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Congo Women - partners

Congo/Women is produced by Art Works Projects and the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media Columbia College Chicago.


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Curator and Co-Director: Leslie Thomas
Creative Advisor and Co-Director: Jane M. Saks
Exhibition Design: Art Works Projects (Greg Doench, Leslie Thomas) and Real Design Associates (Jurgen Riehle and Margot Perman)
Graphic Design: Real Design Associates (Jurgen Riehle and Margot Perman)
Translation: Anne Alma, Julia Pourtois, Nita Evele
Printing: Portland Color
Fabrication: Duvall Designs
Voice Recording: Cheryl Lynn Bruce
Sound Design:
Website Design: Compound Design
Digital Exhibit Editor: Eric Argiro
Post Production: Union Editorial
Original Music: Mario Grigorov, Pamelia Kurstin, Jaron Lanier, Sussan Deyhim

Special thanks: Kristin Ensch, Emma Ruby-Sachs, Jane Sachs, and Sara Slawnik

The CONGO/Women team is grateful for the support of the many individuals and organizations which have assisted this work, including:

Jane Cohan
Christian Del Sol
James Haygood
Ken Horowitz
Steve Kinney
Sloane Klevin
Patricia MacDonald
Jayme McLellan
Harley Meyer
Mariana Tosic

Leslie Thomas is an architect, curator and the founding Executive Director of Art Works Projects, an organization which uses visual advocacy for human rights crises. »More

Jane M. Saks is the Founding President and Artistic Director of Project&. She is a cultural alchemist, arts advocate, and producer, as well as a writer and educator. Saks strives to challenge and champion issues of gender, sexuality, human rights, race and power within the worlds of arts and culture, politics and civil rights, academia and philanthropy. She is a leader, creator and collaborator.

In 2005, Saks was appointed the Founding Executive Director of the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media, known as the “Institute”, where she served as Executive Director until January 2014. Under her leadership, the Institute offered an innovative approach to merging arts and cultural production with critical theory, research and education– the first and only entity of its kind in the nation. The award-winning Fellowship program she conceived garnered international acclaim, launching works that have gone on to win Pulitzer Prizes, McArthur Genius Awards, Obie Awards and Guggenheim Awards.

As a published poet and writer, Saks collaborates with artists including Kerry James Marshall, Jim Hodges and Inigo Manglano-Ovalle. She has served as the Producer, Co-Producer, Creative Advisor and Series Producer on many original creative works in various media and art forms including “Sweet Tea: Gay Black Men of the South,” “MILKWEED,” “Congo: Women Portraits of War,”(which has traveled internationally to over 25 venues including the U.N., New York and Geneva, the Nobel Peace Center,  Norway, Yale University, Connecticut, Brussels Parliament and the US Congress and Senate as part of the hearings on Darfur and the DRC.), JOMAMA JONES, *RADIATE, and the award winning international radio series in partnership with Chicago Public Media and National Public Radio “Gender, Human Rights, Leadership and Media.”

She serves on numerous boards including: Cultural Advisory Council for the City of Chicago, appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Trustee, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Advisory Board, The Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA), Board Member, Radio Diaries of National Public Radio, Advisory Member, South African Constitutional Court Artworks and Architecture Committee, LGBT Leadership Council, and the Programming Committee and Women’s Leadership Committee of the Council on Global Affairs. She is an invited lecturer at civic, cultural and educational institutions internationally (including, the United Nations, School of the Art Institute, New York University, Arts Alliance, University of Chicago, Field Museum of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, The New School, Northwestern University, University of Michigan, UNFPA, and the US State Department) and has been a Visiting Critic at Yale University. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and Rome University.

She had received several Awards and Honors including: Women of Valor Award (2008), Business and Professionals in the Public Interest, “40 Who Have Made a Difference” Award (2008), Leppen leadership Award, About Face Theatre (2009), Impact Award, Chicago Foundation for Women (2010), Visionary Award: Rape Victim Advocates (2010), BeyondMedia Education’s Media Justice Award (2010), Changing Worlds Leadership Award (2013), Pride Index Leadership Award in recognition of her partnership with and support of the African American LGBT communities (2013), Inductee, City of Chicago’s Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame (2008), Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow (2005), Fellow, International Leadership Program, National Arts Strategies (2011-2013)

To get involved or to learn more, please contact us at

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