Jenifer Vargo Okamura becomes Executive Director

The Miller Beach Arts & Creative District, CDC, LLC (MBACD) is incredibly fortunate and grateful to announce that Jenifer Vargo Okamura, one of the most respected, accomplished, and successful professionals in the nonprofit sector in both Chicago and Northwest Indiana will join us at the MBACD as Executive Director beginning September 20, 2021.

Jen has dedicated her career to the advancement of nonprofits and community-based organizations for more than 25 years. Most recently, serving as the Director of Development for Hospice of Calumet Area for the past eight years. Previous positions include Development & Marketing Director for Association House of Chicago and Director of Development at Erikson Institute.

Educated in Indiana, Jen earned her bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer and masters from Ball State University in Muncie. She also successfully completed the highly regarded Leadership Northwest Indiana training program (LNI40). Throughout her career, Jen has developed notable skill sets in nonprofit management, communications, leadership development, fundraising, event planning, and team building. Additionally, she is a Registered Yoga Teacher who offers classes in the community and continues her education of yoga philosophy and practice and holds future aspirations to develop an ayurvedic healing practice.

Jen is the co-host of the radio show, Speaking of Charity, on WJOB 1230 AM / 104.7 FM, a member of Lakeshore and Duneland Chambers of Commerce, Northwest Indiana Influential Women Association, Tri- Town Impact Club, Friends of Marquette Park / Water Safety Group, and volunteers with the Miller Beach Farmers Market / Miller Beach Arts & Creative District. She resides in her hometown of Gary, Indiana in the Miller Community with her husband Jeff and pup Melody.

Please give Jen best regards in her future pursuits at the MBACD and know that we are excited and energized by her generosity and talent. Onward and upward.

Upcoming events


Allison Svoboda Confluence: Nature as Medium
Life Drawing Open Studio
All in Jest Trivia With Josh Gamble


Artist’s talk by Allison Svoboda
Mudballs Workshop by Allison Svoboda


Sue Reyman & Ginny Takacs Floral photography and paintings


Rashelle Roos & Joe Agati Paintings and sculpture


Cydney Lewis & Art Garcia Collage and paintings


Felix Maldonado Selected paintings


Gallery break Our gallery will be closed in late January while we prepare for our 2024 community show.


2024 Community Show Artists from Gary, Connected to Gary, that have not been exhibited in our gallery
View past events

Miller Beach Arts & Creative District

Mailing address:

P.O. Box 2405, Gary, IN 46403

Gallery Location:

Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts
540 S. Lake Street, Gary, IN 46403
Open Friday and Saturday, 6—8pm, and Sunday 2—4. Find us on , , and Instagram.