Staff

Kristin Larsen (she / her / hers)
Executive Director
312-372-1876, ext. 101
LinkedIn | Americans for the Arts Private Sector Council

Kristin rejoined the Arts & Business Council of Chicago in 2017 after serving as Director of Programs in the early aughts. Prior to returning to A&BC, Kristin was Executive Director of Stage 773 (2013-2017), a performance venue in Lakeview, Executive Director of Remy Bumppo Theater Company (2002-2012), and a business representative with Actors’ Equity Association (1995-2000) after many years of being an Equity Stage Manager.

Kristin has her BFA in production management from The Theatre School at DePaul University and her MA in facilitating organizational effectiveness in the arts from DePaul University’s School for New Learning. Kristin serves on Americans for the Arts Private Sector Council, The Actors Fund Central Region Advisory Council, Pivot Arts Advisory Council, and volunteers with DePaul’s Alumni Sharing Knowledge program and the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

Kristin is an active member of the Unitarian Church of Evanston. As an only child growing up in unincorporated Will County, she participated in all sorts of art-making. Left to her own devices, she was often found slathering mud on boards and affixing such things as wildflowers, pebbles, and bird feathers. Today her art-making includes gardening, needlepoint, and elaborate Excel spreadsheets. If you think Kristin can be of service, don’t hesitate to connect with her. If you don’t reach her straightaway, she’s likely out of her mobile’s service area camping, canoeing, and stargazing.

Constanza Mendoza (she / her / ella)
Director of Programs
312-372-1876, ext. 105
LinkedIn

As the director of programs at A&BC, Constanza supports individuals, projects, and organizations that place art-making and programming at the core of their mission. Drawing on her experiences as a consultant, arts curator, and museum worker, she manages A&BC’s programs, from design to evaluation, and ensures arts partners have impactful tools and resources to thrive. On a personal level, her work is shaped by her assets of knowledge in community work, socially-engaged art, and decolonial theories. 

Before working at A&BC, Constanza was a curatorial assistant at the Sullivan Galleries and a research assistant at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she helped develop “Creative Labs for Cultural Leaders,” a low-residency program for organizations that have been historically marginalized in the Midwest. Originally from Venezuela, she has extensively worked with museums across South America, creating cross-sectoral partnerships and capacity-building opportunities. 

Constanza has served as a grant panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, a panel reader & chair for the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC), and is currently serving on a grants panel for The City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). She holds a master of arts in arts administration and policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a bachelor of arts in art history from the Universite Paris-Sorbonne IV. 

She is passionate about storytelling and children’s literature and often returns to printmaking and watercolor, especially during the winter. She has eight candles, 13 journals, and a View-Master with three reels inherited from her grandfather. 

Board of Directors

Simi Gambhir – Chair

Managing Partner
Third City Properties

Jake Trussell – Vice Chair

Creative Director
Metabolize

Melissa Elbert – Treasurer

Partner
Aon

Liz Rice – Secretary
Manager of Curriculum and Education
2ND Story

Robyn Wheeler- Chair Emeritus

Inclusion Expert
PhD Student – International Psychology

Judy Brennan
President
JBrennan & Associates

Haman Cross III
Founder & Executive Creative Director
Freedom House Studios

R. Kimberly Grigsby
Executive Director
Ignition Community Glass

Derek Lowrey
Associate General Counsel
Meta Platforms, Inc

Meida McNeal
Senior Recovery Team Program Manager
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

Artistic Director
Honey Pot Performance

Roche Schulfer
Executive Director
The Goodman Theatre

Vanessa Stokes
Owner
VS Creative Consulting

Kristin Larsen – Ex Officio
Executive Director
Arts & Business Council of Chicago