Ayako Kato is an award-winning, Japanese-native, and Chicago-based contemporary choreographer and dancer who has twice premiered work as part of the Pivot Arts Festival. Since 1998, she has been the artistic director of Ayako Kato/Art Union Humanscape, presenting and performing her work through interdisciplinary collaboration with over sixty musicians/composers in the US, Japan, and Europe. Ayako was selected as one of the Players 2018 & 2020: The Fifty People Who Really Perform For Chicago by Newcity. She has received the Links Hall Co-MISSION Fellowship, 3Arts Residency Fellowship (Camargo Foundation in 2017 & Montalvo Arts Center in 2020), 3Arts Award in Dance, and a Meier Achievement Award. Since 2010, Ayako has been an artist-in-residence at the Hamlin Park Fieldhouse Theater under Chicago Moving Company’s Dance Shelter Program. She holds an MFA in Dance from the University of Michigan and a certificate from the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University.