Board President

Michael Takada

Chief Executive Officer
JASC (Japanese American Service Committee)

Lauren Deutsch

Director of Artistic Collaborations
Jazz Institute of Chicago
410 S. Michigan Ave. Suite 500
Chicago IL 60605

Francis Wong

Creative Director
Asian Improv aRts National

Yukiko Aoki

Aoya Inc.

Juri Sekigucchi

Organizational Effectiveness Consultant

Adjunct Board of Directors

Tatsu Aoki

Executive/Artistic Director
Asian Improv aRts Midwest

Advisory Board for Traditional Practices

Joanne Kiyoko Tohei

Director of Outreach
Tsukasa Taiko

Helen M. Nagata, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Art History
Northern Illinois University

Rika Lin

Performance Coordinator

Steven G Ducklow RRT- NPS

Neonatal Intensive Care Respiratory Care Dept.,
Northwestern Memorial Hospital


Tatsu Aoki

Executive Director

Born in Japan into an artisan family, Tatsu Aoki began studies in the traditional Japanese performing arts at age 3. Upon arriving in the US in 1977, Aoki has become a leading advocate for Chicago’s Asian American community and one of Chicago’s most in-demand musicians on both contrabass, taiko (Japanese drums) and shamisen (Japanese lute). As founder and Executive Director of AIRMW, Aoki has initiated and managed several programs to advance the understanding of Asian American culture and community through the arts, including the Annual Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival and the JASC Tsukasa Taiko Legacy arts residency project. His work as an artist and educator in the cultural arts and as a leader in the Asian American community address as well as define the issues facing the community, including the need for quality artistic programs that reflect the Asian American experience.

Aoki is an acknowledged authority in a wide range of fields, lecturing on the role of the arts in building community, working with the State of Illinois as an authority on issues of cultural competency, and performing traditional Asian music, jazz and new/experimental music. A graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with BA and MFA degrees, he is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Art Institute and has taught courses in Asian American Arts Practices at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago.

Contact Us