Lila Newman

Lila Newman was the 2014 University of Chicago Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize.

She is an actor, writer, musician and comedian, and received her MFA in Acting from Drama Centre London with study at the Vakhtangov Institute in Moscow.  As part of her Edes year, She worked on a play about Ora Nichols, the pioneer of Golden Age Radio Sound Effects. For more on that project including interviews and images, please see: Edes Grant Project: Ora Nichols.  

Her recent screen work can be seen on Amazon’s Alpha Houseopposite John Goodman and Julie White and written by Garry Trudeau. Stage work includes New York: White on White (Steps Theatre), About Face (The Brick), A Map to Somewhere ElseSomething Wicked (Everyday Inferno). Chicago: A Prairie Home Companion (NPR), The Ballad of Lula Del Ray (Manual Cinema), Sketch Comedy & Improv (Donny’s Skybox at The Second City, iO (Improv Olympic), The Playground), Spectacle Performer (Redmoon),Compass Players (Pocket Guide to Hell), Liberal Arts: The Musical,The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Underscore Theater Company)Williamstown Theater Festival: 356/365 Plays, Uncle Sam I Am (Nikos Theater). London: Hedda Gabler, The Broken Heart (The Platform Theatre), Twelfth Night (Studio Theatre at Kings Cross) Moscow: The Seagull (SADA Theatre).

A graduate of Chicago’s Second City & iO Conservatories and a member of the Playground Theater, Lila’s performed sketch and long-form in venues all around Chicago including: Donny’s Skybox and the DeMaat at The Second City, iO, The Playground, a handfull of dive bars and countless dilapidated storefronts. She performed under many group names, all of them sound like parodies of comedy group names, among them: The Business and Lumberjack Tsunami (Check out reviews in Time Out and NPR Station WBEZ).

She is a classically trained soprano with a passion for belt, folk and jazz. Lila plays an ok piano, a better ukulele and the clawhammer banjo (please, forgive her the last).

Lila writes and contributes sketches weekly to A Prairie Home Companion. With Sarah Rosenshine, Lila also co-writes, produces and acts in Barnum Effect, a radio sketch show. For more on her writing, please see: Writing (Bits & Pieces). 


Marc David Pinate

Aaron Hughes

Aaron Hughes was the 2014 Northwestern University Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize.

He is an artist, activist, teacher, and Iraq War veteran whose work seeks out poetics, connections, and moments of beauty, in order to construct new languages and meanings out of personal and Aaron Hughescollective traumas. He uses these new languages and meanings to create projects that deconstruct systems of dehumanization and oppression. He works with a variety of art, activist, and veteran organizations and projects including: Iraq Veterans Against the War, National Veterans Art Museum, Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative, Warrior Writers Project, Dirty Canteen,  and Center for Artistic Activism.

During the Edes Prize award year, Aaron focused on his ongoing Tea Project that utilizes the space created when someone sits, sips, and reflects over a cup of tea to offers counter-narratives that disrupt the numbing effects of war, detention, and dehumanization.

Spencer Elias

Spencer Elias was the 2014 School of the Art Institute of Chicago Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize.

Spencer was born in San Francisco in 1987. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 2011 before receiving his MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014. Stucky has exhibited Spencer Stuckyin the US and abroad including the Elmhurst Art Museum, and Schingoethe Gallery, at Aurora University, as well as featured in Ambit Magazine (London), and other publications.  Stucky currently lives and works in Chicago, IL and is an instructor at the School of the Art Institute.

By Way of Repose, his Edes year project, is a film that examines a connection between photography, avant-garde dance, and architecture in Stockholm during the 1930’s. Social and familial ties of three figures from this period are used as a narrative framework: architect Eskil Sundahl, Eskil’s son – architectural photographer Sune Sundahl, and dancer Birgit Åkesson. The film features the choreography of Trisha Brown, to highlight a continuing lineage of influence of this location within Modernism. Soloists from the Royal Swedish Ballet performed Brown’s Accumulation pieces in locations that hold a historical significance to the period and individuals examined in the film.