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Help Young Creatives Become Successful Entrepreneurs

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) MakeWork Council is a group of artists, designers, and entrepreneurs who seek to further Chicago’s cultural and economic growth.

The council starts with a simple goal: support and enable creative people to start businesses.

Comprising SAIC alumni and friends from Chicago, San Francisco, and other cities across the United States, the council is a professional network of advisors and mentors for some of SAIC’s most driven and entrepreneurial students and alumni.

Through strategic support and by awarding small amounts of seed money from the MakeWork Venture Fund, the SAIC MakeWork Council launches the businesses of selected students and alumni who present their cases for funding to members of the council.

Join the SAIC MakeWork Council

Joining the SAIC MakeWork Council has two primary requirements:

  1. A small commitment of time to advise and mentor students who want to start businesses through SAIC
  2. A tax-deductible $1,000 contribution for the MakeWork Venture Fund

The council is made up of professionals from: Facebook, Herman Miller, CB2, CodeNow, Lost Arts, and Studio 424.

MakeWork council members enjoy inclusion in special tours, celebrations, and other VIP events.

Meet the current MakeWork council.

SAIC MakeWork Leadership

Neal Sales-Griffin
CEO, CodeNow, MakeWork Co-chair
Neal Sales-Griffin wants to solve problems, make things, and have fun doing it. As CEO of CodeNow, a nonprofit that hosts coding workshops for middle and high school students from low-income backgrounds, Neal is helping young people learn to solve problems through technology and code.

Claire Lew
Know Your Company, MakeWork Co-Chair
Claire Lew is the CEO of Know Your Company, a software tool that helps business owners with 25 to 75 employees overcome company growing pains. Her software company has helped over 12,000 people at companies like Airbnb and Kickstarter build more open, honest company cultures. Claire’s mission in life is to help people become happier at work. As an artistic outlet, she also loves to paint.

Kendra Foley
Executive Director of Individual Giving at SAIC
Kendra Foley spent 20 years in New York working for arts and education institutions such as the Guggenheim Museum, Thirteen/WNET, and Cambridge in America before coming to SAIC in August 2013. Foley established the MakeWork Council in spring 2015 to support the innate ability of artists and designers to become entrepreneurs.

We believe MakeWork can ignite a movement to support creative entrepreneurs in Chicago and beyond.

For more information about the SAIC MakeWork Council, contact Kendra Foley, Executive Director of Individual Giving, at or 312.369.0983.