Resume posted by jrvarisco in Museum and Gallery.
Desired salary: $85,000.00
Desired position type: Full-Time
Location: Chicago Illinois, United States


Joseph Varisco is a public programming producer focused on HIV within underrepresented and underserved populations.
Varisco is the creator of the QUEER, ILL + OKAY: HIV Impact Education (QIO) arts and education series, which explores the contemporary experience of living with HIV/AIDS and served as Public Program Director at Alphawood Gallery (Art AIDS America, Then They Came for Me). He began his career at the intersection of arts, healthcare education, and advocacy following his own diagnosis with HIV finding it vital to offer a visible and public presence within his community. Varisco is the recipient of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Chicago Community Trust, and Visual AIDS grants and was included in TimeOut magazine’s ‘Pride of Chicago’ issue. Most recently he has joined SAGE as their HIV & Aging Coalition Coordinator bringing together leaders from organizations focused on national aging policy advocacy at the state and federal level.


  • MSW in Community Health and Urban Development, Jane Addams School of Social Work – University of Illinois at Chicago, (2012)
  • BA in Public Policy, National-Louis University, (2010)


SAGE: LGBTQ Aging Services – Washington DC

HIV & Aging National Coalition Director                                                     2019 – 2020

  • Assembled a national coalition of 50 HIV/AIDS advocacy organizations
  • Coordinated strategic public policy efforts in southern and rural areas focused on communities of color, transgender, aging, and other underrepresented and under resourced populations, which included:
  • Coordination with HRSA, CDC, and NIH to improve the lives of HIV and aging populations
  • Ensuring equitable representation of 35 HIV aging individuals on Ryan White Planning Councils
  • Produced comprehensive telehealth access policy, broadband access in rural areas
  • Conducted needs assessment of HIV aging populations in Puerto Rico
  • Introduced LGBT Bill of Rights legislation in Florida
  • Design and implementation of HIV aging national educational awareness campaign
  • Authored a landscape review/white paper on HIV and aging populations nationwide
  • Provided training guidelines to ~250 healthcare, community service, nursing and retirement facilities, government aging bodies, and ASO’s on HIV and aging cultural competency
  • Archived biographic stories of 95 HIV aging individuals from across the country
  • Outreach to 500+ organizations to compile data on COVID-19 impact on HIV aging populations


QUEER, ILL + OKAY (QIO): HIV Impact Education*- Chicago, IL                2012 – Present

Executive Program Director

*QIO: HIV Impact Education is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Via QIO I have supported the creation, implementation, and management of DEI and accessibility mission centered series of public programs and projects.


Public Program Director, QUEER, ILL + OKAY (QIO) Productions

Multidisciplinary public program and art series exploring the contemporary experience of living HIV.

  • Coordinated 50+ partners and venues globally
  • Designed emergency COVID-19 response direct service programs. Serving 250+ households within vulnerable populations
  • Awarded Illinois Human Rights Commission Activist (2019)
  • Generated seven years of 20k annual audiences
  • Awarded 23 grants ~700k benefitting HIV/AIDS & LGBTQ+ advocacy programs:
  • Developed 250+ programs; 12 Awards / Recognition for outstanding community impact




Curator, Salonathon

Led as curator, producer, engagement, communications officer, and media management for weekly performance series over seven years.

  • Oversaw activities involving 3k+ multidisciplinary performance artists


  • Generated a 10k Audience: Activate Loop Alliance Production (2017)
  • Lead Chicago Performance Labs Residency Mentor (2018)
  • Achieved publication in TimeOut, Chicago Reader, and Tribune Recommended



Community Engagement Officer, North Halsted Business Alliance

Hosted series of focus groups with key stakeholders focused primarily on underrepresented and under resourced populations to assess DEI improvements

  • Introduced the Equity Standard Commitment for all 84 participating businesses


Program Director, Chicago Queer Arts Mentorship Program

Led design, development and pilot of first year intergenerational LGBTQ+ program cultivating growth opportunities for underrepresented and under resourced communities


  • Awarded City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Grant
  • Partnerships with High Concept Labs, Broadway Youth Center, Center on Halsted and 10 additional LGBTQ+ youth and aging community organizations
  • Acquired Navy Pier Performance Presentation Partnership


Creative Director, Chicago IRL

Creative Director for local arts and literary digest documenting Chicago’s LGBTQ+ populations featuring 200+ artists; archived at Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago’s Read / Write Museum and Gerber Hart Library and Archives.



Alphawood Foundation Gallery – Chicago, IL                                                    2016 – 2018

Director of Public Programming                                             


Provided programming, outreach, and engagement strategies to nationally touring exhibition Art AIDS America and Then They Came for Me

  • Oversaw 200 HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs
  • Coordinated 150+ creative talent
  • Established 75 community coalition partners
  • Garnered 100k unique audience engagements


The Inconvenience Arts – Chicago, IL                                                               2015 – 2018

Director of Development / Curator                                          


Developed and led curator strategy, community engagement, grant research, donor relations, and board prospects; led as Curator of 250+ emerging artists

  • Achieved a 50% increase inclusion objectives success rate
  • Acquired 2000 new audience members annually
  • Tripled grant and sponsorship prospects


Heartland Alliance – Chicago, IL                                                                    2010 – 2011

HIV Prevention Social Media Campaign, Heartland Alliance

Consulted on design and facilitated implementation of social media educational strategies promoting HIV prevention for Nigerian MSM at four site locations totaling 5000 engagements




Microsoft: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, SharePoint
Mac: KeyNote, Pages, Numbers
Google: Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, Maps, Slides
SEO: Ahrefs, Google Search Console, AWR Cloud, DeepCrawl, Majestic, Moz Pro
Analytic Tools: Google Analytics, Clicky, Leadfeeder
Project Management Tools: Trello, Asana, Basecamp, Hive, Teamwork, Slack
Video Editing: Final Cut, Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, iMovie, Premiere Elements
Audio Editing: GarageBand, Adobe Audition, Audacity, Ableton Live, StudioOne
Graphic Design/Photo Editor: Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator, Pixlr, GIMP, Corel AfterShot Pro, Luminar
CRM/Fundraiser Tools: Raiser’s Edge, Kindful, Salesforce, DonorSnap, Bloomerang, Zendesk, ConstantContact, Agile, Zoho, Hubspot, Monday, Insightly, Blackbaud
Crowdsourcing: Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, Patreon, GoFundMe, Ulule
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Blogger, Buffer, Hootsuite, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, TikTok, SnapChat
Web Design: Wix, SquareSpace, WordPress,
Newsletter: MailChimp, Survey Monkey
Video Conference: Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Cisco, Google Hangouts
Privacy Services: Ghostary, HTTPS, AdBlocker, VPN, Tor Browser, Dashlane, LastPass,
Social Audio: Spotify, SoundCloud, GrooveShark, BandCamp, MixCloud, Pandora,
Social Video: YouTube, Vimeo, Twitch
Cloud Services: iCloud, Dropbox, OneDrive, GoogleDrive, Sync, box,
Accessibility (Subtitling, Transcript, Translations): HappyScribe, GoTranscribe, Notiv, Amazon Elastic Transcoder, SimonSays, Maestra, Verbit
Coding Languages: HTML, CSS, Python, JavaScript, SQL, C++
Mobile App Development Tools: AppyPie, Zoho Creator, BuildFire, ApacheCordova, Flutter


    AIDS Healthcare Foundation Award, Dramatists Guild Fund Award (2013), Selected Awards and Recognitions

Spoken Languages

    English, Intermediate Spanish