Marites Velasquez is the Outreach Director for CHIRP Radio and the bass player and singer for Chicago indie rock band, OVEF OW. She spent the last decade organizing for the PIRGs, a consumer and environmental advocacy group. Born and raised in Las Vegas, Marites left the glitzy lights of the Strip for Chicago seven years ago.
Dan Shapiro is a writer and comedian from Wichita. He is a regular at local writing performance competition, Write Club. He co-hosts a mental illness and addiction themed variety show the first Wednesday of each Monday at Schuba's in Chicago called Psychotic Break.
Wes Needham is an actor, writer and producer here in Chicago, having performed at iO Theater, Second City and ComedySportz. Currently he's Content Director, writer and producer for "Good Evening with Pat Whalen", Chicago's only political late-night talk-show. As an ensemble member of The New Colony theater company, he's appeared in such shows as 11:11, Sordid Little Story, Frat, reWilding Genius, Merge and B-Side Studio. You've maybe even caught him oh-so briefly keeping the streets safe from riff-raff on NBC's "Chicago PD".
Natalie Grace Alford
Natalie Grace Alford was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1987. She was raised in a suburb of Chicago and was classically trained in music from the age of 11. She is a multi instrumentalist playing piano, guitar, and uses loop pedals to perform and make the song live. She has opened for various artists such as Jack Garrett, Nellie Mckay, Tim Fite and many more amazing artists. She was also named The Deli Music Magazine's artist of the month for March of 2017. You can find her music on ITunes, Spotify, Bandcamp, Google Play, and Amazon.
Steve Krakow aka Plastic Crimewave
Chicago-native Plastic Crimewave aka Steven Krakow is known for being a "psychedelic guru"
of sorts, and is the creator of the Galactic Zoo Dossier, a hand-drawn magazine published by Drag City since 2001. Crimewave also runs the Galactic Zoo Disk reissue label imprint that is manufactured/distributed by Drag City and roving label Galactic Archives,
draws/writes the bi-weekly Secret History of Chicago Music comics for the Chicago Reader for over a decade, has exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary art, and has drawn countless comics, posters and album covers....and art for Lush Cosmetics.
2001-2011, PCW headed up Plastic Crimewave Sound, legendary space-punk ensemble that recorded 5 LPs, toured nationally with Acid Mothers temple, Comets on Fire and The Ponys, and whom Julian Cope described as "outtasite." PCW currently leads Plastic Crimewave
Syndicate (who have opened for Hawkwind, Keiji Haino, Loop, Purling Hiss and Woods); conducts the Plastic Crimewave Vision Celestial Guitarkestra of up to 70 guitarists (performed in NY, Hyde Park Arts Center, and every year at the Hideout block party),
and has DJ-ed all over the world--from London to Tokyo.
In addition to writing stories for fun and her own amusement, Micki LeSueur is a creative director and copywriter, writing fiction posing as non-fiction and putting on shows for major corporations and their agencies. She is also the founder and host of Fictlicious, a live reading and music series at The Hideout in Chicago, and president and founder of Coat Angels, a local not-for-profit proving warm winter coats for cold Chicago kids.