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Inspiring Stories from the West Side

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 the West Side’s rising stars below.

Sue Koch

As I found myself at the desks & whiteboards of other business owners walking them through social media strategy and teaching them to use these tools, I found myself FINALLY realizing the true meaning of success. Not a title. Not a salary at the expense of sanity. It was making an income doing something you absolutely enjoy doing. Read more>>

Howard Madison

I’ve wanted to be a writer and performer ever since I could put words, thoughts, and actions together in a meaningful way. To that degree, I believe that the core of writing and performing is storytelling. There are stories all around us that are just waiting to be told. Read more>>

Antonia Ruppert

I’m in the middle of one of my best years. From working on pantyhose paper long ago to now creating original art and community art on canvas for various entities, my art and my story continue to inspire. I’m looking forward to what is next. Read more>>

Danielle Lenczuk, Nicole Galanti, and Casey Galanti

Bow & Arrow Collection started as way for the three of us sisters to combine our skills and create something we love. The store is how we inspire and celebrate all of life’s special moments. We began our journey in 2015 as a pop-up shop inside of a women’s clothing boutique, Felt Chicago, based in Logan Square. We also showcased our collection in a variety of markets around Chicago but always knew we wanted a space of our own. Read More>>

Kimberly Morgan

I started working in the tattoo industry in 2007. I started out doing body piercings, and after my apprenticeship was completed I soon began learning how to tattoo. Since then, I’ve worked in several different shops and learned as much as I could from everyone I met. I also got my esthetics license several years later, which put me on the path to pick up the skill of cosmetic tattooing. Read more>>

Brenda Palmer

Impact The Image presents creative fields not just as a hobby, but as a career path. Impact The Image is a necessary program because children in the inner city of Chicago deal with many internal and external pressures on a daily basis. I believe there is a major need for our youth to develop their voices and evoke change in their communities. I know that presenting the problem doesn’t help, but creating the solution is how we truly make a difference. Read more>>

Mikal Bae

Now, we are where I am today, I’m apart of the SlumpGang777 Collective. So, a lot of my focus is with the collective from doing their music video to set up shows (Shout out to Säge, The 64th Wonder and all the other brothers and sisters that are part of the slump family), and just freelance my talents where their needed, from music videos, to logos to promos, to album art… the list goes on but I do it all. Read more>>

Gonzalo Rizo

I realized one day that we had so many books at home and started researching book exchange projects. There were not many book exchange projects in my community so that motivated me more to initiate one and contribute as a resident in Little Village. I researched current book exchange projects but it was way out of my budget and thought how can helping out cost so much. I found a book exchange project in Peru called Arbolibro managed by Gonzalo Diaz. Read more>>

Teresa Fiehn

I’m an artist and energy worker. Color, numbers, and gut feelings are the only way I know how to function. I love color gradients and poetry. A great color way  looks the same to me as the words in a well-written poem. I’m a natural artist and intuitive. As a kid, my grandmother taught me to crochet and embroidery. Read more>>

Vau’ve A. Davis

My story is shaped by perseverance, ambition, and tenacity. As a product of a single parent home, I overcame a lot to be “the first” and accomplish things that weren’t in my favor, statistically. My experiences have shaped much of my philanthropic work as well as my persistence in building a legacy. I feel that building a legacy is important for us to help others who may not have a blueprint for what works. Read more>>

Claire Doty

I have been in the performing arts since I was three years old, starting with dance. I danced for twelve years until I switched to theatre in high school. After a particularly rough production of Grapes of Wrath, I grew close to members of my high school’s stage crew and then, I fell in love with the program. There is something beautiful about an idea in my head physically manifesting myself on stage. Read more>>

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