Staff & Board


Joanna Pinsky
Founder/Artistic Director
Joanna develops our tours, workshops and programs for youth, the elderly and special needs groups and leads most of our education programs for the general public. Joanna also leads monthly critique sessions for professional artists. With an active artistic practice, Joanna has exhibited her shaped paintings nationally and internationally in solo and group shows including several at Perimeter Gallery in Chicago. She is a founding member of Space 900 Gallery, an artist’s collaborative in Evanston. Joanna has a BFA from Cornell University where she studied painting and art history.  View Joanna‘s art:

Lea Pinsky
Executive Director
Lea has been with Art Encounter as a teaching artist since 2002 and as Director of Outreach and Community Programs since 2015. She is a muralist in her creative time, and a former actress on Broadway! Lea looks forward to charting the next chapter of our organization while continuing to cultivate the vision created by her mother, Art Encounter’s co-founder and Artistic Director, Joanna Pinsky. Her mural work can be seen at

Annie Trincot
Communications and Development Manager
Annie is a painter originally from Indiana with a BFA from Indiana University. Prior to joining the Art Encounter team, she was an artist resident at Trestle Gallery in Brooklyn while working as the After-School Program Coordinator and Marketing Assistant for a nonprofit music and art school in Manhattan. As Communications and Development Manager, Annie oversees Art Encounter’s operations and communications and assists Development Consultant Susanna with fundraising and event planning. As an artist, she feels very passionately about public art and accessible arts programming, two major parts of the Art Encounter mission.

Susanna Decker
Development Consultant
Susanna brings more than 25 years of fundraising experience to Art Encounter. As Development Director, Susanna guides all fundraising activities, including major gifts, special events and corporate and foundation giving. Though Susanna is not an artist, she is an art enthusiast and strongly believes in Art Encounter’s mission to empower and connect people of all ages and backgrounds through interactive encounters with art.

Sarah Packer
Art Tours and Travel Manager
Sarah Freeman Packer has been affiliated with Art Encounter over the past 30 years working as a teaching artist and a board member.  Recently, she has come aboard as the Art Tours and Travel coordinator working with our local Expanding Visions program as well as domestic and international trip planning. Sarah grew up in Evanston and received degrees from Northwestern University and National-Louis University (MAT), and is currently a practicing ceramic artist.  While raising two daughters, she developed and taught enrichment programs for young children on the North Shore before returning to Art Encounter last year.

Leslie Luning

Community Outreach Manager

Leslie earned her BA in English from the University of Iowa and a Master of Arts in Education from National Louis University. She began her career in education as a kindergarten teacher at The Marva Collins West Side Preparatory School and then taught kindergarten and 1st grade at University of Chicago’s North Kenwood/Oakland Charter School. She worked for four years at the Erikson Institute as the coordinator of an art integration program with Chicago Public Schools. In 2013 she began her work with Art Encounter as a teaching artist. She teaches the Art Encounter curriculum to children in kindergarten – middle school in Chicago and Evanston.

Dustin Harris
Evanston Mural Arts Program 
Dustin joined Art Encounter in 2017 with the launch of our new public art initiative Evanston Mural Arts Program. Dustin is a painter and sculptor as well as a working deejay most weekends. He has been painting murals with Lea Pinsky since 2005 and co-managing the Mile of Murals in Rogers Park since 2010. He oversees artist selection and site managment for EMAP murals, and works with Lea on all aspects of community engagement.

Board of Directors


Gale Goldstick Cohen

Elizabeth Whiting
Vice- President

Charles Harper


Carol Cohen

Susan Gaud

Marsha Goldstein

Wendy Kleper

Jeff Halldin

Kathleen Hogan McBride

Bonnie McGrath

Irving Miller

Terry Shewfelt

Janis Todd

Peter Vale

Lisa Winn