Malik Gillani is the Founding Executive Director of Silk Road Rising, a position to which he brings extensive experience in producing, management, and business development. He is thrilled to be advancing both the rich cultural legacy of the Silk Road and greater visibility for Silk Road artists. Gillani nurtured Silk Road Rising from its embryonic stage into a celebrated theatre company, integrating business acumen and fiscal responsibility within an artistic mission.
He is a recognized leader in the creation of innovative arts programming that expands artistic access. Most notably, he conceived of and developed SRR’s model for creating online video plays which are now being accessed across the globe. Gillani conceived of and established SRR’s arts integrated education program, Myths to Drama, which was heralded as one of the finest elementary school arts education programs in the Chicago Public Schools system. He also conceived of, developed, and piloted a new arts education program for high school and elementary school students in partnership with San Diego’s Playwrights Project called EPIC (Empathic Playwriting Intensive Course).
Gillani earned a Bachelor's in Liberal Arts from St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, with an emphasis on the Great Books. He is a Kellogg Executive Scholar (Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University) and has been awarded a Certificate of Professional Achievement in Nonprofit Management. Gillani received a Masters in Non-Profit Administration from North Park University. Additionally, he has 15 years experience operating technology consulting firms where at various points in his career he was responsible for sales, marketing, negotiations, contract management, and human resources. Gillani has been a volunteer grant reviewer for the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council, and the City of Chicago’s CityArts Program. He has presented papers at local and national conferences on arts leadership, innovation in the arts, and infusing arts practices into community organizing. Gillani is the recipient of the IBM Business and Technology Leadership Award and was honored by Changing Worlds for Outstanding Contributions to the Arts. In 2009, he received the Chicago Community Trust Fellowship Award.