Jaleesa Renee Wells

As a curious and emerging cultural leader, I am focused on developing networks for cooperative experiences that lead to the empowerment of people working across sectors. Cultural exchange doesn’t live inside of a glass box, in which we are intended only to observe.

I believe art and culture are crucial to economic development. And I am called to make space for conversation, connection, and collaboration by bonding the production and consumption of culture (i.e. the Creative Industries) with the utilization of entrepreneurial practices towards economic development (i.e. Social Enterprise).

I grew up in Bloomington, Indiana, where I interacted with the performing arts as a dancer, thespian, and musician; and with social good through organizations like Girl Scouts of the USA. I studied Theatre Management at the University of Evansville, which gave me access to explore many different cultures throughout the world in diverse arts administration internships, and an art history focused study abroad experience in Tuscany. I also founded the Habitat for Humanity campus chapter, which led to me serving two years as the Family Services and Outreach AmeriCorps member at Habitat for Humanity in Metro Louisville.

As an Arts Administration and Policy graduate student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I am dedicated to the research, development, and implementation of innovative ideas towards social change; and I strive to create intersections between people, culture, and business.

Through the process of creating networked experiences, I have learned that each person has a personal truth to share with the world. I am passionate about bringing together the truths of many people to evolve the creative discourse, and to develop stronger communities that are empowered to contribute to their society.