Charles Matlock – Founder, Curator, Executive Director
Charles Matlock started his DJ career in Chicago in 1984 and has spent many years learning from his longtime friend and mentor, Grammy Award winner, Frankie Knuckles. Since 1984, Charles has held more than 25 club residencies and has performed as a DJ at more than 100 clubs and events in Chicago, New York, Toronto and Miami, including the Edge of the Lookingglass and SideCar Café in Chicago. In 1987, Charles was hired to be State Street Records’ first record pool director and in that position he was responsible for breaking all of State Street’s hits in Chicago. Further, Charles is also an ASCAP songwriter and music producer and currently has releases on 3 different record labels in 3 different genres of dance music. He also often records as a spoken word artist under the name “The Voice”.
Charles is regularly a featured panel speaker at entertainment industry conferences and he has been a voting member of Miami’s Winter Music Conference. Charles was commissioned to work for Burrell Communications as a Project Supervisor on a DJ based international advertising campaign in conjunction with the 2004 Olympic Games. Charles was also commissioned to present a paper on the history of House music at the National Librarian Association’s Conference in Chicago.
Charles is a practicing entertainment attorney and he has been drafting and negotiating entertainment industry contracts since 1996 (please see for more information). In 2001, Columbia College Chicago hired Charles to teach their Club DJ class and he is currently their most senior instructor teaching the class with more than 100 hours of classroom time. Charles wrote the curriculum for his Club DJ I and II classes. Further, Charles was interviewed in 2000 for Chip E’s documentary on Chicago house music “The Un-Usual Suspects”.
He was featured in Chicago based Rolling Out magazine in 2002 and was also interviewed by ABC-Chicago’s 190 North show for his involvement with the Music Industry Workshop’s DJ Academy and he was also interviewed in 2010 for a New York Times article on Chicago House Music. Most recently, Charles presented a workshop as part of the City of Chicago's "Summer of House" at the Chicago Cultural Center and the Smithsonian Institute will display items from the Foundation's archive and Charles
work as a DJ at the Edge of the Lookingglass and his first turntable.
Lauren G. Lowery - Chief Archivist
Lauren G. Lowery has over 20 years of urban community development, Inner city studies, Black history archiving and public speaking experience. Her extensive knowledge in modern archives practices provides proper guidance for any new archival or museology project’s growth and stability.
Throughout Ms. Lowery’s extensive and diverse career, she has been involved with managing long term strategy, developing and managing educational programs and initiatives and overseeing operational infrastructure for non-profit and for profit organizations. Additionally, she has negotiated preservation and accessibility deals with some of the Chicago areas most prominent professionals and activists. Ms. Lowery received her Master of Arts in Inner City Studies at Northeastern Illinois University, Carruthers School of Inner City Studies in Chicago, Illinois. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Combined Engineering Studies / United States History from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Lauren is a member of The American History Association, The Association for the Study of African American Life and History and former member of the Metroboard of the Chicago Urban League.
Lauren G. Lowery has worked as Special Projects Archivist at the Kemetic Institute at Northeastern Illinois University. Responsibilities included processing and digitizing the collection of Dr. Jacob A. Carruthers’ extensive audio and video repositories. She is a specialist concerning content appraisal, privacy issues, state and federal policies and regulations. As Special Projects intern with Dr. Christopher Reed, Professor Emeritus at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois she was responsible for designing, evaluating and executing the outreach strategy of the Black Chicago History Forum. Duties included marketing, managing and reporting on the delivery of historic document and artifact collection from members and their member institutions. Critical to her work with scholar Dr. Reed, was raising the profile of the Black Chicago History Forum to expand the support for the non-profit organization’s initiatives and mission.
Ms. Lowery obtained her Professional Certificate in Archivism from the Modern Archives Institute at the National Archives in Washington D.C. and is a Professional Certificate candidate at NeighborWorks America in Community Revitalization.
Maurice "Judge" Chaytor - Director
Judge has been a patron of Chicago's dance music community since 1977. From 2009 through 2014, Judge was Personal Assistant to the late Grammy Winner, Frankie Knuckles and he traveled the world with Frankie in that role. Judge has been a consistent student of the Dance Music Industry and his insight and guidance is a valued asset to the Foundation.
Frank Washington - Director
Frank Washington has been a professional in the dance music industry since 1984. First starting as a DJ and then expanding his expertise to include sound engineering, sound system rental, security, and nightclub management. Further, his collection of historic sound recordings is a treasured addition to the Foundation’s archive.
Trenton Fedricks - Director
Trenton Fedricks is currently COO of a not-for-profit organization and he brings over 20 years of not-for-profit experience to the Foundation. Further Trenton has worked in the entertainment industry as head of security for Timeless Productions at The Edge of the Lookingglass, Cairos, Luckys, and SideCar Café. Trenton has also assisted in the overall production of at least two dozen events in Chicago.
Rodney Johnson - Director
Rodney Johnson was a founding member of Timeless Productions. Rodney first observed club production as a patron of Chicago’s early 80’s club scene and then he worked on production crews which were responsible for the tent and stage production of Taste of Chicago, Jazz Fest, Blues Fest and Gospel Fest in 1986. Further, Rodney’s work at the Edge of the Lookingglass helped create the club environment which exemplified dance music’s next evolutionary step in Chicago in 1990.