Cali Kasten was the 2017 DePaul University Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize.
Cali is a classically trained musician turned corporate convert with a knack for combining the artsy and the analytical. She is a co-founder of Chicago Symphonic Winds, a not-for-profit organization founded to fill the need for quality performances of wind repertoire in the Chicagoland area.
A passionate advocate for the arts, Cali’s musical background was the foundation for her work as an arts administrator. She still maintains an active performance career and has been noted for her sensitivity and versatility as a percussionist, having performed in a variety of ensembles and musical styles. Cali can be seen across the Midwest in venues ranging from storefront theaters to Orchestra Hall.
Cali graduated with honors from DePaul University where she received her B.M. in Performing Arts Management. She is a member of the Percussive Arts Society, Social Enterprise Alliance and the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network.
During the Edes Award year, Cali worked towards building a sustainable model of acquisition, maintenance and rental/redistribution of percussion equipment to help fulfill the artistic needs of Chicago’s music community.
Karly Bergmann was the 2016 DePaul University Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize.
Bergmann received her BFA in Dramaturgy/Theatre Criticism from The Theatre School at DePaul University where she also received The Louise de Marillac Women of Spirit and Action Award. She found shadow puppetry when an old overhead projector was discovered in her closet, and has since been captivated by the enchanting effect the medium has on an audience and the visual dramaturgy inherent to the work.
Bergmann’s shadow puppetry reimagines the folk tale for a modern
audience. She has adapted The Green Ribbon (The Wretched Nobles Film Screening “Best of 2015” pick), Tatterhood (The Dollhouse Female Filmmaker Festival), and created shadow projections for the world premiere of the musical The Mountain Digby (MCL Chicago). Bergmann’s work has been performed at Constellation, The Den Theatre, and in DIY venues around Chicago. She is proud to have worked with Manual Cinema, National Cool Theater and the art festival 2nd Floor Rear.
During her Edes Year, Karly furthered her studies in shadow puppetry by attending festivals and workshops across Italy. These included the the Incanti Festival in Turin and an intensive international shadow puppet workshop held annually by Teatro Gioco Vita in Piacenza. The Edes Prize also supported the creation of a weekly shadow puppet GIF and monthly street performances in Rome.
Jeffrey Levin was the 2015 DePaul University Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize.
Jeffrey is a composer, sound designer, musician, and sound engineer based in Chicago IL. As a freelance artist Jeffrey has contributed original music, sound design, and music direction for over sixty productions for various theaters and performance venues in and outside of Chicago. He is an Artistic Associate of Profiles Theatre where he contributes all music and sound designs for the past five seasons. Other theaters Jeffrey has collaborated with includes Steppenwolf, About Face Theatre, Strawdog Theatre, Stage Left, TUTA, Step Up Productions, Dead Writers Theatre, Chicago Fringe Opera, Collaboraction, ChiArts High School, McGill University, and Columbia College. Awards and Recognitions that Jeffrey has received in addition to the Edes Foundation Prize includes two Equity Joseph Jefferson Award Nominations for In the Company of Men (Sound Design) and In God’s Hat (Original Music), both at Profiles Theatre. He was also winner of the Kleinman Composition Competition for his original work for Clarinet and Electronics. Jeffrey received his Masters of Music in Composition at DePaul University and Bachelors of Music in Composition at Columbia College Chicago.
Matt Ulery was the 2013 DePaul Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize.
The Chicago-based bassist/composer and bandleader has developed an instantly recognizable sound. Known for his sweeping lyricism, unconventional phrase structures, expressionistic emotionalism, Ulery’s music is informed by the entire spectrum of jazz, classical, rock, pop, and folk– specifically American, South American, Balkan, and other European folk styles. He performs not only on upright and electric bass, but doubles on tuba.
For a decade, Ulery has been the leader of his own groups and frequent collaborator. Ulery has produced and released 6 albums of all original music under his name including his three most recent releases of critical acclaim, “By a Little Light,” “Wake an Echo,” and “In the Ivory,” on Dave Douglas’s Greenleaf Music record label in 2012-2014.
Ulery earned a Master of Music degree at Depaul University and Bachelors degree in music composition at The Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and has played in bands with Kurt Rosenwinkel, Phil Markowitz, Jimmy Chamberlin, Fareed Haque, Grazyna Auguscik, Howard Levy, Patricia Barber, Goran Ivanovic, Jeff Parker, Zach Brock, and many others. As a composer, Ulery has collaborated with ensembles such as eighth blackbird and the New Millennium Orchestra of Chicago.
When not touring parts of the U.S. and Europe, Matt appears regularly in the Chicago area music venues and has performed with his groups at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Chicago Orchestra Hall, Millennium Park Pritzker Pavillion, Chicago Cultural Center, The Krannert Center, Blues Alley, Jazz Showcase, The Metro and countless other fine music listening rooms.
Shannon Matesky was the 2012 DePaul Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize.
Shannon hails from Berkeley, California where she began as one of the youngest poetry slam champions in the Bay Area, at age 14. Shannon has since been apart of Brave New Voices College Tour, the final season of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, and numerous stages across the country as a poet and actress. She has performed with many talents such as Talib Kweli, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Danny Hoch, Rachel McKibbens, George Watsky, Rafael Casal and countless others. Shannon also features in the award winning documentary 2nd Verse: The Rebirth of Poetry (Corduroy Media) and is author of her first solo play She Think She Grown.
An alumni of Depaul University’s Theatre School, Shannon holds a BFA in Acting. Some of her theatrical credits include, A Raisin in the Sun (Merle Reskin), Electricidad (Merle Reskin), Welcome to Arroyo’s (ATC), Chicagoland and Hit The Wall (The Inconvenience), Sonnets for An Old Century (UrbanTheatre Co.), Sophocles: Seven Sicknesses (The Hypocrites) and The March (Steppenwolf Theatre). Shannon also assisted Chuck Smith in directing Race by David Mamet at the Goodman Theatre. Shannon is signed with Paonessa Talent Agency.
Shannon is also an activist and teacher that encourages forward movement toward enlightenment of consciousness. She works independently to develop curriculums that fit the demands of the current youth culture. Shannon has worked for organizations such as Young Chicago Authors, Youth Speaks, Step-Up Women’s Network, Kuumba Lynx and others, aiding young adults in technical and life skills.
Joe Clark was the 2011 DePaul Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize.
He is an active composer and arranger, and has been on the faculty of DePaul University since 2012 and Northwestern University since 2014.
Joe is an arranger for The Negaunee Music Institute at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, writing for the Once Upon a Symphony and Orchestra Explorers programs. Clark’s music has been performed by Yo-Yo Ma, Rene Fleming, Randy Brecker, Jon Faddis, Marquis Hill, Kurt Elling, Phil Woods, Ira Sullivan, Julia Bentley, the Chicago Brass Quintet, the Chicago Sinfonietta, Bob Lark and his Alumni Big Band, the Tom Matta Big Band, the New Standard Jazz Orchestra, Chicago Q Ensemble, V3NTO, the Spektral Quartet, players from the Grant Park Symphony and Louisiana Philharmonic, and ensembles at DePaul University, University of Cincinnati CCM, Truman State University, University of Illinois Chicago, and others.
His horn arrangements can be heard on many albums, including Kanye West and Malik Yusef’s “G.O.O.D. Morning G.O.O.D. Night”. His awards include multiple Luminarts Awards, the Kleinman Composition Award, a DownBeat Student Music Award, and the Claire and Samuel Edes Foundation Prize for Emerging Artists. Joe is also in demand as a producer for recording sessions in a variety of styles.
Additionally, Joe Clark is a trumpeter and bandleader with two recordings as a leader: “Lush” (2013) on Jazzed Media Records and “The C.O.W.L. Sessions” (2014) on Sparks & Shadows.”
Rachel Walshe was the 2010 DePaul Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize.
“In Chicago Walshe made a name for herself as a director of plays by and about women at DePaul and with the Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, where she earned a best-director nomination in the 2009 Jeff Awards for These Shining Lives . . .
Walshe relocated to her native Rhode Island in 2010. There, with support from the Edes prize, she continued to develop her sills in the role of visiting artistic director at Providence’s Perishable Theatre,
which is widely known for its annual International Women’s Playwriting Festival as well as its regular program of new work by women.
Walshe’s new title opened doors, enabling her to network with other women directors and playwrights throughout the country. In addition to producing the theater’s 15th women’s playwriting festival, Walshe directed Carson Kreitzer’s 1:23, a harrowing work taken directly from the confessions of two women convicted of killing their own children.
‘The Claire Rosen and Samuel Edes Foundation Prize for Emerging Artists gave me a sturdy launching pad,’ she continues. ‘I’ve been invited to direct a number of plays throughout New England — my home — which is very exciting. I feel blessed and very charged that my year was so successful in that respect.’ ”