MARKHAM, Ill. — The remarkable Pamela Mack has had her share of the spotlight, both on stage and television.

But, she says her best role has been as “Mama Mack,” at the Knotty Luxe Arts Foundation in Markham.

“I was always the one that wanted to help someone,” Mack said. “If I had some knowledge, I wanted to share that knowledge. I wanted everybody to win.”

Pamela started the non-profit, Knotty Luxe Arts Foundation, two years ago. With an open call for any teenager wanting to learn drama, dance and music: for free.

Renowned blues musician Fernando Jones is Mack’s right-hand collaborator and Remarkable Women nominator.

“When you have a person that does not have to give, and they give, it’s dynamite,” Jones said. “She’s talented, educated and she has the opportunity to be selfish if she’d like. She has the credentials to do that but instead she is selfless, and she is altruistic.”

Mack’s students consider her a “mother figure,” that has provided them with the courage and confidence they deserve.

“She’s given us so many opportunities we never thought we’d have and I’m just so thankful for her,” Senola Johnson said.

Onstage in Markham and backstage at some of the biggest theatre performances in Chicago, Mack encourages the quietest of voices to be heard and command a stage.

“This is more than just about music, dance and theatre,” Mack said.

“This is about these folks learning how to make it through life, how to navigate, how not to be so impressionable to things going on around you. Staying focused on you, what you can do to make the world a better place.”

Watch Pamela Mack’s full Remarkable Women feature in the video player above.

March is Women’s History Month and Nexstar and WGN are recognizing the great contributions women have made in our community. Throughout the month, four finalists for the 2023 Woman of the Year award will be highlighted.