In a city that is divided by so many things: violence, racism, fear and corruption - AOKI seeks to bring us together, give generously, and create beauty. Today, difference divides Chicago, but AOKI believes diversity enriches us. Therefore, we work to create spaces in and through the arts to bring people together, inspire, give hope and plant seeds of change.
AOKI invites talented artists from across Chicago to collaborate and create brilliant and generous art events for the public. Our goal is to create art events that creatively do good, through the use of a variety of unique spaces, and generously engage the artist and the public. These art events will allow artists from different neighborhoods and backgrounds the space to collaborate and communicate, ultimately exhibiting the beauty of unity in diversity . AOKI will utilize a variety of spaces, such as galleries, abandoned buildings, parks and streets in the north, south, east and west sides of Chicago. They will be well curated experiences of diverse art forms including music, dance, graphics, theatre, film, poetry, paintings, and multidisciplinary works.
Supporting AOKI is an opportunity to make these events come to life! Will you pursue this dream with us? Give now.
Aiyana Taylor: Founder and Executive Director
Since childhood I have been formed by and passionate about the arts. My dad earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts and growing up I saw his illustrations and sculptures, around the house. The arts have been an intricate art of my family; dance, music, sculpture, painting, weaving, film, photography etc, and have been where I have felt inspired, nourished and at home with myself.
Once I became a mother, I experienced the beauty and importance of art in a whole new way. I also have grown to understand my strength as a developer, collaborator and catalyst of others. Whether it is raising my kids and fostering their creative development, collaborating with artists to create projects, or helping artists move forward in areas of risk and growth, I have experienced some of my most fulfilling endeavors when I am in contact with artists and the arts.
Starting AOKI brings these passions together on a grander scale of work to bring people together for generative art events for a city I love.
Tiffany Wong: Creative Director
I am an abstract painter with a focus on exploring the internal landscape through art. Not only is it important for me to use art as a way of self discovery, but I believe that it is a beautiful way to connect with humans however similar or different they are. My aim in life is to holistically experience life with curiosity and courage. Art, wellness, and AOKI fit into that vision so well!
Lauren McKeen: Secretary and Treasurer
I have a bachelor's degree in art history and a propensity to provide structure and organization to most situations. I find great joy in hearing new ideas and helping to make them become a reality. AOKI gives me the opportunity to use my gifts and connect with a diverse group of artists in a city that I love.