The following is from a June 12, 2014, announcement by the National Endowment for the Arts. Jane Chu earned a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy from SMU in 1981.
June 12, 2014
This afternoon, the United States Senate voted to confirm Jane Chu as the 11th chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. The White House is expected to make the official appointment in the coming days and Chu will begin her appointment shortly thereafter.
Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa has served as the agency's acting chairman and executive since Rocco Landesman left the NEA in December 2012.
Jane Chu said, "I’m honored to receive the Senate’s vote of confirmation, and I look forward to serving our nation as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Together, we have the opportunity to show the value of connecting the arts to all Americans, and the importance of the arts in bringing communities together."
United States Senator Claire McCaskill (Mo.) said, “I have no doubt that Jane will make Missouri proud. She’s spent years enriching the culture and strengthening the business community in Kansas City, and I’m looking forward to seeing her bring that same leadership to the national stage.”
“I’m glad the Senate confirmed Dr. Chu’s nomination as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts today," said United States Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.). "I was impressed by her successful oversight of the more than $400 million Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts project and I enjoyed visiting with her in Kansas City several weeks ago. I have no doubt Dr. Chu will serve as a valuable asset to the NEA."
ABOUT JANE CHU
Since 2006, Jane Chu served as the president and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri, overseeing a $413-million campaign to build the center. As the performance home of the Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Symphony, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City, the Kauffman Center has hosted more than one million people from all 50 states and countries throughout the world since its grand opening in September 2011.
She was a fund executive at the Kauffman Fund for Kansas City from 2004 to 2006, and vice president of external relations for Union Station Kansas City from 2002 to 2004. Previously, she was vice president of community investment for the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation from 1997 to 2002. Chu also served as a trustee at William Jewell College and on the board of directors of the Ewing Marion Kauffman School and the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
Chu was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, but was raised in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, the daughter of Chinese immigrants. She studied music growing up, eventually receiving bachelor’s degrees in piano performance and music education from Ouachita Baptist University and master’s degrees in music and piano pedagogy from Southern Methodist University. Additionally, Chu holds a master’s degree in business administration from Rockhurst University and a PhD in philanthropic studies from Indiana University, as well as an honorary doctorate in music from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.
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