Pivot Arts is a home for innovative performance events 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 unique collaborations between artists, businesses and organizations lead to the support and creation of innovative 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 imaginative, site-specific works including our recent project, The Memory Tour. Our vision is to grow to become a multi-arts center that hosts innovative and exciting performing arts events.



Photo- Joe Mazza, Brave Lux Inc.

Julieanne Ehre
Julieanne Ehre is a co-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. Ehre holds an MFA in Directing from Northwestern University and a BA in Anthropology from Grinnell College.

Meg SutterMeg Sutter
Assistant Producer
Meg Sutter is a dramaturg and theater director. She has worked in new play development at the Playwrights’ Center, Hampstead Theatre, and the Goodman Theatre, and in arts administration for the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis. Originally from Minnesota, Meg holds a BA in Drama from Kenyon 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 current 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. She recently directed 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. & ’Outstanding Testimony Award’ at the San Diego Fringe), GUERA by Lisandra Tena (Greenhouse Theatre, Chicago & P. Carpenter y Salazar Theater, NM), 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. Other work includes being Script Consultant on RADIANT BABY, the Keith Haring musical for The Public Theatre, NYC, working with at-risk youth for Grassmarket Project productions at Rutherglen Town Hall, Glasgow and The Roundhouse, London, staring David Harewood, and Acting Coach for Cirque du Soleil on The Beatles LOVE.

Katy Collins
Katy is the co-founder of Pivot Arts and served as Artistic Director of Vintage Theater Collective where she produced 6 shows, 4 festivals, and 3 workshops all  creating new theater from classic texts.   She has acted with companies that include:  Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Steppenwolf, Goodman, Building Stage, Vintage, Sideshow, and New Leaf.  She also created and runs a small business called Chicago Movieoke, and is a stake holder in the Back Room Shakespeare Project.

Sharon LanzaSharon Lanza
Raised by people who really, really like wolves, Sharon has worked professionally for many years as an actor, writer, director, dancer, choreographer, singer, lyricist, costume designer and stagehand. With Redmoon Theater, she played lead roles in Hunchback, Deciphering Moonshadows, Nina and Seagull and performed in many community stilt-walking parades. She has written and directed original theater work including: Architecture, Just Desert, Laika, The Mermaid + The Astronaut, The Survivors, The Tree and The Sifters presented at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Her lyrics co-write “Night Sky” was featured in the 2010 film “Norman” and her lyrics co-write “Sifters” is track 11 on the 2012 Andrew Bird album “Break it Yourself.” Her most recent lyrics appear as track 1 “Near/Far” on the 2014 Mucca Pazza record “L.Y.A” and in the song “Tri Twi” on the 2015 Roommate album “Make Like.” Between 2009 and 2015, she wrote, cast and costumed the video for the Andrew Bird video “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 set to an Edison wax cylinder recording. In 2014, she was honored to choreograph the video for Jon Mueller’s “Onward” as a segment of the “Death Blues” project with director Chris Hefner.

As the proud founding cheerleader of Chicago’s own 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 over the past 11 years.

Jill Olson
Jill is the founder and producer of STORYTOWN, a fully improvised, interactive story for children 3-10 years old and their families. 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




John Burks
Real Estate Professional

Julieanne Ehre
Pivot Arts

Gretchen Halpin
Principal, Chief Strategy Officer
Hewins Financial Advisors

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

Steven R. Smith
Business Lawyer
Steven R. Smith Associates

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/