Kick Off Event


Monday, June 26
Rudolph Ganz Memorial Hall


6pm – 8pm 
A screening and panel discussion highlighting work by artists and organizations who use media to advocate for civic participation and social action.

Moderated by Encarnacion Teruel, Director of Visual Arts, Media Arts & Multi-Disciplinary Programs, Illinois Arts Council



Free Spirit, A Tale of Two Cities: North Lawndale, Chicago, Jeff McCarter (Founder/Executive Director), Ashley Smith (Filmmaker)


OVEEITVS/OVEE, The Bad Kids/The Homestretch, Daniel Moretti (National Community Engagement Manager)

kartemquin.pngKartemquin Films, Raising Bertie, Gordon Quinn (Founder/Artistic Director), Ian Kibbe (Producer)

participantmediaParticipant Media, America to Me, Steve James (Director)

representationprojectThe Representation Project, Miss Representation/The Mask You Live In, Lisa Walthers (Director of Sales and Marketing


Vulcan Productions, We the Voters, Dave Ferrero (Senior Program Officer for Education)

Encarnacion Teruel (moderator)

Encarnacion.jpgEncarnación Teruel is currently the Director of Visual Arts, Media Arts & Multi-Disciplinary Programs, and the ADA/504 Access Coordinator at the Illinois Arts Council.

He established the Performing Arts Department at the National Museum of Mexican Art, and was the first Performing Arts Director at the Field Museum of Natural History. Additionally he served as the Senior Cultural Arts Officer for the Chicago Park District where he initiated cultural arts programs on a citywide basis.

Mr. Teruel has served on numerous advisory boards, panels, and committees for arts organizations and foundations. They include the Bush Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Kentucky Arts Council, the Nebraska Arts Council, the Wisconsin Arts Board, the National New Play Network, and Street-Level Youth Media. He has served as a reader for the National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America Fast-Track (CAFT) program the past few years.

He is an avid cyclist, long distance runner, and yoga enthusiast.



Senior Program Officer, EducationDave Ferrero has spent over two decades working in all aspects of education, including classroom teaching, education policy development and advocacy, professional development, and grant making. Dave previously worked to put innovations in standards, curriculum and teacher performance to work in states, districts and school networks. Prior to the Allen Foundation, he worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a Senior Program Officer in education philanthropy and as consultant to the commissioner for the design of alternative teacher certification pathways in Massachusetts. Along with a degree from the University of Redlands, Dave holds an Ed.Din administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University. 


James_Steve.jpgSteve James produced, edited, and directed Hoop Dreams, winner of every major critics prize including a Peabody and Robert F. Kennedy Award.  Other award-winning films include Stevie, winner of the Sundance Cinematography Award, IDFA Grand Jury Prize and the Yamagata Mayor’s Prize, among others; the Independent Documentary Association Award-winning miniseries The New Americans; Tribeca Grand Prize winner The War Tapes, which James produced and edited; At the Death House Door, co-directed with Peter Gilbert, and winner of numerous festival awards; No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson for ESPN’s Peabody winning “30 for 30” series; and The Interrupters, which won an Emmy, Independent Spirit Award, and the DuPont Columbia Journalism Award, among others. James 2014 documentary, Life Itself, was named the best documentary of the year by over a dozen critics associations, Rotten Tomatoes, The Critic’s Choice Awards, The National Board of Review, and The Producers Guild of America.  James also won an Emmy for co-editing Life Itself. His most recent film, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival and has been a hit on the festival circuit, winning several awards.  It was the opening night film for the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.


Kibbe_Ian.jpgIan Robertson Kibbe, Producer, has spent the last 10 years working as a producer and director with close ties to Kartemquin Films. Ian was the engagement coordinator for the award-winning PBS documentary exploring religion, The Calling and the Emmy-nominated design film, Typeface. His work has appeared on CNN, Time, Huffington Post, NPR, and PBS. Ian is multi-racial and has a unique and complex relationship to “race” and identity. As he puts it,”My father is White-American, my mother is Afro-Jamaican. Together they made Macaulay Culkin.”

Jeff McCarter, Founder/ Executive DirectorMcCarter_Jeff.jpgJeff McCarter is the Founder & Executive Director of Free Spirit Media, which he created in order to share his experience as a media professional (cameraman, editor, and Emmy Award-winning producer) with young people from under-resourced communities. In mainstream media, Jeff witnessed the lack of diversity in both representation and opportunity. Now, Free Spirit Media cultivates diverse voices to transform media and society – through in school, out-of-school, and emerging-professional media education and production programs for youth and young adults. Jeff also serves as Executive Producer for Free Spirit PRO, the social enterprise production arm of the organization.

Jeff has worked on feature films directed by Steven Soderbergh and Ron Howard, and on documentary television with ABC News, PBS, and WTTW Chicago. He earned a BA in Humanities and Film Production at the University of Colorado and has studied Non-Profit Strategy and Management at Harvard Business School, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Jeff was a founding co-chair of the Chicago Youth Voices Network and serves on the boards of CAN TV and the Advocate Bethany Community Health Fund. He is a thought leader in the fields of youth media education and digital media and learning, and has presented at multiple conferences, including DML (Digital Media and Learning), ACM (Alliance for Community Media), NAMAC (National Association of Media Arts & Culture), and Media Rise.

Jeff is a fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Emerging Leaders Program, the National Arts Strategies CEO Program, and is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and the Chicago Ideas Week Co-Op. He lives with his family on Chicago’s West Side.

Daniel MorettiMoretti_Daniel.jpg is the Senior Manager, Engagement & Impact at ITVS. He manages the national screening program Indie Lens Pop-Up, and supports other engagement activities for Independent Lens films. Prior to joining ITVS, he worked in both media production and community engagement in diverse locations including San Francisco, Los Angeles, the Philippines, and London. He previously worked with Active Voice, and contributed to the development, implementation, and evaluation of film-based campaigns that engaged audiences in social issues. He also worked with the Global Film Initiative, where he supported film grants, acquisition, distribution, and education programs for their world cinema series to promote cross-cultural understanding through film. He holds an M.Sc. in Gender, Media, and Culture from the London School of Economics and a B.A. in Television/Video Production from Emerson College
Gordon Quinn, KartemquinQuinn_Gordon.jpgArtistic Director and founder of Kartemquin Films, Gordon’s documentaries include Home for Life, The Last Pullman Car, Golub, Hoop Dreams, Vietnam, Long Time Coming, Stevie and The New Americans. Recently he directed Prisoner of Her Past, and A Good Man and was EP on The Interrupters, The Trials of Muhammad Ali, American Arab, The Homestretch, Almost There, On Beauty, Unbroken Glass, Life Itself, Raising Bertie, and Abacus.  Gordon helped create the Documentary Filmmakers Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use and speaks on Fair Use and documentary ethics. In 2015, the International Documentary Association (IDA) honored Gordon with their Career Achievement Award in recognition of his services to documentary filmmaking. 

Smith_Ashley.jpgOriginally from Maryland, and a Ball State University graduate: Ashley K Smith is a freelance video editor working with local creatives like Free Spirit Media to national giants like Cutters and Optimus. 

Lisa WalthersDirector of Sales & MarketingWalthers_Lisa.jpgLisa Walthers brings to The Representation Project twelve years of experience in the public and private sector focused largely on mission-driven organizations in the environmental health and sustainability sectors. Most recently, she was the Director of Channel Partnerships at a national solar company driving the marketing and sales partnerships responsible for 40% of corporate sales. Previously, she worked at multiple nonprofit organizations including The Breast Cancer Fund, The American Medical Association, and others. She has been described as a big picture thinker with a honed skill for tactical execution. She holds an MPH from the University of Chicago Illinois and a B.A. from Trinity College. When she’s not focused on work, she’s wrangling her three kids and husband in the Oakland hills.