Executive Director, Marwen
Antonia Contro is the executive director of Marwen, a non-profit arts organization that provides out-of-school visual art, college planning, and career development programs to Chicago’s under-served youth in grades 6-12. Marwen was founded in 1987 to provide teens who lack financial means with access to high-quality arts instruction – free of charge – in a safe, supportive and artistically rigorous environment. Courses are taught by professional artists in a state-of-the-art, centrally located studio facility. Today, Marwen offers over 100 programs annually to over 2,000 young people from 224 schools and 54 of the city’s 57 zip codes.
Antonia is also an artist who exhibits locally and nationally, and her work is in noted private and public collections. Recent one-person exhibitions include Field Guide, a site specific exhibition at Chicago’s Notebaert Nature Museum; Closed and Open, at the Newberry Library; and Descry, at The Museum of Contemporary Photography. She was awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship in 2002 and an Illinois Arts Council Visual Arts Fellowship in 2007. Her book, Closed/Open: Antonia Contro, was published by The Newberry Library in 2007.
Antonia holds a BA from Northwestern University and an MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she was awarded the Faculty Prize for Graduate Study in Studio Arts. She is on the advisory boards of the STREB Dance Company and SNAAP, the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project.