Diana Clegg believes in the value and transformative power of the arts to inform our understanding of one another as individuals and as part of the social and emotional fabric of our culture. She has served on the boards of directors for a variety of Chicago-area and national nonprofit arts organizations, including as president of the board of directors for the Arts of Life (a non-profit art studio for developmentally disabled adults) and Playing Out Productions (a gay and lesbian community instrumental music organization) where she facilitated and implemented 3-year strategic plans. Since 1993, Diana has also been a board member and singer with Artemis Singers and has produced numerous choral concerts and other performing arts events, including the 10th Sister Singers National Choral Festival in 2010. Diana comes to Erasing the Distance with a BS in Sociology from Eastern Illinois University, an MS in Human Services Administration from Spertus College, and 20 years’ experience in nonprofit management. She also has 40+ hours of crisis intervention and anti-violence advocacy training. As Manager of the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago RISE Children’s Center, Diana planned and directed the center’s development and expansion, establishing a city-wide reputation as a high-quality provider of specialized child sexual abuse clinical services with a program budget of close to $1 million. More recently, Diana cofounded Third Side Consulting. Her consultation and technical assistance for nonprofit organizations has focused on grant writing, policies and procedures, staff supervision and board development. She has also done significant event coordination, including multi-day conferences, professional workshops, board retreats, fundraising events, weddings and other private parties. Diana is very excited to bring her organizational skills and experience to the operational management of Erasing the Distance.
Heather has been working with Erasing the Distance since November 2013, as an actor and director. She joined the staff in August of 2016 as Associate Artistic Director and then stepped up to the role of Artistic Director in April of 2018. Heather graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Theatre Arts where she placed her focus on acting and directing. She moved to Chicago in 2007 and became the co-founder and Executive Producing Director of The Fine Print Theatre Company in 2009 with an aim to foster new plays that reflect current social and political issues. During her time in Chicago she has been engaged in the development process of over 40 new plays and worked as an artist in many capacities around town. Since joining staff at Erasing the Distance she has traveled across the country with the Custom Programming, introducing the Erasing the Distance style of documentary theatre to thousands of people. In the fall of 2017 she served as an adjunct professor at Dominican University where she taught the Erasing the Distance methodology and ushered students through the full process of collecting, shaping and producing a piece built from the experiences of the Dominican University community. Heather brings to this position an intimate knowledge of Erasing the Distance and a great passion for the work.
Erasing the Distance directing credits include: Veterans Voices, The Forgiveness Project, Through My Daughter’s Eyes, My Other Full-Time Job, Breathe With Me.
Jana Ross is a documentary theatre artist, arts administrator and poet. She is overjoyed to have joined the Erasing the Distance team!
Jana is interested in sharing stories that are underrepresented in mainstream media with the goal of promoting dialogue across generational, cultural, racial, religious and socioeconomic lines. To that end, she has worked with Actors Theatre Workshop, Touchstone Theatre, Cornerstone Theater Company, American Theatre Company and Sideman Productions.
She enjoys thrifting, exercise, word games, trying (burning) new recipes, and taking advantage of all the cultural events and performances Chicago has to offer!
Scott Letscher is thrilled to have joined the Erasing the Distance team. He has an extensive career in administrative theater. Most recently, he was Managing Director for over 8 years with Adventure Stage Chicago at Northwestern Settlement. Before that, he spent 14 years with Steppenwolf Theatre Company in the ticketing and marketing departments. He also has experience as an actor and director, primarily with the late, lamented Terrapin Theatre. He is a graduate of Marquette University with a BA in Theatre Arts.
Mali Anderson joined Erasing the Distance in January 2017. Mali has experience as an art director, designer, photographer, and writer. She writes about culture and parenting for various publications and believes the arts can, and do, improve people’s lives. Mali earned her BFA in Visual Communication at the School of the Art Institute Chicago.