Executive Director Search

(CHICAGO October 9, 2017)  – The Jazz Institute of Chicago (JIC) has launched a nationwide search for a successor to Lauren Deutsch, the organization’s Executive Director since 1996, as she assumes the new role of Director of Artistic Collaborations starting March 1, 2018. The 48-year-old organization, has grown from a volunteer-driven association to a fully professional, community-focused operation with a staff of eight and annual budget of nearly $1 million during Ms. Deutsch’s tenure.


The non-profit Jazz Institute promotes and nurtures jazz in Chicago by providing jazz education, developing and supporting artists, cultivating audiences for jazz and fostering a thriving jazz scene through programs produced year-round throughout Chicago, including curation of the 39-year-old Chicago Jazz Festival. The 20-year-old free JazzCity concert series in the parks, the Jazz Links portfolio of educational activities for youth and adults, a focus on NextGen Jazz artists, the 11-year Made in Chicago commission-based series in Millennium Park and 12-year partnership presenting the Made in Chicago Festival in Poznan, Poland were begun and have thrived as a result of Ms. Deutsch’s efforts.


Under her direction, JIC has collaborated with the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Schools, among other entities. She has also been responsible for JIC fundraising, gaining significant financial support from the philanthropic community in Chicago.


As Director of Artistic Collaborations, Ms. Deutsch will develop new partnerships, help plan a major celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Jazz Institute in 2019, and continue to consult on artistic planning and long-range strategic goals. Ms. Deutsch, 61, joined the Jazz Institute’s board as its youngest-ever member in 1982. She is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer.


“Lauren has been an integral member of the Chicago jazz community for over three decades and we are all deeply grateful for her leadership and dedication to promoting and nurturing jazz, locally and beyond,” said JIC Board President David Helverson. “She has created an enduring legacy, focusing the Jazz Institute’s mission to provide jazz education especially to young people, to support musicians of every age, to enable audiences throughout the city to hear jazz in our neighborhoods, and to bring Chicagoans together to enjoy our past and present creativity.”


“My deep passion for the music has inspired me, repeatedly, to find as many ways as possible to share the power of jazz to transform people through its openness, welcome and tolerance,” Ms. Deutsch wrote in a statement to the JIC Board, the organization’s membership and the general public. “I am proud of what I have accomplished to develop the Jazz Institute as its Executive Director. But I also believe that it is time for me to step into a new role that allows me to contribute my strengths and invite new perspectives to guide the organization into the future.


“We now have a strong team of seasoned professionals and young, talented, committed staff members who give me great optimism that the Jazz Institute of Chicago has attracted and can continue to attract the next generation of devoted activists to carry the music and the mission of our organization forward,” Ms. Deutsch wrote.


All Jazz Institute programs will continue without interruption during the search for and transition to new leadership; indeed, in her new role Ms. Deutsch assures all stakeholders of the organization’s stability. “Building on Lauren’s record leadership, we look forward with confidence to a vibrant future for jazz in Chicago,” said Board President Helverson.


The JIC’s Executive Director job description is posted here. Candidates interested in applying for the JIC’s Executive Director position should send a detailed letter of inquiry, CV or resume, and complete contact information to JIC.ed.search@gmail.com.

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