Next Stop Chicago: Promoting Investments in Infrastructure Beyond the DNC - City Club of Chicago

Next Stop Chicago: Promoting Investments in Infrastructure Beyond the DNC

Abby Pucker, Anton Seals Jr., Devon van Houten Maldonado

Monday, Apr 29, 2024

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Abby Pucker

Abby is an entrepreneur and cultural producer who is involved in initiatives sitting at the nexus of the creative economy and civic engagement. She is interested in leveraging the collective power and resources of this next generation of business and civic leaders along with creative talent to catalyze economic development through the lens of the creative economy. Abby is particularly focused on Chicago and founded two Chicago based companies – Gertie and Art in Common. Gertie is a cultural agency that aims to bring the next generation of civic and business leaders together through the lens of arts and culture. Art in Common is a non profit organization that produces large scale exhibitions that put emerging and established talent in the same context and conversation around socially relevant themes. ‘

Abby was appointed as one of the co-chairs of the Arts & Culture transition team for the Johnson administration and has continued to build fruitful relationships between the public and private sectors through Gertie as a continuation of the work on this committee. 

Additionally, Abby is very involved with her family foundation, The Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation and has been working to create and execute on a Creative Economy strategy in Chicago over the past 2 years. Abby is a board member of The Marshall Project, Pioneer Works, Ghetto Film School, and the progressive American political organization, Run for Something.



Anton Seals Jr.

Anton Seals Jr. is a South Shore Chicago native. Anton is a multidimensional servant leader, organizer, entrepreneur, educator, community connector and Impact producer.

Anton is the Lead Steward (Executive Director) of Grow Greater Englewood (GGE). GGE transforms vacant city lots into farm businesses, via a network of Black and brown urban farmers. GGE is a social enterprise focusing on building an equitable and resilient local food system that fosters protections of vacant land in divested communities and focuses on connecting those residents with community wealth building opportunities.

Blending his varied interest Seals has consulted with philanthropic, political leadership, corporate, and community based organizations to focus on authentic "equity in action" via community engagement, advocacy/policy and social enterprise development. Seals also works in the arts and cultural space, producing campaigns for nationally broadcasted documentaries. 

Anton is a 2018 Next City Vanguard Fellow and 2010 German Marshall Fellow. Anton is Board Chair of the Woods Fund of Chicago and also serves on the board of Chicago Food Policy Action Council, Friends of the Park, and is Chair The South Shore Works Planning Preservation Coalition. 

Devon van Houten Maldonado

Devon VanHouten-Maldonado is the Executive Director of SkyART, a nonprofit that provides free art programs and creative therapies for young people in Chicago’s most marginalized communities. Since 2001, SkyART has served thousands of youth and children every year in their studio spaces, in schools and in youth detention centers. VH Maldonado first began working with incarcerated young people as an undergraduate student at the Pacific NW College of Art in Portland, Ore. and continues to teach and mentor youth directly impacted by the justice system as part of his role at SkyART. He holds an MA in Social Sector Leadership and Nonprofit Management from the University of Chicago’s Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice, and has written hundreds of articles for international publications like the BBC, Hyperallergic, Frieze Magazine and many others.

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