Executive Director

“Did you know that Evanston boasts 10 times the amount of artists living/working in the city than any other city of its size?”

When Lisa Degliantoni learned that fact it changed her life. Lisa felt compelled to make the town she lives in and loves a sought-out community for artists to find the perfect balance in their lives. It has become her mission.

She is a “citizen arts advocate” for the city and created Evanston Made to grow and bring together the creatives she saw all around her. In five years the initiative she started has become a beloved source of opportunities for artists. And the annual Evanston Made Exhibition at the Evanston Arts Center is the most popular event of the year.

In her live/work gallery space, 1100 Florence, she hosts pop-up shows, exhibitions, performances and installations while her husband, two sons, a bunny and chickens go about their lives.

But Lisa’s vision is far greater. She believes Evanston has everything an artist could want for a home and work environment. She wants to see artists flocking to Evanston for the natural beauty, the culture, the proximity to Chicago. She wants to see buildings dedicated to artists’ studios, galleries and a vibrant engaged connected creative community in every ward.

One would be wise to join the Get Artsy Train Lisa Degliantoni is driving.



Kathy Halper has been an artist for most of her adult life. Most. Her early years were spent in some of the largest advertising agencies in Chicago crafting ad copy for skin lotion and TV spots for Wheaties. She stepped away from Michigan Avenue to raise a family and began to paint. Over the years, Halper has been a fixture in the Chicago art scene, exhibiting at Art Chicago, the Union League Club, and being represented by Packer Schopf Gallery and Aron Packer Projects, among others. Her paintings and embroideries have been shown in New York City and Los Angeles, Art Basel in Miami and countless other cities throughout the country. She also co-produced the first two annual Nasty Women Evanston Art Fundraisers with Lisa.

As a recent transplant to Evanston, yet lifelong Chicagoan, Kathy was eager to bring her expertise and experience to Lisa’s vision. She looks forward to helping Evanston Made reach its potential.



Liz is currently launching Artisan & Sage Marketing, acting as a consultant to small businesses and the creative community in Evanston. Her focus is project management and marketing strategies, content creation and event planning.

As a Regional Marketing Director and Field VP, she has worked with retailers to develop corporate sales, marketing and customer service strategies, merchandising and event plans and education programs to maximize the talent and potential of account teams. “Life is about connections. My strengths lie in bringing creative thinking, conceptualizations and a collaborative spirit to my work. Her passion is creating functional ceramics with a touch of nature, painting and  spending time supporting Evanston art and artists.


Board Member

Melissa is an artist and art therapist living and working in the Chicago-Evanston area.  Her work centers on developing programs that utilize the arts to encourage social-emotional development in young people, and engage communities in creative social action.  Melissa is an Adjunct Associate Professor at SAIC, and a consultant to schools and organizations interested in the myriad ways in which art can connect people and build community.  Her art practice involves the use of ritual and sensory memory to explore intercultural and intergenerational themes, creating meaning in both personal and collective identity through assemblage and mixed media narratives.


Board Member

Angela is the mother of three amazing humans, an artist and art therapist. Her work in a variety of settings is focused on using creativity to meaningfully connect communities, developing community art spaces that build ecosystems of resilience, and using art as a form of social action. She has worked with very young children through older adults within non-profit, social enterprise and for-profit models of care. Angela was the owner and energy behind Gather, a community art studio and creativity-focused playspace located in downtown Evanston, an administrator for WomanCraft, a social enterprise in Lawndale, and has provided consultation for art therapy program development in residential and treatment centers in Chicago and Evanston. Angela is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a doctoral student at Mount Mary University, a consultant in the development of therapeutic arts programming in East Africa with Global Alliance for Africa, and the Program Director for Creatively Empowered Women, a craft-based social enterprise in Rogers Park.

Evan Finamore

Board Member

Evan is committed to serving the greater good.

For over 20 years, as a consummate community volunteer and leader, she has dedicated much of her time and energy to building bridges to bolster the success of agencies devoted to human services, the arts, education, and community engagement in Evanston.

She has served on the boards of a variety of community organizations including Foundation 65, the philanthropic foundation dedicated to providing arts and literacy enrichment to Evanston's primary public schools and Young Evanston Artists, a thirty year old community arts festival featuring the artwork of students from all schools in Evanston, preschool to high school, public and private.

She currently works as Outreach and Development Manager for Illinois Partners for Human Service, a nonprofit dedicated to advocacy on behalf of the sector and a coalition of over 800 human service providers across the state of Illinois. Prior professional pursuits include exhibit development, strategic planning and museum evaluation.

Evan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Pennsylvania and has completed certification coursework in Arts Management.