Where could we go: A MAP OF FINDING HOME

Echaka Agba


Echaka is an award winning actor based in Chicago having performed on stages including Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.  For TV/Film, she has appeared on several network and cable programs including Showtime's critically acclaimed comedy series Work In Progress. 

While acting and new work development have been her primary focus over the course of her career, the paradigm shift the world experienced in 2020 has helped her recognize the need and importance of finding new ways to create and engage with storytelling. In short, Echaka decided to get hyphenated. She's now an Actor - Writer - Director - Producer. This essential step towards expansion in skillsets has led her to collaborations with some of the most highly artistic and talented creatives. Currently, she is in pre-production for her short film 3.14.  Find out more info about Echaka's work here and here.



Troy Lewis moved from Texas to Zambia at the age of 7 where he grew up in the capital, Lusaka. He is now a filmmaker and writer based in Chicago, with a BA from Northwestern University in Film and Creative Writing—Fiction. In 2017, he served on the Jury for the Student Section at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. His sitcom pilot, executive produced by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, is currently in post-production, and his most recently completed directorial project, Oglesby Park, premiered on The Wrap.

He served as editor for the Slamdance feature film, Tahara, as well as several installations and short films including Pangaea, screened at Sundance and aired on PBS' AfroPop; and as an assistant editor on features such as Once Upon a River and Saint Frances. In addition to film production, Troy has shot and edited commercial work for Remy Martin, Nickelodeon, Closed Sessions, and more.

His editorial and directorial work focuses on depicting unique perspectives through the textures and rhythms of daily life, evoking emotion and insight through sensory experiences.

Troy Josiah Lewis IV


Kristina Valada-Viars


Kristina/KVV is an artist working in theatre, film and television (and whatever comes next). She is a freelance writer, teacher and a member of the Chicago Green Theatre Alliance. She is working to foster artist-led exchange with communities outside of traditional commercial art circuit cities and actively works to expand casting boundaries within traditional narrative forms. Her work on stage has been primarily devoted to new work development and first and second productions of new American plays. She was the recipient of the 2017 Princess Grace Award and Fellowship for acting and directing in residence with Steppenwolf Theatre Company and a contributing member of the non-partisan Arts and Culture transition committee for the current Mayor of Chicago. She has served on the Grand Jury for the Iris International Film Festival Short Film Prize in Cardiff, Wales. Her short film Invitation Song is currently in post-production and she can be seen in 2020's Chicago made film I Used To Go Here (dir. Kris Rey). She worked with the Chicago based podcast company Make Believe Association as an actor and writer over the course of the company's history.  More information on Kristina's career in theatre film and television can be found here

Photo Courtesy of Troy J Lewis IV