BAC Begins 50th Anniversary Year with New Management Team

As the Beverly Arts Center (BAC), 2407 W. 111th St., Chicago, begins its 50th anniversary year, an innovative approach in facility management is taking center stage. The BAC’s new management team, composed of Artistic Director Shellee Frazee, Development Director Amy Chmura, and Operations Manager Dan Jacobson, will work collaboratively to oversee all aspects of operating the South Side’s premiere fine arts facility.

“Each of these people comes to the table with a complete set of complementary skills and experience required to run the organization at its optimum capacity,” said BAC Board President Barbara O’Malley.  “This team will drive the organization to do extraordinary things as it celebrates 50 years of bringing arts to the Beverly area and Chicago.”

Shellee Frazee manages the programming and administrative staff, and oversees the School of the Arts, main stage events, and Simmerling Gallery. Born and raised in Iowa, Frazee established herself as a director/choreographer and performing arts instructor in the Quad Cities. She relocated to Chicago in 2008 and was Managing Director of Redtwist Theatre before joining the BAC staff in 2009. Frazee has served the BAC as a teaching artist, coordinator for all arts disciplines and interim Executive Director. She was named Artistic Director in 2014. She has a Bachelor of Arts in theatre from St. Ambrose University and over 30 years of professional experience performing, touring, directing and choreographing.

Amy Chmura focuses on capital contributed support, including individual and corporate donations, memberships and grants. She will also manage fundraising events and the annual gala. Chmura has more than 25 years of experience in development, marketing and communications. She has a Master of Arts in Organizational Communications and received her Certified Fundraising Executive Certification in 2015. Chmura has held positions in development and marketing for Chicago area not-for-profit organizations including a regional tourism association, social service agencies and municipal government. Her expertise includes donor relations, corporate and individual giving, event management, grant writing, marketing and volunteer coordination.

Dan Jacobson manages the day to day maintenance of the facility and all aspects of the building and grounds. Jacobson has been working for Chicago area not-for-profit and arts organizations for more than 15 years. He was Theater Manager at Lewis University, General Manager for Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and a General Manager for Blue Man Group. Jacobson also served as the Director of Operations for the Arts and Business Council of Chicago for seven years. His most recent position was Operations Manager for the National Audubon Society/Audubon Great Lakes. He holds a Bachelor’s degree with a concentration in painting from Lewis University and has a Masters in Interdisciplinary Art from Columbia College Chicago.

“The Beverly Arts Center is heading into a new era,” said Board member Ed Laginess. “As we enter our 50th year, our goal is to honor our past and look to the future.”

The BAC will celebrate its 50th anniversary at events throughout the year, including the gala in April where past board members and their contributions to the Center will be recognized.  “We truly want to thank these folks, our members and the community for their support through some difficult years,” Laginess said.  “We have weathered the storm and now is a time to prepare for the future and celebrate our accomplishments.”

As a not-for-profit regional fine arts center, the Beverly Arts Center is supported by memberships, gifts and grants.  Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. For more information about the BAC and how you can contribute to its mission to provide fine arts education and programming in visual and performance arts, call 773-445-3838 or email Development Director Amy Chmura, amy@beverlyartcenter.org.