Back to All Events

Parent Forum: Careers After The Academy

Join the Academy Parents Association on April 26th for their final Parent Forum of the year "Careers After The Academy." Academy alumni working within and outside the arts will discuss their careers and how The Academy prepared them for success. Speakers include Marli Jones (Creative Director of Rebel House), Lisa Burback (Broker at @Properties), Stephen Gawrit (Director of Sales and Operations for heartbase, Inc.), Robert Benirschke (Researcher at Northshore Health System), and Shannon Greene Robb (President of Arranmore Arts LLC). Q&A to follow. Moderated by Parents Association President Joe Krueger.



MARLI JONES, Creative Director of Rebel House, Visual Arts '05

Owner Marli Jones started her career in the design forward city of San Francisco where she received a master’s degree in Interior Architecture and Design with an emphasis in adaptive reuse. Marli worked as a senior designer for prominent West Coast residential design firm Martha Angus LLC, before moving to Chicago, IL to be the senior designer for real estate development group AJ Capital Partners.

At AJ Capital Partners, Marli was part of a creative team that developed, designed, branded, and launched a collection of boutique hotels across the United States. While at AJCP, Marli also worked on the redesign of the rooftop bar J. Parker at Hotel Lincoln in Chicago and was the senior designer on the gut renovation of historic hotel Pontchartrain in downtown New Orleans.

LISA BURBACK, Broker at @Properties, Music '01

A multigenerational native Chicagoan, Lisa has deep passion for this city and its rich history. Her career in the real estate industry began as a social media consultant for a local brokerage, which quickly evolved into a management position. After 3 years of managing a brokerage office of over 50 agents and assisting brokers achieve their sales goals, she joined the Philip Schwartz Real Estate Group as a broker, and swiftly began working with buyers, sellers and investors.
As the Philip Schwartz Real Estate Group made its transition to @properties, she took on the expanded role of Team Manager. Lisa is using her creative marketing, organizational, and management skills to push the team forward towards greater success, and to keep their clients’ transactions moving smoothly and effortlessly.

STEPHEN GAWRIT, Director of Sales and Operations for heartbase, Inc., Theatre '04

Stephen Gawrit is a Chicago-based sound designer, composer, & playwright. Credits include: Iago’s Plot (UIUC); Sycamore (Raven Theatre); The Body of an American; The Bottle Tree (Stage Left Theatre); Push Button Murder; We Three; Jet Black Chevrolet (the side project); Animals Out of Paper (Shattered Globe); Three Sisters (The Hypocrites); Hammer; Marat/Sade; The Archivist (The Right Brain Project); Heathers: the Musical (Oakton Community College); Gilgamesh & George (The Plagiarists); All Girl Dracula (The Chicago Mammals). Stephen is a proud graduate of the Chicago Academy for the Arts (Theater, ‘04), studied at the National Institute of Dramatic Art Australia (NIDA), and is a continuing student of Shozo Sato.

When not working on theater endeavors, Stephen is the Director of Sales and Operations for Chicago-based software company heartbase, Inc.

SHANNON GREENE ROBB, President at Arranmore Arts LLC, Music '89

As a graduate from The Chicago Academy for the Arts, Shannon’s aspirations led her to Berklee College of Music in Boston, to pursue a major in Piano Performance.  As fate would have it, a year of playing too hard on the keys left her unable to play piano for three years, and it was at that point in her career when she began to play with everything else.  After earning a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from DePaul University, Shannon found freedom outside her classical training through Columbia College Chicago‘s Masters program in Interdisciplinary Arts.  There, Shannon’s passion for all artistic media flew to new heights as she collaborated with other artists throughout Chicago to create work that defied the traditional constraints and labels of “art” through performance, composition and installation, and in turn inspired her to continually push the boundaries of what is possible.

Shannon’s work has been featured in multi-media installations and performances at Chicago area venues including Woman Made Gallery, Glass Curtain Gallery, Links Hall and Ruth Page Center for Dance. She was the first alumna to be named Chair of the Music Department at The Chicago Academy for the Arts and has worked as Musical Director for various theatre companies and schools throughout Chicagoland. Shannon recently created a large scale photo installation in downtown Naperville which is part of the global art project "Inside Out" featured in TedX Naperville. She played piano for Artistic Director, Lara Filip in Lara's self titled album "Stop Time" released in October of 2016 and was recently appointed by The City of Naperville as a Commissioner for Special Events Cultural Amenities (SECA) and serves on the board of ARTSpeaks.

Today, ArranmoreArts is Shannon’s pinnacle: a place where “what if?” is a constant state of mind and art ingenuity is the blood that pulses through every vein of the organization, dedicated to the constant evolution and innovation. 

Earlier Event: April 21
Theatre Directing Showcase
Later Event: April 28
Visual Arts Spring Exhibition