I want to help artists live happier, richer, and more balanced lives.
From the moment I could speak, I have been an audacious creative.
Whether I was putting on family variety shows, pursuing my studies across the globe, or launching and leading professional productions, creativity has always been a vital part of my identity.
Then, at the peak of my artistic career, I became a parent. Absorbed by the blessings and challenges of this new role, I gradually found myself standing on the outside of the theatre world, looking in. It became apparent that, with the new conditions on my participation, there was no longer a comfortable place for me in the theatre-making process. Soon, my family expanded and the backstage door shut completely. My creative voice was instantly- and painfully- silenced.
I spent the next few years in mourning. I questioned. I stewed.
I came to the eventual realization that I am not alone in this traumatic experience.
Many artists reach this same crossroads, forcing us to choose between our creative identity and our overall human well-being. Financial, social, and deeply personal pressures can force artists like me out of our practice, and ultimately out of our sacred creative communities.
Reckoning with the powerful, evocative, and innovative lights that are effectively snuffed out in those moments, I felt the urgent calling to serve and uplift this community in any way I can.
I resolved to reclaim my audacious creativity, step into the spotlight, and resist.
Using My Voice
On my podcast The Smartist (launched in 2019), I examine the intersections between creativity, finance, and entrepreneurship, with thought-provoking guests like national pay equity leader Elsa Hiltner and award-winning theatre and film director Monty Cole.
In 2021, Smartistry co-created The Accidental Entrepreneur’s Club, in partnership with Chicago’s Artist Mobilization Resource, and Apparel Industry Board, Inc. to meet the creative community's demand for entrepreneurial upskilling brought about by COVID-19.
In 2022, I launched my first live workshop series for arts students: Financial Literacy for the Creative Student, which debuted as part of the biennial Odyssey Arts Festival at Adlai E. Stevenson High School, a four-time United States Department of Education National Blue Ribbon Award winner.
Whether I am championing financial literacy, de-stigmatizing “money-talk”,
or promoting creative entrepreneurship,
my mission is to provide life-affirming education and resources to the creative community.