Staff Q&A: Welcome Dee Dee Pacheco!

We are very excited to welcome a new employee to the Urban Gateways family! Dee Dee Pacheco is someone who has always had an appreciation and passion for performing and visual arts. She has made an impact on the arts as an educator and now she is looking forward to continuing creative change as Program Manager of Residency and Special Projects for Urban Gateways. Let’s get to know a little bit more about her!

UG: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What led you to get involved with arts education and Urban Gateways?

Dee Dee: For me, art is a vehicle of communication and human connection. Throughout my career as an elementary teacher and education consultant, Art, whether it be music, dance, visual or drama, is the most effective way in which students could connect to each other, with me, their community and to new academic concepts. So when this opportunity at Urban Gateways presented itself, it just seemed like the right fit.

What do you do as Program Manager of Residency and Special Projects for Urban Gateways?

My vision for my new role as Program Manager of Residency and Special Projects is to ensure quality arts experiences for our youth, teaching artists and the communities we serve through close collaborative efforts, quality assurance initiatives, and ongoing communication with the Urban Gateways Program & Community Partnership Team and all our partners and stakeholders.

What are you looking forward to the most with your new position at Urban Gateways?

Most of all, I am looking forward to being a part of creative change, learning from my colleagues and contributing to thoughtful community arts education movements throughout Chicago.

How are you hoping to see arts education change and improve in the future?

My hope is to see arts education solidify a permanent foothold in the realm of public education as a quintessential source to student learning and in the development of their 21st Century Skills.

What inspires you the most?

The resilience of humanity is what inspires me the most. The many forms in which each individual expresses their ability to thrive despite all they have endured is such an honor to witness. It is always in the little details of a smile, laughter, movement, breath, etc.

If you could meet any artist from the past or present, who would it be and why?

That is a tough decision to narrow it down to just one, but my first choice would be Pablo Neruda. My grandmother introduced me to his writings at a young age and I have always found solace in the spirit of his words, metaphors and his attention to the tiniest details life offers.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I enjoy dancing flamenco, traveling, relaxing in our backyard hammock when it’s warm outside and laughing with friends.

What are some of your favorite places to go in Chicago?

My neighborhood farmer’s market is my favorite place in the city, but I also love all the wonderful restaurants Chicago has to offer. My tummy has become quite spoiled here!

Thanks Dee Dee and welcome to Urban Gateways!!