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Who We Are

Mission Statement

Make-Believe Association is a community of artists and audiences who believe that telling stories together, and talking about what they mean, creates a more vibrant democracy. Our productions showcase Chicago’s finest actors, writers, and sound designers for a national audience; our public conversations draw on the insights of Chicago’s kaleidoscopic population. All our work aims to advance essential American ideals: pluralism, equality, and having a good time.


founder and executive producer

Jeremy McCarter

Jeremy founded Make-Believe Association in 2017, after spending five years on the artistic staff of the Public Theater in New York, where he created and ran the Public Forum series of performances and conversations. He is the co-author of Hamilton: The Revolution, with Lin-Manuel Miranda, a #1 New York Times bestseller, and the author of Young Radicals, a nonfiction account of idealistic Americans fighting for their ideals, which The Wall Street Journal called "brilliant, even inspiring." He participated in the first Obama Foundation summit of young civic leaders, and served on the jury of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He studied history at Harvard and lives in Chicago.

Board of Directors:

Roderick Branch

Jeremy McCarter

Andrea Wishom

Stephanie Ybarra