About the Fellowship
Throughout the year, Julie will utilize her deep skills to encourage all ages to share their stories, be brave, and get creative! Adults and children alike will learn how to tap into their imaginations through written and spoken expression.
Julie is most looking forward to getting to know the children, adults, and artists of West Michigan through engaging creatively with them. The local culture, community, and geography influence the art that gets made, the improvisation that happens, and the rich stories that are told.
About The Artist
Julie Ganey is a multi-disciplinary artist and educator whose work encompasses writing, storytelling, theatre, and improvisation. Her projects reflect a deep belief in the power of stories and collaborative artmaking to build community and break down barriers between individuals and groups. She is happy to now call both Chicago and Michigan home.
As a professional actor, she has appeared on many Chicago stages, including Victory Gardens, Northlight, Chicago Dramatists, Shattered Globe, and Drury Lane Theatre. Julie has written three original solo plays, The Half-Life of Magic, Love Thy Neighbor…till it hurts, and Good Enough, which have been produced by 16th Street Theatre, Next Theatre, the side project, and throughout the Midwest – including Salt of the Earth in Fennville.
As part of the award-winning comedy ensemble Wavelength, Julie spent years performing all over the U.S. and leading workshops for teachers and executives on communication skills, conflict resolution, and improvisation.
She is an active member of the Chicago live lit storytelling scene and is a company member at 2nd Story. Julie is a tenacious advocate of arts education and has served in leadership positions at theatres of various sizes where she creates performance pieces with collaborators ages 3 to 93. She is one of the founding members of Arts Ed Chi, Chicago’s first coalition of teaching artists and arts administrators, and has designed original programming for organizations such as Northwestern University Law School, the Illinois Holocaust Museum, and American Girl Place. Julie is an adjunct professor at The Theatre School at DePaul, and a long-time teaching artist for the GeNarrations program at the Goodman Theatre. (AEA/SAG-AFTRA)
What does “play” mean to Julie?
For me, the idea of play is inextricably linked with artmaking. When we’re trying to create something new – whether it’s a bit of writing, a piece of theater, or some kind of visual art – starting from a place of playfulness and curiosity tends to not only make the art better, but also make the process more enjoyable. Why is the art usually better? Because play keeps us open to discoveries and the unexpected. Because rather than imposing some preconceived idea on what we are trying to create, we can be intuitive and connected to our unconscious, which is more expansive than our conscious mind.
Get creative with Julie at programming all year long. From family programming with your favorite little human, storytelling workshops, and behind-the-scenes information on being a performer – there are so many creative opportunities to work with Julie this year!