Lauren M. Pacheco is a third-generation Mexican-American born and raised on Chicago’s southwest side. She is an arts and culture practitioner with 15 years of professional experience in arts administration, curation and project management. Her experience is grounded in social practice and public engagement with a personal mandate to responsibly and respectfully invest in targeted communities. Pacheco has become a resource to policymakers and has helped engage in the public dialogue about issues that impact artists and creative enterprises.
She is co-founder of the Chicago Urban Art Society, the Chicago Lowrider Festival and, in 2012 – 2015 Pacheco curated the award-winning public art initiative, ‘Art in Public Places’ along the 16th street viaduct in Chicago’s Pilsen community. In September 2017, Pacheco won a public art grant that will transform outdoor vacant space in Gary, Indiana into a walkable, art-park. Additionally, Pacheco serves as Artistic Director for #PAINTGARY, a blight-art initiative bringing over 40 pieces of public art to Downtown Gary’s historic Broadway Avenue.
Currently, she serves on the executive board with Chicago Creative Reuse Exchange (CCRx), and steering committee member with the Indiana Arts Commission. She has received grant funding from the Knight Foundation, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Legacy Foundation, Chicago Community Trust and the National Association for Latinos Arts and Cultures. Pacheco has presented, and guest lectured with Creative Mornings Chicago, the Association of Arts Administration Educators, Illinois Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture, Pratt Institute, the University of Chicago, Michigan State University, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, among others. She holds degrees from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL (Communication Studies), School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Arts Administration and Policy) and, the University of Illinois at Chicago (Social Work). Pacheco is an adjunct faculty member and Director of Arts Programming and Engagement at Indiana University Northwest (IUN) in the School of the Arts.