Originally known as The Air Capital of the World, Wichita has an entrepreneurial spirit combined with Midwestern hospitality and heart. After a massive economic downturn and three-decades-long recovery, the city found itself struggling to establish economic diversity and retain and attract talent. Combined with a low self-esteem perception challenge and massive loss of place due to infrastructure issues, the city found itself receiving a wake-up call to start a revitalization movement. The Wichita League chapter is dedicated to helping re-invigorate Wichita's public spaces, create possibilities for perception change and collaborate with other community arts movements to bring back the soul into the city.
Intervention on Transformation: "Under the Bridge" Summer 2017
From Tijuana Mexico, fell in love with Wichita when she moved in the mid 90s, and then in Wichita, she fell in love with her husband Hector. She is a proud mother of a 17-year-old Wichitan, his name is Yamil. Claudia loves her community, being born in Mexico but growing up in the United States, make her feel very proud of both cultures in her heart, she feels very comfortable engaging and going from the customs of one culture to another, and feels a responsibility to be the bridge between the two cultures she loves, and to integrate other cultures as well to create one nice and healthy community for everyone.
Claudia is a certified teacher in Mexico, went to school for Industrial Engineering for 1.5 years, and has some background on communications and journalism. She has a weekly Spanish radio show in Wichita; Planeta Venus is a community show to inform the Latino community about the things going on in Wichita. Claudia is just starting a business with her sisters; she believes it will help her accomplish her goal in life of connecting communities. AB&C Bilingual Resources, LLC, will start offering Interpreting, Translation and Consulting Services soon.
“I am so excited to join the League of Creative Interventionists and be part of a wonderful team to fulfill a dream I have always had.” – Claudia A. Amaro
As the founder of Yellowbrick Street Team and Director of Special Projects for Downtown Wichita, Alex Pemberton works to increase engagement through urban design interventions and creative placemaking. A native Kansan, Alex has lived in Wichita for over six years after moving to attend Wichita State University, where he earned the Fran Jabara Scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration with majors in Entrepreneurship, Management, and Economics with a Real Estate Emphasis. His tireless advocacy for improved quality of life is reflected in active membership in Young Professionals of Wichita and the Greater Wichita Partnership’s Perceptions Task Force.
With the brain of a businessman and the heart of an artist, Alex finds fulfillment in connecting communities through creative interventions and participative public art. He believes infusing creativity and happenstance into the everyday experience of a city pays dividends both culturally and economically – a prerequisite for a vital city in the 21st Century.
MariaElena is a musician from Wichita, Kansas. Since her teenage years she has dedicated herself to a variety of musical projects, working consistently as the lead composer, arranger and performer. She currently leads multiple bands in Wichita, including The Great Plains, a rock/grunge/metal group, and AOOGAH!, an all-girl post-punk group that she formed as a result of inspiration from participating in Rock & Roll Camp for Girls Oklahoma City. After volunteering in OKC, MariaElena started a new chapter of Rock Camp in Wichita, a non-profit organization dedicated to instilling confidence in young women through music education. MariaElena hosts this camp through her local organization, Women Who Rock ICT, which is a platform for Wichita women to promote their art, businesses, and activism.
MariaElena’s non-profit work began in Beijing, China, where she worked as the Creative Director for a project that did fundraising for the Beijing Migrant Children’s Foundation. During her seven years in China, MariaElena worked as a teacher in primary schools, helping to create and administer the ESL curriculum used in her classes. In addition to her teaching duties, she also developed original music and television episodes for children’s programs. Since her return to her hometown of Wichita, KS, she has dedicated herself to touring and recording with her musical projects, running Rock Camp, and raising her son, Elvis.
Jenny Wiley is a certified professional life coach, and uses her superpowers of empathy, relationship building and seeing the best in everyone to connect with friends, old and new. With a background in advertising and marketing, her knowledge of branding and the importance of sharing your story permeates each of her creative partnerships. Not to mention she's a killer project manager and pretty darn good with a spreadsheet.
Jenny's work is fueled by her passion for play and connection. You may have seen her as a Wayfarer ambassador for Wanderlust Festivals, a camp counselor for Camp Grounded, volunteering at 99u Conference or as volunteer coordinator for Wichita's Yellowbrick Street Team, a collective of volunteers dedicated to tactical urban interventions. When she's not championing for playful interactions or representing brands she believes in, you can find Jenny camping in Kansas with her husband, Dave, and kiddos, Penny and Orion, teaching yoga, or trying new Wichita-brewed beers with her friends.