The makers of MAKESPACE.

The artists, musicians, poets, philosophers, and comedians who share their work at MAKESPACE are members of the Chicago community who you might never expect lead a double life as an incredible artist. We see members of the tech community in Chicago who hustle 80 hour weeks building startups coming out to our monthly events, showcasing new songs and works of art they created in the margins of their weeks. We see makers who create music or artwork full time sharing new and experimental works-in-progress at MAKESPACE that they might not yet be comfortable sharing on a larger stage. 

At past MAKESPACE events, we've hosted:

A Sales Consultant + Singer

A Student + Beat Poet

A Designer + Comic Book Artist

A Product Manager + DJ

A Support Rep + Miniature Sculptor


The MAKESPACE Organizers


Jessica Braun Gervais


Jessica Braun Gervais works on artist coordination for MAKESPACE, bringing her talents as a writer, marketer and community builder to help bring incredible new artists into the community. She also leverages her experience from her own former music webzine, Listen Live and Local, and has brought many members of her own community into the MAKESPACE community.

What they MAKE: Articles, videos, blogs and bruised egos (Jessica is a competitive Muay Thai kickboxer)!


Billy Walsh

ARTIST Coordinator

Billy Walsh is the Artist Coordinator for MAKESPACE, working to select which artists are able to be scheduled to share their work at each event. Billy was also Packback's very first Experience Manager working to support the professors who use Packback.

What they MAKE: Graffiti Artist, Improv Comic, and Improved Folk Musician.


Amanda Porter


Amanda Porter is the Community Coordinator for the MAKESPACE events and community. Amanda is also Packback's Talent Acquisition lead.

What they MAKE: Marathon Runner, Endurance Athlete, Mean Gluten-Free Baker


Anh Pham


Anh Pham is the Events Coordinator for MAKESPACE, helping to plan and execute awesome events for the community each time! Anh is also Packback's Operations Lead.

What they MAKE: Painter, Miniature Food Sculptor, phenomenal eggroll-roller


Ernesto “Beats” Rodriguez


“Beats” is a product manager, certified scrum master, and incredible DJ and beat creator. He blends technical skills in his 9 to 5 with a love of music in his 5 to 9. He’s created beats for many other MAKESPACE performers in the past, promoting the goals of collaboration and experimentation.

What they MAKE: Beats, software products, Mixes that make people dance.