Jack Lawrence Mayer

Jack Lawrence Mayer was the 2012 University of Chicago Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize, with David Milton Brent.

Jack is the co-writer and director of Single Long, a seven-episode HBO GO digital comedy. He is the co-creator of numerous web series, including L.A. Famous (2014), and Distance (2015). He is the co-founder of Screen Door, a live movie company based in Chicago. He is the writer and director of numerous short films including, How To Say I Love You with Video (Portable.tv), Exit Ghost @ High Concept Labs, and Five-Fingered Lucy.

Chet Catherine Pancake

Catherine Pancake was the 2012 School of the Art Institute of Chicago Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize.

She is a filmmaker and sound artist. Her work has been presentedcatherine_pancake nationally and internationally in a wide variety of venues, including the Museum of Modern Art, Royal Ontario Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art, Academy of Fine Arts Prague and Big Screen Plaza, Herald Square NYC. Her awards include the Paul Robeson Independent Media Award, Jack Spadaro Documentary Award, Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award, and the Silver Chris. Her films have been broadcast in the U.S.A. and Great Britain (Sundance Channel, PBS, FreeSpeech TV, CommunityChannelUK) and are distributed by Bullfrog Films and the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre. Sound art releases can be found on Ehse Records and Recorded in Baltimore. Pancake completed her MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in May 2012. She is currently a member of the Vox Populi Gallery in Philadelphia, PA, and teaches in the Center for the Arts at Temple University and the Digital Arts Program at LaSalle University.

Genius Project, her Edes Year project, is a feature-length documentary film exploring four creative visionaries who self-identify as queer women. The film uses first-person stories, archival footage, verite sketches, and creative re-enactments to deliver a deeply funny, compelling, revelatory, and ecstatic view into the world of these unusual artists. The film features Eileen Myles, Barbara Hammer, Jibz Cameron, and Shannon Funchess.



Shannon Matesky

Shannon Matesky was theShannon Matesky 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.

Nolan Pearson

Nolan Pearson was the 2012 Northwestern University Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize.

Nolan Pearson has been praised by the New York Times as a “high-energy pianist” who “brought beauty and cohesiveness” to his interpretations of new music. As soloist he has appeared with conductors including Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Stefan Asbury, Bridget Reischl and Robert Hasty and in recital in Europe and throughout North America. Based in Chicago, he appears on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music series and is an Instructor at Northwestern University.

Invested in promoting emerging composers, Mr. Pearson has commissioned many solo works. As original pianist of The New Fromm Players, called “fearlessly accomplished” by the Boston Globe, he worked closely with composers Charles Wuorinen, Oliver Knussen, and Bright Sheng and performed at the Elliott Carter Centenary at Tanglewood. He is active in new music performance and a regular guest performer at the Intimacy of Creativity in Hong Kong.

Mr. Pearson studied principally with Ursula Oppens, Robert Shannon and Jill Sprenger. He has been winner of the Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship and also holds a degree in Biochemistry.