Karen Benita Reyes, Ph.D.

Karen Benita Reyes, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Karen Benita Reyes, PhD, a product of Chicago’s public schools, and a life-long family-taught fiber and textile artist, is the Executive Director of ArtReach. She is an active member of the Chicago ACT Collective. Before ArtReach, Karen worked as a teaching artist at BBF’s Knitlab program for teens and a college bridge program for formerly incarcerated adults, Dr. Reyes also served for eight years as the Managing Editor of the international academic journal Latino Studies and has held teaching positions at St. Augustine College, University of Illinois at Chicago, St. Leonard’s Adult High School, and Literacy Works. Her history of volunteer service includes tutoring students at St. Leonard’s Academy, UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Young Women’s Leadership Charter School, and National Teachers Academy.

Dr. Reyes earned her Doctorate in 2012 in Urban Educational Policy Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She holds a MA in Linguistics TESOL from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BA in Latin American and Latino Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Dr. Reyes was a 2018 Civic Leadership Academy Fellow through the University of Chicago. She was also a member of the 2015 cohort of the National Guild for Urban Art Education's Community Art Educators Leadership Institute (CAELI) and YNPN Chicago’s 2015 Leadership Institute cohort.