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Downtown’s Rising Stars

The heart of our mission at VoyageChicago is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the Chicago’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool. Check out Downtown’s rising stars below.

Orel Chollette

In the 6th grade, my mother handed me my first laptop. That was around the same time, Youtube started to become a thing. Instead of just watching videos for pleasure, I immediately wondered how videos were made. I began to teach myself how to edit visuals and share them online. Read more>>

Alyssa Bove

My creative interests led me to a major in Architecture with a minor in Studio Art. In college, I learned the elements of design. Then during my studies, my passion led me to apply the concepts of architectural design to jewelry and fashion. I started using the computer programs from Architecture to create jewelry designs. Read more>>

Andreece Nikudinovski

I’m talking about talent, of course! I wasn’t really aware how much of it I had until I was 16 years old and found myself thrown into a beginning chorus class to fill an empty elective. I dreaded it. From the time I was young, I knew I had the ability to carry a tune, but I had zero interest in developing my voice. Read more>>

Tamaka Stephens

Event planning is something I have always loved, I’ve had the pleasure of planning so many private engagement’s for friends and family, When I started planning affairs I never really thought of it as a career it was something I did for fun, and because I like things to be organized. Read more>>

Alison Velazquez

I launched Skinny Souping originally as a direct to consumer business online and what we quickly found was that people loved our soup. In order to give customers more access to our soups, we launched into a handful of Whole Foods stores locally in Chicago in 2017 and have had a tough time keeping the product on shelf! Read more>>

Ashley S. Moy

I do my best work when I am passionate about a problem I’m solving. I wanted to work on a project that was impactful and challenging and that I could be passionate about in what would have been my last year of school at the University of Illinois. Read more>>

Keanon Kyles

I can’t sing Rigoletto, my voice is too young!” But Clyde Opera’s belief in me inspired me to take on the challenge and in Summer 2017, I had two emotionally driven, euphoric sold out shows. I’m so humbled by the opportunities I’ve had thus far and have learned following the journey and not worrying about the destination makes life more enjoyable. Read more>>

Tina Brown

I found myself working more on the computer and less in the darkroom. It was during this time that I realized how much more I could create and incorporate with my photo work. My approach became more about telling a story while working in multiple mediums. After school, I needed to find how I can turn my creativity into a working career. Read more>>

Sharon Ringier

I’m humbly blessed to proclaim that I will be celebrating the 23rd anniversary of my 30th birthday in March, I have two amazing sons Keith (31 yrs. old) and Kevin (27 yrs. old) who are my legacy, and have been married for over 33 years to my husband Dan. I come from a corporate background but knew something was missing because I’ve always had a creative side to me for as long as I can remember. Read more>>

Melanee Cooper

At the age of 26, I opened my first gallery in Lakeview named Art Meca where I represented hundreds of artists across all media from fine crafts to objects. After about seven years there and a few more years spent dedicated to raising my kids, I reopened the gallery in Lincoln Park and began to incorporate paintings. In the late 1990’s, I found a wonderful space in River North and began to focus even more on paintings. Read more>>

Bernardo Medellin

Burger Club Chicago is a group of friends on a search for the best burgers in the city. We got our group together at the beginning of 2018 because we all obviously love burgers, but also because this would be a great way for all of us to hang out once a month and catch up on life. None of us consider ourselves food critics, columnists, bloggers or Instagramers, but we really enjoy getting together and Burger Club is the perfect way to do it. Read more>>

Shilpa Alva

My motivation began when I was a child visiting extended family in India. Issues related to the water crisis were so prevalent that I saw children my age who didn’t have the luxury of playing; instead many were fetching water for their family’s survival. Even as a seven-year-old child, I knew this was not the way the world should be. Access to safe water is a critical aspect of daily life, and everyone should have it. Read more>>

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