Alumni Spotlight

Photo of: Lisa Sonora

Lisa Sonora

Meet Lisa Sonora. Lisa is an American artist and creative business consultant based in Oaxaca City, Mexico. On her website, she tells visitors that she is a high school drop-out…with an MBA. Oh, and by the way, she is an alumna of Harper College.

For more than 20 years, Lisa has taught experiential workshops that tap into the healing and transformative powers of creative self-expression. This practice was born from experience. Since childhood, Lisa has kept visual journals, which helped her survive a difficult childhood filled with frequent moves, including stints in foster homes. At the age of 15, she was living in an orphanage, which was far away from the high school she attended briefly as a freshman. “So instead of going to high school,” she explains, “I started attending community college.”

Enrolling at Harper College was “life changing on so many levels” Lisa says. During her childhood, college was never discussed with her. Attending college was an amazing experience, and Lisa credits Harper as the place where her creative dreams started to become real. “Every teacher I had was extraordinary,” she says. In fact, it was a philosophy professor at Harper that made the biggest impact on Lisa, planting the idea of using her creativity in her career.

Lisa continued her education after attending Harper. She is a graduate of DePaul University’s School of Music, with professional degrees in music therapy, and an MBA from New College of California in sustainable enterprise.

A sought after facilitator, Lisa has led international creativity workshops on five continents. Her work has been featured in Business Week, Entrepreneur Magazine, ABC News, San Francisco Chronicle and in many online venues. Her first book, The Creative Entrepreneur: A DIY Guidebook to Making Business Ideas Real won two independent publisher awards and is used as a textbook in many business, entrepreneurship and arts programs including the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business.