ALLISON JORDAN: DIRECTOR/LEAD INSTRUCTOR: ACTING DEPT.

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Allison Jordan is Owner of Epic Arts & Entertainment Studio in Calumet City, IL. She is the Founder & Soul Player of ALLISON JORDAN EVENTS, LLC , one of the producers & The Beer & Wine Garden Director of the AFRICAN FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS in Chicago (11 years); the largest African - themed Festival in the world, welcoming over 350,000 attendees over 4 days (Labor Day Weekend). She is the Creator of Libations and Laughter, the official kick- off to the African Fest. Associate Producer of the Starz Network series; Martin Lawrence 1st Amendment Stand Up, CEO and Founder of JORDAN MANAGEMENT a talent, literary, and music Brand management and training company representing some of Hollywood's biggest stars for over 27 years. In 2017 Allison joined the team of The 28th Annual Puerto Rican Festival and secured the World Series Chicago Cubs as a Title sponsor; bringing the Official World Series Championship Trophy to hundreds of thousand attendees to experience at Humboldt Park.


  

As a certified Chef, studying International Cuisine at The Art Institute in Chicago, she won the International NAME THAT SAUCE COMPETITION by Sara Lee Corporation out of 5,000 chefs worldwide, she was inducted into the National Chef Federation and will have her winning sauce part of their international product line for life. She is Founder of Candy Girl, Former owner of Kingpin Eatery Restaurant; Allison is the Project Director for the Barbershop Tour. Founder of Real Men Love; Purple Prom, and Vice President and National Executive Producer of REAL MEN COOK.


  

Allison brings over 34 years of experience in Promotion, Talent Management Consulting, General Management, Sales, Branding, Marketing and Special Events. She is the Co-founder and Executive Chef for Candy Girl Sweets and Candy Girl Volunteer and Brand Ambassadors. While married to NBA World Champion, Craig Hodges, Allison Jordan (AKA Allison Hodges) was General Manager of the ABL's Chicago Condors, the premiere women's professional basketball league, she was the First African American female to run a professional women’s Sports team and her franchise led in ticket and merchandise sales out of 13 states. Former President of Operations for MAMISI, an international E-Commerce Company founded by actor, Wesley Snipes. Allison has also worked in Literary for William Morris Agency, the worlds Largest Licensed Franchise Talent Agency and as Asst. Special Events Director for the City of Chicago, Casting Associate, and Writer and Production Coordinator for HBO, Johnny Carson Productions, NBC and Fox Network shows. She is Founder of SUNDRESS DAY, CLAP BACK FEST, BOTTLES & BOWTIES (events will be held in Illinois: 2018-19) She has also created multi-million dollar brands for Hollywood’s biggest entertainers & corporations, receiving commendations for marketing innovation from both President William J. Clinton & President George W. Bush. Re-branded National Urban League Young Professional seminars with her husband, was responsible for standing-room only panels, & increased overall Urban League conference participation at the Annual National Conference. Allison is currently in pre-production as Producer for the Feature Film: MISTAKEN IDENTITY to film in summer 2019 (Check IMDB).

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LIZA ANTHONY: DIRECTOR/LEAD INSTRUCTOR: DANCE DEPT.

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 Liza Anthony is the owner of Epic Arts & Entertainment and the founder and director of N'spire Performing Arts Company. Born and raised in Calumet City, Liza, began her dance journey at the age of 6 with the Johnson’s Studio of Dance. There she trained in ballet, jazz, tap and acrobats where she stayed for 9 years. As an honor’s student in high school, Liza joined the Thornwood poms/dance team where her years of studio experienced would be utilized quickly, giving her a leadership position of junior captain as a Sophomore. 


She was later promoted to captain and was responsible for choreography, maintaining artistic standards and various operational tasks. After graduation, Liza went to modeling school at John Casablanca’s Modeling and Career Center where she learned about the modeling industry and pursued a career in modeling.  Soon after, she attended Columbia College Chicago where she was a dance major. Columbia is where her dance studies intensified with exposure to more art forms including African dance, modern (various techniques), classical ballet and hip hop. She was an active dance major, performing in every student performance night; debuting her own choreography as well as performing in fellow student pieces.  During this time, Liza started her professional career as a dancer for the Chicago Honey Bear Dance Company. In this company, she travelled the country in the song and dance variety show strongly based in jazz dance. Here she was also able to use her modeling skills in various tradeshows, corporate event and parades. She simultaneously, choreographed for local competition cheerleading teams, quickly moving on to teaching and choreographing for various studios and schools including the Saints Youth Network, Cisco’s Music World, CICS Longwood Academy and the Thornwood High School theater departments. She founded her first dance company, Urban Dance Force, with Columbia classmate, Sheena Baskerville in 2002. This company would go on to perform all over the city of Chicago, in fashion shows, nightclubs, corporate/sporting events and expos, as well as internationally in a Curve Cologne dance competition taking the company to Barbados.  While attending various auditions, Liza was hired as a backup dancer for artist such as Drew Sidora, Rene from Rene and Angela, Doug E. Fresh, R&B group, Nexx Level and a host of local Chicago artists.  In 2003, she became the Dance Director of the Calumet Memorial Park District where she stayed for 12 years, teaching and developing lifetime relationships with the families of Calumet City. 


In 2011, she started the park district's first ever performing arts camp with the musical, Annie. The summer performing arts camps to follow would produce The Wiz, The Lion King, The Princess and the Frog and Beauty and the Beast. After the outsourcing of the dance and theater program at the park district, Liza continued her work independently creating the N'spire Performing Arts Company to keep her following engaged with the arts. She has since taught at Michelle Obama School of the Arts, Mohawk Elementary School, Libby Elementary School, the Matteson Community Center, Dolton Park District and the Danspiration Center.   Liza most recently joined forces with Allison Jordan to form Epic Arts and Entertainment to continue to bring performing arts and entertainment industry training to the south suburbs. Liza’s mission is to inspire the youth through performing arts by teaching them the love, the art and the discipline of acting, dancing and music. The legacy of hard work and excellence continues! 

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Owners Allison & Liza

HOW DID YOU MEET ?

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We are not just partners, we are sisters. "We have been working together for almost 20 years. Liza was the choreography for my client and sister: Drew Sidora. We always talked about opening this Studio." 

WORKING TOGETHER?

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"It is a seamless partnership. She has things in her  wheelhouse and I have things in mine, polar opposite Gifts & Talents, so things get organically completed!"   

WHAT 'S NEXT FOR EPIC?

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 " We will keep expanding programming, giving a space for others to teach and perform and keep listening to the needs of the community we serve. We are preparing for SUMMER CAMP..so register TODAY! 

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BE WHOLE LIFE COACHING

Why do we have in-house Life Coaches and Family Therapists?

Studies of young children who demonstrate a natural affinity for a certain area of performance are vulnerable to overidentifying with their talent. We want to ensure that our Epic Kids have a healthy growing journey through their artistic ability. 


This early intervention for our young performers can prevent them from becoming socially isolated and for our seasoned and novice adult students, it is an outlet to have a neutral and qualified professional to process any challenges.


Being an Artistically gifted child and adult and being trained at the Level we offer at Epic Arts, we know the career trajectory is leading to stardom and fame. Unlike in many other professions, we must equip them with tools, and healthy options to balance this extraordinaryly rewarding career path  and home life.


Epic Arts's BE WHOLE LIFE COACHING assists EPIC members with finding and utilizing existing internal resources to be more successful at solving future problems or creating a better family and social dynamic in life and in the future.  


MEET OUR EPIC INSTRUCTORS

JORDAN HODGES/Boxing Coach

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SENSEI EUGENE ANTHONY/Self Defense and Martial Arts

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GISELE MORRIS/Human Resource Manager

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JOSH BRIGGINS: Asst. ACTING Instructor

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Josh received his MFA in Acting from SUNY Binghamton in New York and BA in Theatre with Distinction from the University of Delaware. He has performed in plays and films in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Milwaukee and more. In addition, Josh has been teaching acting privately, at studios and schools, and in workshops around the country for the past 16 years. 

Josh has an extensive background in theatre, having performed at numerous theatres with a variety of companies, including the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, the Organic Theater, Collaboraction, Bailiwick, The Artistic Home, ImprovOlympic, Tinfish Productions, Stage Left Theatre, Mary-Arrchie Theatre, Speaking Ring Theatre, Stockyards, Point of Contention, Theatre Alliance at Chicago Dramatists, Writers’ Block at the Theatre Building, Symposium at National Pastime Theater, Theatre Q, and more. 
 

LAUREN WELLS-MANN: ACTING Instructor

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Lauren Wells-Mann has been in the arts for 30 years and is an award-winning actor, director and educator. Her work has been seen locally, as well as, nationally.   Lauren is a proud company member and resident director with Ma'at Production Association of Afrikan Centered Theatre (MPAACT) where she has directed and acted in multiple Joseph Jefferson award nominated productions.  Ms. Wells-Mann holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Theater (Acting) from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters in Secondary Education from the University of Phoenix but began her professional acting career with Eta Creative Arts foundation.  It was here that she had the pleasure of working with esteemed directors such as, Ilesa Duncan, Kemati Porter, Runako Jahi and Cheryl Lynn Bruce. She has also performed with companies such as Black Ensemble,  Lookingglass, Harlem Theater Company, Healthworks Theater Company, and Victory Gardens just to name a few.  In addition to these accolades, Ms. Wells has been coaching competitive acting and speech events for the Illinois High School Association and the National Speech and Debate Association for 16 years.  Under Ms. Wells-Mann's direction, students have won numerous state and national championships in various acting and public speaking activities. Lauren Wells-Mann believes that one's voice is the most powerful tool to possess to change the world. 


FELICIA PATTON: VOCAL Instructor

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 Felicia Patton is a lifelong Chicago native. After high school, Felicia received an undergraduate degree from North Park University followed by two graduate degrees from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She was very active while at North Park, having served on worship teams, gospel choir, jazz choir, jazz band, and guitar ensemble. In her previous position, she was the director of traditional worship, where she the directed three choirs. Felicia has continued to sing within the Chicago and surrounding areas as a solo artist and with her band, Chicago Soul Revue. Felicia lives at home with her husband, Marcus, and two daughters.  

LANICE (NEECIE) DENSON: DANCE Instructor

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Lanice is a graduate from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She has a Bachelors degree in Theater and Dance majoring in Dance with a minor in Psychology. She has been involved in multiple performances with the college dance company during her time there including three Dance Concerts put on by the faculty and three Student Dance Concerts put on by the Dance Majors. She has also been in many performances with her dance team on campus called High Definition. Lanice has been dancing since the age of three starting at Susan’s School of Dance in Munster, Indiana. Since then, she knew that dance would always be important to her and enjoys being able to mentor children now through this art form. She would like to thank her family, friends, and her dance family from college for their consistent support and the reason behind her strength and continuous growth. 

EVAN N.J WADE: BEGINNERS ART Instructor

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Evan N.J Wade is a 21 years old An abstract artist that can draw the human imagination. Specializes in drawing, graphic design, oil/acrylic painting, and color  theory.

DERRICK MILLER: Stepping & Line Dancing Instructor

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In 2012  Derrick Miller started teaching classes on Steppin and Line Dancing, this was a challenge that he had been kicking around in in his head for years. It had also been Miller's desire "to" make a difference in his community, by showing the cultural diversity through the spirit of dancing.

After extensive research of the "Black Wall Street" phenomenon dating back in the early 1900's. An African American community of approximately 10,000 residents, created a thriving marketplace with their own dollars, utilizing referral systems and bartering programs. Miller was astonished at the economic success that this community had developed. Within a short time, using their gifts, talents and ingenuity they had established hotels, banks, schools, café's, doctor's offices, movie theatres, restaurants and transportation services, just to name a few. Unfortunately, due to the injustice of racism, that thriving metropolis was obliterated within a matter of hours. Almost a century later, the African American community still suffers from its aftermath.

The project that Miller created in 2012 lends to the restoration of Black Wall Street, “one step at a time”. However, after much soul searching, he took his vision a bit further. As Founder and CEO of Order My Steps Steppers, it is his desire to rebuild the economy of any and "ALL" impoverished communities. His goal is to share information regarding this life changing vision and continue a legacy that was founded right here in Chicago. So for more information, please contact the executive management team at Epic Arts and Entertainment.