Our Artists

Pon Angara
is Principal of Barkada Creative — a branding and design studio for nonprofit organizations, and leader of Barkada Circle — a team of artists coaching nonprofits on how to tell more compelling stories about their mission. Part artist, part engineer and part advocate, Pon brings diverse perspectives together to show leaders how bold ideas can transform their organizations into positive agents of change. As partner to nonprofits, Pon is passionate about helping create their distinct brand using his depth of real-world experience in communication design, event marketing and storytelling. Eight years in academia started him off with a unique understanding for applying the principles of science, business and the arts in innovative problem solving. Pon graduated from The University of Illinois at Chicago with a BS in Engineering Management, BFA in Industrial Design and BFA in Graphic Design.

Pon has collaborated with Habitat for Humanity International, A Silver Lining Foundation, Adler Planetarium, American Academy of Implant Dentistry, American Association of Endodontists, American Heart Association, Business Marketing Association, Chicago Yacht Club, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Green City Market, Local First Chicago, and The Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management.

bc_jessicaJessica Christopher
is co-founder of Joone Studios where she is also the Creative Director. Joone is a boutique video production company that offers full production services ranging from script writing, editing and post production. Jessica has been working in the film and video field for eight years, the last three of which have been with Joone where she has written and directed video projects for clients hailing from a variety of industries.

Nalani McClendon
is a consultant to organizations, businesses, and political campaigns creating strategies for media, fundraising, and marketing. Nalani has a wide range of experience in the nonprofit sector that includes teaching at University of Hawaii, managing a community media arts organization, and creating partnerships for New Frontiers of Knowledge, a program focused on preparing underrepresented high school students for college-level course work. Building constituencies and coalitions in the metropolitan Chicago region has been one of Nalani’s passions. Her volunteer commitments have included leadership positions in Latinos in Development, National Association of Artist Organizations, and Women in the Director’s Chair. She has a B.A., Asian Studies from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois and has done post-graduate work in Information and Library Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Lindsay Obermeyer                                          

is a Chicago-based author, educator, and artist.  Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally at venues including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MA), the Milwaukee Art Museum (WI), the Museum of Arts and Design (NY), and Centro Colombo Americano (Columbia).  Her work is in the national collection of Sweden, as well as numerous public, corporate and private collections in the United States. Lindsay’s community and performance art program, The Red Thread Project®, involved thousands of knitters from around the world and over 7,000 handmade hats donated to charity. The project received national media attention and was awarded the prestigious Kresge Foundation grant in collaboration with Springboard, a St. Louis art education agency.

As a project designer for the crafts industry she has an insight into the needs of retailers having owned a textile art supply store. She designs original models for use in book and magazine editorials, advertising, in-store displays, and trade show booths.

Lindsay views her role as artist to be synonymous with that of an educator and as such has always included teaching as part of her art practice. She’s never sure who learns more, her or her students. She’s taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Northern Illinois University, and the Chicago Public Schools among others and has lectured extensively throughout the United States and abroad.  She is currently a full time adjunct professor at Chicago State University.

Francesca Peppiatt
is a writer and performer who lives with her husband, writer Douglas Tonks, in Chicago.  She received an Emmy Award nomination for her writing on Country Notes, an entertainment news magazine show on The Nashville Network (TNN).  Her other television work includes production stints with TV icons Dick Clark, Love Connection, and Hee Haw.  She has also appeared on The Paula Poundstone Show with Paula and Lily Tomlin, on The Rosie O’Donnell Show as part of the “Rosie look-a-like” audience, and tap-dancing in a film choreographed by Twyla Tharp.  Francesca trained with Second City in Santa Monica.  In Chicago, she performed in Tony’n’Tina’s Wedding, Lust’n’Rust: The Trailer Park Musical, and numerous other productions in Chicago.  Francesca is the Producing Artistic Director of Stockyards Theatre Project, playwright, actor and author of 3 books.

Gregg Steigmeyer
has been working as a special events entertainer for over 30 years.  While attending Northwestern University, he was spotted by a choreographer doing a mechanical man routine in the school’s annual Waa-Mu Show and began to work professionally.  Initially featured in fashion shows and as a live mannequin in store windows, he soon found himself performing at events and conventions.   After earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre/Interpretation from NU, he had the opportunity to study mime in Paris where he resided for four years.  Upon his return to the States, he branched out and began writing and speaking as a performer.  He has produced over 100 custom-written murder mystery events for clients across the US.  Other team-building activities he has created include games and scavenger hunts for malls, museums and corporate retreats.  Over time, he added various characters to his repertoire to animate parties and nightclubs.  For over twelve years, he has also run remote control robots at trade shows and store openings where he presents client information with a humorous, improvisational spin.

Gregg has always loved stories and is known for his anecdotes about the unusual work situations he often finds himself in.  As a mime, he has learned to communicate silently, telling a story with nothing but himself on an empty stage.  As a writer, he has had to take the background of various companies and create compelling characters and scenarios.  He has a knack for taking information from a client and gleaning the nuggets that will hit home with an audience. Gregg has taught workshops in both Europe and the US.  He looks forward to helping others tell their stories with words or without.

Stan L. Wood
From the time he was so young he had to look up the word’s meaning, instructors and mentors have called Stan Wood “a born pedagogue”.   And to this day, whenever he learns or experiences something new, his greatest passion and joy is to share it with someone else. After being awarded a university scholarship in keyboard performance, he often confounded advisors by insisting on branching out into fields like philosophy, psychology, English literature – things that music majors simply were not supposed to make time for.  Even within the School of Music, he stepped outside performance boundaries to be Assistant to the Director of the Music Theater and staff accompanist to the Department of Dance.

During graduate studies, while in demand as a soloist, accompanist and vocal coach, he began his quarter-century of music ministry, serving as Director of Liturgy & Music for large metropolitan churches throughout the southwestern United States and Michigan.  Highlights of those years included mentoring countless students; concerts and lectures for audiences ranging from a few dozen to 2,000; serving as Retreat Master for parish groups and as Spiritual Director for individuals; and overseeing the renovation of an historic E. M. Skinner pipe organ.  In the early 1990’s Stan was one of 5 American delegates to the World Congress of Pastoral Musicians in Vatican City, Rome.

Following an injury that ended his public performance career, Stan entered the corporate world and soon found himself once again telling stories, helping people learn and inspiring excitement in varied roles as public relations spokesperson, marketing assistant, and entrepreneur for retail and charitable business projects.  He also continued his intense explorations in the “art and discipline” of meditation and contemplative prayer, including training with the Monks of Taizé, France, and with Discalced Carmelites, Benedictines, and Eastern Orthodox religious throughout the United States. Most recently he studied to serve others as a Reiki Master practitioner.  As Outreach Minister for Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Stan continues to assist people in discovering their passions, nurturing gifts, sharing stories, and deepening their spiritual life.

© 2011-2014 Barkada Creative LLC

2 thoughts on “Our Artists

  1. Pon Angara just led a national training conference call for Habitat for Humanity International. We were thrilled with his expertise, preparedness, communication skills, and passion about storytelling. We loved Pon’s ability to spark audience interaction and his incorporation of real-world Habitat storytelling. Very impressed by the Barkada Circle talent.

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