Unsilence is thrilled to announce that Annie Rezac has joined us as our first Executive Director. This June, Annie joined our team to lead and grow Unsilence toward our potential as an essential voice for innovative human rights education. Annie comes to us from the Chicago Public Schools’ Department of Arts Education and brings with her an infectious passion for social justice and human rights.
Annie Rezac has been a leader in the non-profit sector of Chicago for the past 15 years. At the Department of Arts Education at Chicago Public Schools, she worked with multiple stakeholders on implementing Chicago's first educational arts plan. Prior to serving the nation’s third largest school district, Annie was a senior manager with Communities In Schools of Chicago where she connected non-profit organizations and cultural institutions across the city with under-resourced public schools. Before that, she was Director of the Metropolis School for the Performing Arts in Arlington Heights, a school with nearly 1,000 students onsite, and more than 5,000 offsite through outreach programs.
Annie currently serves on an advisory panel for Ingenuity Inc., Chicago’s single hub for arts data, advocacy, training, and partnerships, and is a founding Board Member for She Crew, an empowerment organization for girls ages 12 to 14.
Annie is also a trained theatre professional and served as the Artistic Director of Brave Face Project. She has directed, devised, and collaborated on numerous projects across the country with a wide-range of organizations, including: Auditorium Theatre, Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Rare Terra Theatre, Second City Training Center, and Missoula Children’s Theatre.
A QUICK CHAT WITH ANNIE
Annie, what drew you to Unsilence? My great-grandparents were children's book authors, and I remember seeing their artwork as a kid. These were post-war stories, and I got to see the power and importance of storytelling. I became a theatre artist because I wanted to figure out how to use art and storytelling to have conversations about humanity. We need to create spaces to tell truths that aren't often told.
What kind of Executive Director will you be? I’ve been following Unsilence for a few years. I’m moved by the power of Unsilencing. I’m a very transparent individual and believe that sharing our human experiences is the most effective way to heal and grow. I’ve witnessed the inspirational and transformative power that self-expression provides people and communities. I want to be a part of bringing Unsilence’s mission to the world.
What are three things we should know about you? First, I’m enthusiastic and unrelenting when it comes to what I’m most passionate about. Second, I’m a positive person with a strong sense of humor, which offsets my fierce drive for getting things done. Third, I have a genuine sense of awe and wonder about people and their capacity to create and accomplish amazing things. All people deserve to be heard, supported, and loved.
What excites you the most about Unsilence’s future? Everything! Unsilence has such incredible potential, and this is just the beginning. Together, we’ll generate a far-reaching movement of Unsilencing. Everyone will have a place within our organization. We’re building a meaningful community dedicated to changing the landscape of human rights education.
Bonus Question: What's your ideal vacation? I have a dream of going to Africa with Jane Goodall and observing chimps and gorillas in the wild.