Josh Caterer is best known as the lead singer of legendary Chicago pop/punk band Smoking Popes. In 2021, he released a pair of lockdown-inspired solo albums, “The Hideout Sessions” and “The SPACE Sessions.” Hailed by fans and critics alike, the Chicago Reader said, “One of the distinctive characteristics of Caterer’s sound has always been the contrast between his choirboy vocals and the crunch of his band, and the allure of that approach has never been stronger.”
Anna Lucero is a comedian, actor, and director in Chicago. She was a founding artist at The Lincoln Loft and produced The Gogo Show there for 10 years. She has performed standup at Zanies, The Laugh Factory Chicago, The NY Underground Comedy Festival, The Burbank Comedy Festival, and The Comedy Store.
Josh Friedberg is an author who is excited to be reading for his first First Time event. His writing has appeared in two books, including the 25th anniversary of Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, and he has done storytelling with You're Being Ridiculous and a TEDx talk on creativity and autism. You can read his Substack blog, Spectrum Sounds, at joshfrmusic.substack.com. He is also a proud DJ at CHIRP Radio, hosting the nerd-tastic eclectic show Music Historian's Corner on Wednesdays at 9am-12pm.
Alicia Nesbary Moore
Alicia Nesbary Moore is Chief Veggie Officer of Herban Produce. A native of Richton Park, Illinois, Nesbary Moore is an urban farmer in Chicago’s East Garfield Park neighborhood. Trained as a molecular biologist, Nesbary Moore oversees the cultivation of crops for her business. It was her vision to help bring new life and economic opportunity to her community, that has historically been a food desert.
Nesbary Moore, a graduate of the University of Illinois, holds a Master’s degree in molecular biology, with a specialty in genetics and plant science, from Chicago State University. She also teaches science and urban agriculture at the City Colleges of Chicago.
She is married to her husband JeVon and mommy to her 1 year old daughter Sevyn.
Keisa Reynolds is a writer, storyteller, and educator. Originally from Richmond, California, they hold a MA in Women’s Studies and Gender Studies from Loyola and a BA in Cultural Studies from Columbia College Chicago. Between 2016-2018, they co-produced Whine Club at Uncharted Books with Nohemi Rosales and CONNECTIONS at Jimmy Beans Coffee with Jenny Chukwu. Keisa's time and energy is split between running a non-profit organization, parenting a toddler, and somehow finishing their first essay collection on navigating mental health and sexuality.
Born and bred on the South Side, Joe Shanahan’s allegiance to his Chicago roots has never wavered. Joe Shanahan has spent the past 40 years contributing to the shaping of Chicago’s music community from his post on North Clark Street. Comprised of Metro, Smartbar, and Gman Tavern, the family of music venues Shanahan and his devoted team have built over the decades has become one of the few remaining independently owned and operated music venues in the country.
Recently, Shanahan’s passionate work has expanded into the economic relief efforts for arts and music communities. His advocacy includes collaborating and campaigning for CIVL as a founding member on behalf of Chicago’s Independent Venues, as well as on a national scale with NIVA, the National Independent Venue Association.