art institute

7 people doing cool shit by Evan La Ruffa

These people are all charting new territory. They show their colors, differentiate, embrace their unique perspective, and build cool shit that satisfies their thirst for life while making incredibly important contributions to the world.

You should know who these people are. Ev-approved.

AJ & Melissa Leon - these two are the badass couple behind Misfit Inc., the 'professional troublemakers.' I was familiar with their work before meeting them a year or so ago, and am constantly inspired by their ambition, dedication, and focus on social issues, equal access, and creative models for everything from community development to software. They do it all... at an incredibly high level.

Levi Baer - this guy is a dynamo. An educator, a speaker, a game maker & a dude who keeps your entire orbit more positive & potent. I'm lucky to collaborate with him regularly and am so thrilled about the ways he engages his students, friends, and colleagues in raising our collective game by communicating & building more collaboratively & openly.

Kamilah Rashied - she's a quadruple threat. A curator, community builder, a SHero, and an activist, it's been my pleasure to get to know this incredibly talented woman over the past few months. She's helping the Art Institute evolve their Community Outreach in the most incredible of ways, and her dedication to art, Chicago, and the way we collectively weave the two together is truly inspiring.

Chad Little & Leonard Hollander  - the dudes behind Arbor Projects, the restaurant, cafe, and bar located next to IPaintMyMind Gallery in the Green Exchange building. Their creativity and love for all things culinary keeps their space and offerings continually full of experimentation, innovation, and most importantly, amazing flavors.

Jeffrey Davis - a poet, a creative businessman and the head honcho of Tracking Wonder which helps authors brand & launch their books, Jeffrey is one of the most heart-centered, gracious, creative, and intelligent people I have ever known. I've known him for 3 years now after meeting at Camp GLP and it's always a blast to see him every summer & pick up a bit of his juju.

If you're ever in touch, let them know that I think they're awesome.