Brendan P. Foster has over 15 years of leadership experience serving the nonprofit sector and joined NVAM on Feb. 2 after most recently serving as Chief Operating Officer at Albany Park Community Center in Chicago. Prior to joining APCC, Foster was Associate Vice President at Family Guidance Centers, Inc., where he designed, developed and managed programs for adults suffering from addiction. Foster was a three-term member of the Lincoln Park Community Shelter Board of Directors, where he has volunteered in a variety of roles since 1998. He holds a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Nonprofit Administration from North Park University, where he currently serves as an adjunct faculty member, and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Clarke University. Brendan lives with his wife and two sons in Park Ridge.
Destinee Oitzinger started at the NVAM as an intern in the summer of 2011. She quickly found a home at the museum as it piqued her interests–academically and personally. Destinee holds an MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History, Theory, and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She received her BA in Art History from the University of Minnesota, Morris. Her interests include the social impact of public art and architecture, new media art history, and Modernist art theory.
Christine Bespalec-Davis joined the NVAM in November 2012 to serve as the education coordinator for the museum. Christine graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Masters in Art and Art Education and was drawn to the NVAM because of her research on the role of personal narratives and art making in creating transformative educational opportunities. She is a practicing artist that actively shows her sculpture and installation work around the city of Chicago. She also is a member of the sculpture faculty at SAIC, an avid gardener and proud mother of two. Her goal is to expand the education programming at the NVAM to build strong sustainable community collaborations and outreach to area schools and education professionals.
Monica Moki Tantoco is a Chicago-based educator and artist. Moki graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the BFA with emphasis in art education program in 2014. Certified with a Illinois Professional Educator License in K-12 Visual Arts Education, Moki encourages exploring social justice issues and multiculturalism in creating lesson plans and socially engaged art practices through interdisciplinary means such as public art, performance, photography, video, and installation. Moki currently represents the NVAM as a teaching artist through After School Matters and YOUmedia.
Monserrat Monse Wisdom graduated from DePaul University with a double major in Anthropology and International Studies. She began as in intern in the summer of 2014 where she quickly gained experience leading the volunteer program. In addition, she is currently in charge of grant management and overseeing donations and membership. Monse has displayed exceptional management qualities having been the leader of DePaul University’s Japanese Media and Appreciation Club. She also enjoys public speaking and storytelling, and is particularly drawn to the ongoing narratives created by the museum.