. She lives in Chicago. E-mail:


Annalise Taylor
Annalise Taylor is the Program & Communications Coordinator for ART WORKS Projects. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a master’s degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in art history, theory, and criticism. She also served as a Graduate Fellow for the SAIC’s new institute for curatorial research. Taylor’s work has specifically focused on the impact of art for both the maker and the viewer and she is committed to enhancing audience engagement for social change. Her museum and curatorial experience includes, the Roger Brown Study Collection, the Brooks Museum of Art, and the the Project Room Gallery. Prior to attending the Art Institute, she was based in Argentina, where she led communications for the TasterLab, an international tech startup. 

Program & Outreach Coordinator

Samantha Owens
Samantha Owens is the Program and Outreach Coordinator. Samantha holds a BA in International Studies and Religious Studies from Northwestern University and an MA in Human Rights from University College London, where her studies focused on the economic, social and cultural rights of ethnic and religious minorities. In her professional life, Samantha has held positions in development, communications, and community engagement for NGOs in both London and Chicago. Her primary professional interests lie in using effective storytelling and building partnerships to elicit social change.


Claire Abell
Claire Abell is a senior at Loyola University Chicago majoring in International Studies and Psychology with a minor in French Language and Literature. She recently returned from France where she spent a semester studying international relations at Sciences Po Aix-en-Provence. Claire’s interests include the rights of children, comparative education policy, and the interaction between universalism and cultural relativism in international human rights law. After graduation Claire hopes to return to Europe to pursue a graduate degree in global studies or museum studies.

Giovanna Guiriolo
Giovanna Giuriolo joined ART WORKS Projects as an intern in January 2016. She is a recent graduate of Loyola University Chicago, where she majored in International Studies and History, and minored in Black World Studies. Giovanna was born in Brazil and grew up in Italy. She spent her junior year of high school as an exchange student in Seattle and she studied in Rome for her freshmen year of college, where she also volunteered for a refugee center. This experience helped her develop an interest in human rights, in particular slavery, sex trafficking, and other forms of forced labor. Giovanna continues to intern with ART WORKS Projects while planning for her next step, attending graduate school in international affairs and political science in Europe.


Greg Doench
Greg Doench is an architect and exhibition designer who has worked internationally on a range of cultural, commercial, and institutional buildings. As a co-founder of LARC Inc., the national architectural practice out of which ART WORKS Projects evolved, Doench brings years of international project experience as well as a background in large buildings and small scale furniture and fabrication. Doench’s experience in designing cultural centers also allows him to understand and account for the technical challenges and opportunities of the large international tours undertaken in each of ART WORKS Projects’ installations.

Morgane Haddad
Morgane Haddad is a creative contributor for ART WORKS Projects. She is currently graduating from the University of Chicago with a Master of Art in the Social Sciences. The focus of her studies is Rape as a Weapon of War and Genocide. Last June, she earned a Law degree at the University of Paris, Nanterre (Bachelor in French law, Common law and ‬‬American law) and intends on attending law school in order to pursue a career in human rights. She is particularly devoted to advocating for the protection of women’s rights during armed conflicts through the improvement of international law policies and raising public awareness.

Tess Landon
Tess Landon is an arts educator and administrator committed to the role of the arts in social justice and to her home town of Chicago. Currently, she works in Public Art Initiatives for the Chicago Park District and is the Program Director of bikeLab, a summer internship program for high school students. Tess has more than ten years of experience teaching children, teens, and adults in schools, art centers, and prisons. Previously, she was the Director of Education and Outreach for ART WORKS Projects, where she has continued to stay engaged as a consultant on their work in education. Tess has an M.Ed. in Arts in Education from Harvard and a BA in art history from Bard College.

Maren Wickwire
Maren Wickwire is a Chicago-based documentary director and producer. Wickwire’s documentaries and media work for nonprofits reflect her desire to see social change and justice. Her work has brought her to Holocaust survivors, Arab Christians in the West Bank, underserved women in Tajikistan, and ex-guerilla fighters in Huanuco, Peru. She uses documentary film as a tool to raise awareness and give a voice to the untold stories of injustice. Wickwire has a degree in Communication Design from the Folkwang University of the Arts in Germany. View samples of her work at and


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Sonya Anderson
Sonya Anderson has worked domestically and internationally to increase educational opportunity for under-served populations. She has designed and led programs to advance girls’ education in Africa; led federal policy and advocacy efforts to support early childhood education for at-risk youth in the United States; and worked throughout the non-profit and philanthropic sectors to provide funding and other resources to support strong schools, families, and communities. Anderson’s professional experiences include serving as the Senior Vice President for Programs at Crown Family Philanthropies, the Vice-President for National Affairs at the Ounce of Prevention Fund, and as the Education Program Director at the Oprah Winfrey Foundations. She holds an undergraduate degree from Yale University, a masters degree from the University of Ghana, and a doctorate from Harvard University.

Leah Missbach Day
Leah Missbach Day is a documentary photographer, based in Chicago, whose work has been exhibited across the U.S. and internationally.  In 2005, Day cofounded World Bicycle Relief, a global non-profit organization, which has provided over 140,000 bicycles to families rebuilding livelihoods, caregivers combating disease, students seeking access to education and entrepreneurs who depend on quality transportation. Her images and storytelling often serve the organization’s campaigns. Day’s artistry extends to the written word including the forward to National Geographic’s book, Wheels of Change: How Women Rode to Freedom and a rebuttal to the book, Why Save Africa? She frequently speaks on behalf of World Bicycle Relief.  Of distinction, as keynote speaker for Women Bike’s 1st Annual Summit. Day received her M.F.A. in Photography from Columbia College Chicago where she taught for 8 years.

Roberta M. Feldman, MArch, PhD
Roberta Feldman is an architectural activist, researcher and educator committed to democratic design. Feldman has been engaged in public interest design and research for more than 30 years. She has worked individually as well as coordinated multi-disciplinary teams of students, faculty and professionals in the fields of architecture, urban planning, graphic and industrial design, and history and culture of cities to support communities underserved by the design professions. Embracing participatory design and action research practices, Feldman has sustained working relationships with leaders in over fifty community organizations and development corporations in Chicago’s low income neighborhoods to address their visions for shaping, revitalizing and preserving their designed environments. Feldman has initiated numerous advocacy projects as well — forums, summits, exhibits, and websites – and written numerous publications to raise the professions’ and public’s awareness of design’s potential to serve the public’s interest. Feldman is Professor Emerita, UIC School of Architecture, Director Emerita, UIC City Design Center, and affiliated faculty, IIT PhD Program in Architecture. She currently is Chair of the Board of Directors at ART WORKS Projects and Vice Chair for Programming and Interpretation, National Public Housing Museum.

Tracey Fletcher
Tracey Fletcher is a lawyer with the Friedman Law Group, Ltd., a Chicago-based firm specializing in marketing law. Fletcher’s practice focuses on charitable promotions, environmental marketing, and general commercial transactions. She is also the general counsel of the Usher III Initiative, a medical research foundation. Fletcher’s past experience includes founding the legal department of a global public relations firm and serving as Senior Assistant General Counsel of the American Hospital Association, where she handled transactional, litigation, and regulatory matters. She has prepared testimony for congressional hearings, represented clients before state and federal agencies, and drafted appellate briefs for submission to state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Fletcher previously served as adjunct faculty at Loyola University School of Law and was a legal writing instructor at the University of Michigan Law School while a third-year law student. She received her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Michigan.  Fletcher openly admits that she possesses no artistic talent, abilities, or inclinations whatsoever.

De Gray
De Gray is a dedicated activist with deep experience in the arts, education, and human rights. A long time supporter of ART WORKS, she was previously Co-Chair of the Human Rights Watch Chicago Committee. She serves on the Education Committees for both the Art Institute of Chicago and the Hyde Park Art Center Board, and is also a board member for Restore Justice Illinois, where she reaches out to prisoners through visits with other supporters. The organization helps individuals who were sentenced to life without parole as juveniles, and works to promote fair criminal justice policies and a balanced criminal justice system. Gray additionally supports the Abraham Path, a long-distance walking trail across the Middle East, which traces the journey of the patriarch Abraham to inspire understanding and prosperity in the region and around the world.

Julie Hubbard
Julie Hubbard is the Senior Vice President – Finance at Easter Seals, Inc., which offers a variety of services to help people with disabilities address life’s challenges and achieve personal goals. Hubbard has a background in corporate finance and transitioned to the nonprofit sector in 2005 to fulfill her objective of making a positive change in the world. She served as the Treasurer to all of Oprah Winfrey’s philanthropic entities, and also served as the CFO for the Spencer Foundation, a private foundation that promotes educational improvement through fostering purposeful scholarly inquiry into matters of educational significance. Hubbard has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and completed her undergraduate work at Alma College. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Ashley Theriot McCall
Ashley McCall is a human rights advocate and philanthropist whose areas of interest include Human Trafficking, Refugees and Gender Based Violence. She is currently involved with Refugee One as a sponsor and mentor for Congolese refugee families, and is also on the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Women and Global Development Steering Committee. She has consulted with UNHCR on Kenyan Refugee Camp fundraising initiatives and served on the Executive Council of the UN Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign. Ashley has chaired development and strategy committees for The Founders’ Board of Children’s Memorial Hospital, The Family Institute at Northwestern University and The Ounce of Prevention Fund. Previously, she worked on Wall Street at UBS and Credit Suisse. She has an MBA from Northwestern University (Kellogg) and a BA from Georgetown University.

Leslie Thomas
Leslie Thomas is a filmmaker, architect, and human rights advocate. She is the founder of ART WORKS Projects and the co-founder of the LARC, Inc. architectural practice based in Chicago and Los Angeles, out of which AWP was formed. An Emmy-award winning art director, she is currently directing, The Prosecutors, a feature length documentary about prosecution of conflict related sexual violence. She recently co-curated Transitions, a multi-national exhibition on transitional justice. Her multi-media public exhibitions, created in collaboration with photographers, writers, musicians, and other filmmakers have toured extensively around the world and have been the recipient of grants from, among others, The National Endowment for the Arts, the MacArthur Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, the Oak Foundation, and Humanity United. Thomas graduated from Columbia University School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning and the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She serves on the boards of ART WORKS Projects and Congo Kids Initiative. She lives with her husband and their children in Chicago.


International Media
Ron Haviv

Brandee Butler

Gretchen Baker
Jill Barancik
Linda Bergonia
Julie Browning
Dolores Connelly
Judith Cothran
Andrea Friedman
Judith Guajardo
Susan Gzesh
Daniela Hrzic
Barbara Koenen
Elizabeth Lazar, Former Board Member
Laurel Lipkin
Mary McDonnell
Mike Newman
Peggy Panosh
Kary Ream
Dana Rice
Galya Ruffer
Alicia Sams
Deepika Shetty
Andy Szot
Mandy Terc
Anne Tucker

Claire Van Cleave

Los Angeles
Kevin Horner
Alexandra Kerr
Susan Leach, Founding Board Member

New York
Denise Canter
Sharon Lomofsky
Susan T. Rodriguez, Founding Board Member
Jane Sachs

San Francisco/Bay Area
David Bobrow
Amy Eliot, Founding Board Member
Alissa Lillie, Founding Board Member
Lisa Odyniec

Washington DC
Colleen Connors
Hunter Hollins, Former Board Member
Jayme McClellan
Molly Roberts
Ambassador Steven E. Steiner

In gratitude to:
Clio Chafee
Helen Doria
Gretchen Steidle Wallace


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