Do you talk to guests after a show or send out mass surveys? Do you work with accessibility consultants or develop your own advisory board? Do you co-create and receive critical feedback from people with lived experience in the disability community? Learn from our steering committee members about their experience with building each rung in the collaboration ladder. Explore tangible ways to strengthen a more genuine and responsive connection to the disability community every step along the way.
Jesse Swanson (he/him/his) is a producer, arts administrator and comedian. He has led organizations large and small and presented original work across the country and around the world. Originally from the east coast, Jesse began his career in Philadelphia, where he produced and directed original sketch, stand-up improvisation and several world premier comedic plays and musicals. His independently produced work won acclaim at The Philadelphia and DC Fringe Festivals as well as the CrisisArt Festival in Italy. After deciding to take comedy a little more seriously, he came to Chicago in 2012 and went to work for The Second City where he oversaw talent development and production of new work, partnering with companies like The Kennedy Center, LucasFilm and Disney. As an artist with a disability Jesse is an organizer and advocate for access in the arts and passionately pursuing making all art accessible to everyone.
Jesse is a white man in his mid-30’s who’s once boyish good looks have retreated faster than his hairline. He’s working on convincing himself that baldness is a good look. His blue eyes look through a pair of round overpriced warby parker glasses. He is pictured in a wrinkled light blue button down against a white background.
Susan A. Friel (she/her/hers) is an educator, artist and lifelong learner who currently manages education and engagement programs for the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). Susan’s path along the way weaves in, out and around schools, museums and arts organizations across the globe, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Spain, Ethiopia and LA. In 2018 she initiated the first exploration of the Chicago Cultural Center through touch and sound which inspired the installation of a touch gallery and Learning Lab which celebrates all the senses. She is honored to have contributed to the inspirational book that continues to feed her spirit daily: Learning by Heart: Teachings to Free the Creative Spirit.
Susan is a white woman with a full face of freckles and a smile. Her short hair is various shades of blue that match her eyes. She is outdoors in front of blurry greenery in the background.
Bill Green (he/him/his) is the Hart Prins Fund Accessibility & Inclusion Manager at Lincoln Park Zoo. He uses his experience from working in the disability community to foster accessibility and inclusion in all environments where people engage with the zoo. Personal experience also informs Bill’s work. Since birth, he has been low vision. He has also been a lifelong enthusiast of zoos and museums and the diverse ways people interact with these spaces. Bill has consulted with many cultural institution in Chicago, including serving as an inaugural member on The Second City’s Accessibility Board.
Bill is a white man in his 40’s with short, dark hair and beard, wearing round glasses. He is pictured in a blue dress shirt seated in front of green leafy plants at the zoo and smiling to camera.
Andy Wilson (he/him/his) is a House Manager & Accessibility Coordinator at The Goodman Theatre. Prior to his time at Goodman, he worked at the Shedd Aquarium as well as the Museum of Science & Industry. Early in his journey as a trans man, he felt like there was no longer a place for him in theatre, but realized that he could be a part of making the arts more inclusive for a much wider range of people.
Andy is a white man in his mid-thirties with dark blonde hair, cut short on the sides and grown long in the middle and pushed to the side. He has round cheeks, deep dimples and blue eyes squinted in a smile. He has a short beard that is reddish brown. He wears glasses with blue and brown frames.