Meet ChiArts Conservatory Leadership

Miranda Sustaita, Visual Arts ’23. Groovy Tuesday. 2021, Multi-Media Collage.

Artistic Leadership

Thanks to the incredible leadership of ChiArts’ Executive Director, Artistic Director, the five arts conservatory heads, and arts faculty, over 2,500+ hours of tuition-free pre-professional arts training are provided to each scholar-artist from freshman year to graduation. Meet the visionary leadership of our five arts conservatories.

Headshot of Tina Boyer Brown

Tina Boyer Brown has been at ChiArts since its inception. She joined the school’s academic faculty in 2009, teaching English and advanced placement literature in the first few years. Since then, she has held numerous roles, serving most recently as ChiArts’ Artistic Director, responsible for leading the school’s five arts conservatories—creative writing, dance, music, theater, and visual arts. She played a leadership role in helping establish the Creative Writing Conservatory, and served as its first department head.

Ms. Boyer Brown is an accomplished poet, and has been published in POETRY Magazine,  Jet Fuel Review, RHINO,  Waxwing Magazine, and The Journal of Education, to name a few. She is also a lead teacher at the Summer Poetry Teachers’ Institute sponsored by the Poetry Foundation. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from Queens University of Charlotte and a Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University.

As Executive Director, Ms. Boyer Brown heads the school’s leadership team, oversees all programs and operations, and serves as the school’s chief spokesperson. She’s responsible for financial management, annual and strategic planning, board and community relations, and fostering collaboration across academic and arts programs. 

Headshot of Greer Reed

Greer Reed joined ChiArts in 2018 and transformed the Dance Conservatory with a framework for teaching and learning that has empowered and affirmed the diversity of scholar-artists and ideas at ChiArts. In August 2023, Ms. Reed was promoted to Artistic Director of ChiArts. As Artistic Director, she is responsible for leading the school’s five arts conservatories—creative writing, dance, music, theater, and visual arts.

Ms. Reed focuses on academic quality, technique, and cultural experiences that reveal the transparency of thoughtfulness, refinement, and holistic teaching. She is excited and committed to developing the next generation of incredible adults who will redefine how movement plays an important role in their lives while honoring past traditions and creating a heritage that reflects their voice.

Ms. Reed successfully completed the Certificate and Merit scholarship programs at The Ailey School and shortly after became a member of the outstanding Ailey II. The bulk of Ms. Reed’s professional career took place with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, retiring after 10 years in 2002 with the “Josie” Award for Outstanding Female Artist.

Ms. Reed graduated Summa Cum Laude from LaRoche University in Pittsburgh, PA. with the President’ Leadership and Scholarship Award, the highest honor La Roche University can bestow on a graduate for exemplary academic and leadership skills who best exemplify the values and characteristics of the college’s mission. In July 2021, she received her MFA from Goddard College with high honors in Plainfield, VT. Currently, Ms. Reed’s educational journey continues toward her Ph.D. in Arts Education from the University of Pittsburgh.

Headshot of Kenyatta Rogers

Kenyatta Rogers is a founding ChiArts Creative Writing teacher. He has been instrumental to the growth and development of the conservatory since 2013 as the founding poetry teacher and Creative Writing Conservatory Administrative Assistant. In 2022, Mr. Rogers was promoted to Conservatory Head. He is an exceptional poet and a well-respected colleague and leader both within ChiArts and in the poetry community.

Mr. Rogers is a Cave Canem Fellow and has been awarded scholarships from the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference. He has also been nominated multiple times for both Pushcart and Best of the Net prizes. His work has been previously published in Poetry Magazine, Jubilat, Vinyl, Bat City Review, The Volta, PANK, MAKE Magazine among others. Kenyatta is a Lead Teacher for the Poetry Foundations Teacher Institute and Chautauqua Institution’s Young Writer Institute. He is a co-host of the Sunday Reading Series with Simone Muench.

Headshot of Tracey Franklin

Tracey Franklin is an influential ChiArts leader who has showcased her skill set in both leadership and teaching artist roles for the past ten years.

Ms. Franklin is a native of Chicago and began her training at the age of 16 at Joseph Holmes Dance Theater. In 1999, Ms. Franklin graduated from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Certificate Program. In 2000, Ms. Franklin was a company member of Dallas Black Dance Theater for four years. In 2004, she returned to Chicago as a company member with Deeply Rooted Dance Theater for 12 years. Ms. Franklin was the Dance Education Director for three years for Deeply Rooted Dance Theater. In 2014, she began her journey as a teaching artist in the Dance Conservatory at ChiArts. For the past nine years Ms. Franklin has spent five of those years as the assistant to the department head, and one year as the assistant Dean of Students. In August of 2023, Ms. Franklin became the Dance Conservatory Head.

Headshot of Anthony Bruno

Anthony Bruno has been a driving force in the ChiArts Music Department since 2010. After serving as the esteemed ChiArts Jazz Coordinator since 2013, Mr. Bruno was promoted to Music Conservatory Head in 2021.

As an in-demand saxophonist in Chicago, he has performed with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Larry Carlton (Steely Dan), Bobby Watson, Jeff Hamilton, Gerald Clayton, Bobby Broom, and Mary Wilson of The Supremes to name a few. Mr. Bruno has also performed at various music festivals such as the New York City Winter Jazz Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival and the Chicago Blues Festival. He has released numerous recordings that can be found on all streaming platforms including multiple releases chosen for Spotify Editorial Playlists. Mr. Bruno’s main musical influences are Jazz, Afro-Cuban, and R&B and considers them the foundational language to his approach to music.

In addition to his teaching at ChiArts, he has served as adjunct faculty at DePaul University teaching the Saxophone Technique course from 2010 to 2015. An experienced guest artist, clinician and arranger, he has worked with such schools and organizations as Dartmouth College, Youth Jazz Ensemble of DuPage, and the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic. Mr. Bruno graduated Magna Cum Laude from DePaul University earning a Bachelor of Music Education in 2007. He is a licensed Music Educator in the state of Illinois.

Headshot of Lauren Wells-Mann

Lauren Wells-Mann joined ChiArts in 2022 and is an actor, director, dancer, choreographer and arts educator. Lauren Wells-Mann believes in the power of the arts and the importance of BIPOC artists having autonomy over their own narratives, and it is a mission to which she is deeply committed.

Mrs. Wells-Mann holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from Columbia College Chicago, and a Master in Secondary Education from the University of Phoenix. She began her professional acting career with Eta Creative Arts Foundation. She has also performed with companies such as Lookingglass Theatre Company, Black Ensemble Theatre, Harlem Theater Company, Healthworks Theater Company, and Victory Gardens Theater to name a few. Mrs. Wells-Mann has also directed and choreographed for Eta Creative Arts Foundation, Ma’at Production Association of Afrikan Centered Theatre (MPAACT), Chicago on the Nile, Black Lives Black Words – Chicago, 20% Theater Company – Twin Cities, Perceptions Theatre, and Griot Theatre Collective. She attributes her directing prowess to the tutelage of Darcelle Williams, Cheryl Frazier, and Carla Stillwell. In addition to these accolades, Mrs. Wells-Mann has been coaching competitive acting and speech events for the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) for 20 years. Under her direction, students have won numerous state and national championships in various acting and public speaking activities.

Headshot of Chris Lin Dao-Heng

Chris Lin Dao-Heng is a ChiArts Visual Arts veteran, teaching in the conservatory since 2012. Mr. Lin has not only made an impact on 10 classes of Visual Arts scholar-artists, but has also taught courses in the Creative Writing Conservatory. After leading as Visual Arts Administrative Assistant for many years, Mr. Lin Dao-Heng was promoted to Department Head in 2022.

Mr. Lin is an interdisciplinary artist and educator based in Chicago, working in media including videos, comics, graphic design, puppetry, music, and installation. A major part of his art practice is related to language learning, immigration, humor, and vulnerability. Born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts with honors from the University of Victoria in 2005 and a Master of Fine Arts in Fiber and Material Studies from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2008. His visual art, short stories, and comic work have been published by the Chicago Architecture Center, Bailiwick, This Side of West, Fiction At Work, Shampoo, and ChiArts’ Levitate.

A student stands in front of her elaborate pencil drawings

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