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What is CCRx?

Our Team

Our Team

​Barbara Koenen is the founder and executive director of CCRx. She previously worked for the City of Chicago, as Director of Artists Resources. She is committed to providing access to materials for artists and underfunded educators while improving Chicago's system of sustainability.  See her artwork at

Kathryn T. Fimreite 

Grants, Creative Reuse Product Development

A visual and teaching artist, her teaching activities include virtual classes with Hyde Park Art Center and Arts Integration programs with elementary students at multiple Chicago Public Schools.  Learn more about her art practice at

Mark Molenda

Sales, Special Finds

If you could be anything, what would it be and why?   I would go with water because it provides life. With much hard work and many years, water carves canyons out of mountains.

What's your motto? "Versatility puts the reality of impermanence at ease. "

Matt Ryerse

Warehouse Team 

If you could be anything, what would it be and why? If I could be anything, I'd be clay. I appreciate that it is an accumulation of many different earthen materials transformed by time, able to be formed, broken down, and reformed many times over. As a ceramics artist, clay constantly teaches me about resilience, adaptability, and expansive possibilities. What's your motto? "All that you touch, you change. All that you change, changes you. The only lasting truth is change. God is change." - Octavia E. Butler

Valarie "Feather" Hicks

Warehouse Team

If you could be anything, what would it be and why? If I could be anything, I would be a teacher because when I needed guidance I had to seek answers outside of my own thinking to get perspective on what I can do versus overthinking the limits that I had set for myself/ comfort zone. To be a teacher is to give assistance to someone that was in the same lost shoes as yourself and showing them the proper road of being patient and consistent with every practice that they focus their intentions on.

What's your motto? "Ending Excuses with a Plan!!" 

Jen Cullerton Johnson

Social Media

If you could be anything, what would you be and why? I'd be an acorn and, as Emerson wrote, be "the creation of a thousand forests."

What's your motto?   Creativity is Your Right!

E'a Williams

Creativity Bus

E'a is the founder of T.H.U.G.hippie and the owner and operator of the Creativity Bus. 
 If you could be anything, what would it be and why? I decided along time ago to only live off my passions, purposes and gifts, so I am exactly what I want to be. A multi faceted healing artist.

What's your motto? You have all the answers you need: Unleash Ur Own Guru™️

We work with many members of Envision Unlimited, who create beautiful things and help sort, test, teach and greet, among many valuable contributions.

Board of Directors


Julia Talbot (President) is Senior Policy Analyst for the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services.


William Cosper (Treasurer) is Director of Development at The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

Cheryl Hughes (Director) is Program Director for the San Francisco Exploratorium.  She was senior director of civic engagement at The Chicago Community Trust.

Elizabeth Libby (Director) is Marketing Specialist at Blue Cross / Blue Shield Illinois.  Prior she was marketing for Lake Forest College.

Lauren M. Pacheco (Secretary) is Director of Arts Programming and Engagement at Indiana University Northwest and co-founding Director of Chicago Urban Art Society and the Chicago’s Low-Rider Festival and a former aide to Alderman Daniel Solis.

Barbara Koenen (Founder, Executive Director) is an artist and arts administrator who served as a program director for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events for 20+ years. 

Timothy Samuelson (Director) was the Cultural Historian for the City of Chicago. 

Our Volunteers

Volunteers fuel CCRx. During events and providing regular support in the office, on social media, and working with teachers, artists and donors, our volunteers are an integral component of CCRx's success. Join us!

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