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Photograph by Rose Photo. Artwork by Lise Haller Baggesen Ross at Reunion. 

Cortney Lederer is an arts advocate, curator and project manager with fifteen years of experience managing an array of artistic programming for organizations and businesses. From 2011–14 she served as the Director of Exhibitions and Residencies at the Chicago Artists Coalition (CAC), where she designed and managed its two residency programs: BOLT Residency and HATCH Projects. While at CAC, Cortney curated and managed special projects for businesses such as tech incubator 1871, Patron Tequila, TOMS Shoes, Groupon and Taste of Chicago (DCASE). She has curated and produced hundreds of solo and group exhibitions during her tenure at CAC. As a result of her efforts, her programs were cited as producing some of the most promising emerging practitioners in Chicago in the Chicago Tribune (2011) and voted “Best opportunity for emerging artists” by New City’s Best of Chicago (2013).

As of June 2014, Cortney launched CNL Projects (CNL), which provides project-based consulting to organizations with a specialization in curating, project management, program design and development. CNL has worked with notable organizations such as 3Arts, Chicago Artists Coalition, Lillstreet Art Center, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, EXPO Chicago, Fashion Outlets of Chicago, LinkedIn, Wilson Sporting Goods and Hyatt Hotels Corporate Office Chicago. 

In addition, Cortney works closely with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) where she is in process of curating her third Masters of Fine Arts exhibition featuring artists working across multiple mediums. She also teaches two graduate-level courses in the Arts Administration and Policy department and provides professional development workshops to artists throughout Chicago.

Cortney received her BA in Sociology from George Washington University (1999), a BFA from the University of Victoria (2002), and a dual Masters degree in Modern Art History, Theory and Criticism and Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2009). Currently, she serves on the board of Every House Has a Door (previously Goat Island) the Education Advisory Committee for the Chicago Artists Coalition, and Programming Advisory committee for Snow City Arts.