DIRECTORATE

Board of Directors

SANDRA INOUYE
PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD
Professor and Chair, Department of Anatomy – Midwestern University
LAUREN DEUTSCH
VICE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD
Former Executive Director of Jazz Institute of Chicago Currently Freelance Consultant
YUKIKO AOKI
BOARD SECRETARY
Co-owner, AOYA INC.
LENORA LEE
BOARD MEMBER
Executive Director – Lenora Lee Dance, LLC
c/o Asian Improv aRts
JURI SEKIGUCHI
CNA
AVP, Organizational Effectiveness & Transformation
BRADLEY A. YEE
BOARD TREASURER
GenRyu Arts – Advisory Council Chair,
Retired Banking Executive
email:bayee@airmw.org
JOYCE ASHIZAWA-YEE
Administrator, GENRYU ARTS + NATIONAL GINTENKAI PROJECT
FRANCIS WONG
Asian Improv aRts National, Chair

Advisory Board for Traditional Practices

Joanne Kiyoko Tohei
DIRECTOR OF OUTREACH, TSUKASA TAIKO
4427 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60640 | telephone: 312-338-4957 | email: Joanne@airmw.org

Helen M. Nagata, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Art History (School of Art and Design, 201B) Northern Illinois University
1425 W. Lincoln Hwy. DeKalb, IL 60115 | Division office telephone: 815-753-7923 | email: hnagata@niu.edu

Steven G Ducklow RRT- NPS
Former Neonatal Intensive Care/Respiratory Care Dept., Northwestern Memorial Hospital
telephone: 312-472-1000 | email: ducklow@att.net

Lisa Sloan
Japanese American Citizens League, 
Chicago Chapter Treasurer 
6301 N. Hamlin Chicago, IL 60659 | telephone: 630-887-6417
 | email: Lease927@gmail.com

Adjunct Board of Directors

TATSU AOKI
EXECUTIVE/ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Asian Improv aRts Midwest

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.