High Concept Labs Announces New Leadership

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High Concept Labs Announces New Leadership

High Concept Laboratories (HCL), a Chicago-based arts service organization and artist incubator, announced today that Missi Davis has joined HCL as its new Managing Director. During this time of COVID-19-related uncertainty, she and HCL Artistic Director Yolanda Cesta Cursach Montilla will work together to adapt to the changing landscape, advancing HCL's support of innovative artists and strengthening its community collaborations.

"High Concept Labs is thrilled that Missi Davis has joined us as Managing Director," stated Peter Taub, the performing arts curator who Co-Chairs the Board of Directors with HCL founder Kevin Simmons. "She brings tremendous energy and leadership which we'll all benefit from as HCL charts its distinctive course as a center of new arts development."

Missi Davis is a creative producer and arts manager who specializes in multi-faceted and non-traditional cultural work that promotes and strengthens the intersection of the arts, social impact, and civic engagement. She brings close to 15 years of experience to HCL, having created and promoted hundreds of projects across multiple arts media; and a focus in strategic planning, business development, general management, event direction, and communications. Missi's flagship project has been as the Producer of The Fly Honey Show, now grown into a Chicago institution with strong support and interconnection with its audience. She was a founding member of the Chicago multi-disciplinary arts organization The Inconvenience, serving as both Artistic and Executive Director; and General Manager for the launch of Hebru Brantley's Nevermore Park.

"Everything is in transition", says Davis. "Accepting this position just before the COVID-19 outbreak has necessitated that we get straight to work. It's essential that HCL remains nimble while deepening our resources. As an organization whose core mission is to provide an environment that embraces risk and empowers artists, HCL is in a unique position of responsibility, and I am honored to work alongside Yolanda and with the HCL Board as we explore ways to pivot, advocate for our artists and community, and grow opportunities in an immediate and tangible way."

Davis is succeeding Sharon Hoyer, who joined HCL as Director in March 2019 for a one-year period in order to focus on organizational stability and planning. One of the changes she proposed and implemented is to change the staffing from an overall Director and Artistic Director to two equal positions of Managing Director and Artistic Director, which is being implemented now.

"I'm thrilled to work with Missi.", says Artistic Director Yolanda Cesta Cursach Montilla, "We embrace the same principles and are working in lock step for HCL's singular purpose, which is to strengthen our arts community and broaden access.


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