Pivot Arts produces and presents contemporary and multidisciplinary performance on Chicago’s far north side. We develop new work and present performances throughout the year culminating in a large-scale, multi-arts festival. Our vision is that of a vibrant community where collaborations between artists, businesses and organizations lead to the support and creation of unique performance events.

Pivot Arts was formed in September 2012 as a pivot point, or central hub, that could connect innovative arts partners and programming. We support multidisciplinary artists through our arts incubator program and foster the creation of imaginative performances. In addition to the Pivot Arts Festival, we host a monthly Live Talk show that includes performances and discussions at Uncommon Ground on Devon, we also create unusual, site-specific works including our recent project, The Memory Tour and our current show, Don’t Look Back/Must Look Back.

Leadership at Pivot Arts


Photo- Joe Mazza, Brave Lux Inc.

Julieanne Ehre
Julieanne Ehre is the founder and the director of Pivot Arts. She both leads the organization and curates performances including the Pivot Arts Festival, Live Talk series, and oversees the “Celebrate Community!” Parade. She was the NEA/TCG New Generations “Future Leaders” Fellow at the Goodman Theatre where she served as producer on Latino Festival, New Stages Series and conceived of and produced the Goodman’s Artists Talk series. Julieanne served as a delegate to the Santiago a Mil Festival in Chile and the ITI World Theater Congress in Xiamen, China through Theater Communications Group and was the co-chair of the Arts and Culture Committee for Chicago’s 48th Ward. As the Artistic Director of Greasy Joan & Co. for five years, she won an “Abbey Award” from the Arts and Business Council for the organization’s strategic planning. At Greasy Joan, she directed and produced critically acclaimed and premiere adaptations of classic plays and worked as a freelance theater director. Ehre holds an MFA in Directing from Northwestern University and a BA in Anthropology from Grinnell College.

Artistic Council

The Artistic Council of Pivot Arts curates performances and works with the organization as lead artists on a project.

Jo CatellJo Catell
Jo’s projects include: LA RUTA by Isaac Gomez, ME YOU US THEM by Andrea Lepcio, which received a workshop presentations at Cherry Lane, NYC, and dandypunk’s HEARTCORPS for Sundance 2017, directing Juan Villa’s new play, DON CHIPOTLE at the Storefront Theater, Chicago. Other directing credits include: WILL WORK FOR by Dacyl Acevedo (‘Best of Fringe’, Washington D.C.), GUERA by Lisandra Tena, FOR LOVE by Laoisa Sexton (Drilling Company/1st Irish Theatre Festival), which then went onto perform at the Irish Repertory Theatre, NYC & tour Ireland, Urban Sketch Show for the BBC, SKYSCRAPING by Tim Stimpson (Soho Theatre then transferred to Southwark Playhouse, London), and 18:1-7 by James Cattell, the first digital art installation into Canterbury Cathedral.

IsaacHeadshotCroppedIsaac Gomez
Isaac Gomez is a playwright, dramaturg, and the director of new play development at the award-winning Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago. He is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, Co-Creative Director at the Alliance of Latinx Theatre Artists in Chicago (ALTA) where he runs and is a participant of El Semillero: ALTA Chicago’s Latino Playwrights Circle, an Artistic Associate of Teatro Vista, an Artistic Associate of Pivot Arts, a steering committee member of the Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC) and an artistic community member at The Hypocrites in Chicago.

Sharon LanzaSharon Lanza
Sharon has worked professionally for many years as an actor, writer, director, dancer, choreographer, singer, lyricist and more, working extensively with Redmoon Theater and Mucca Pazza. Her lyrics co-write “Night Sky” was featured in the 2010 film “Norman” and her lyrics co-write “Sifters” is on the Andrew Bird album “Break it Yourself.” Her most recent lyrics appear on the 2014 Mucca Pazza record “L.Y.A” and in the song “Tri Twi” on the 2015 Roommate album “Make Like.” She wrote, cast and costumed the video for the Andrew Bird’s “Fitz and the Dizzyspells”, assisted on the video for Mucca Pazza’s “Boss Taurus” with Jim Newberry, and co produced the Mucca Pazza “Tube Sock Tango” video. As the proud founding cheerleader of Chicago’s punk rock marching band, Mucca Pazza, Sharon has performed at Orchestra Hall at Chicago’s Symphony Center, as a visiting artist at Mass MoCA, the Pritzker Pavillion at Millennium Park, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts,and Lincoln Center among many other venues.

Jill Olson
Jill is the founder and producer of STORYTOWN. She is the Chicago Director of Funny Bones Improv bringing improv and laughter to children in hospitals and their care givers. Jill is an Improv Professor of Merriment with the Laughing Academy and teaches theater with Dream Big Performing Arts Workshop. Jill Olson has served as Program Coordinator for This Is ME and Child Whisperer for The Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival. Jill Olson is graduated from Towson University with BA in Theater Arts. She moved to Chicago and studied improvisation and is a graduate of the Second City Conservatory and iO Training Program.

Tanya Palmer, Director of New Play Development at Goodman Theatre and Pivot Arts Associate

Tanya Palmer
Tanya Palmer is the director of new play development at Goodman Theatre, where she coordinates New Stages, the theater’s new play program, and has served as the production dramaturg on a number of plays including the world premieres of Vigils by Noah Haidle, Magnolia by Regina Taylor, The Long Red Road by Brett C. Leonard and the Pulitzer Prize–winning Ruined by Lynn Nottage. Prior to her arrival in Chicago, she served as the director of new play development at Actors Theatre of Louisville, where she led the reading and selection process for the Humana Festival of New American Plays. She is the co-editor, with Amy Wegener and Adrien-Alice Hansel, of four collections of Humana Festival plays, published by Smith & Kraus, as well as two collections of 10-minute plays published by Samuel French. Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, she holds an MFA in playwriting from York University in Toronto.


Dan Cox and Eric Reda
Chicago Opera Vanguard

Temple Schultz
Teaching Artist/Musician




Julieanne Ehre
Pivot Arts

Michelle Erikson
Operations & Procurement Expert
Elkay Manufacturing

Dr. Mark E. Lococo
Director of Theatre
Loyola University Chicago

Shari Massey
Director of Finance/CFO
Ravinia Festival

Karen Salmon
Business Consultant

Elizabeth White
Clinical Social Worker

Advisory Board

April Browning
Loyola University Chicago

Alderman James Cappleman
46th Ward

Sarah Gabel
Loyola University Chicago

Peter Kuntz
Arts Consultant

Kristin Larsen
Stage 773

Alderman Harry Osterman
48th Ward

Summur Roberts
Loyola University Chicago

Michael Rohd
Sojourn  Theatre

Steve Scott
Goodman Theatre

We are currently building our board of directors. Serving on the board of Pivot Arts is great way for you to contribute to your community and to the arts, email julieanne@pivotarts.org to learn more!

Other questions about Pivot?  Send an email to info@pivotarts.org. And be sure to sign our mailing list, we won’t spam you and it’s the best way to keep informed about upcoming events: http://pivotarts.org/updates/