WASHINGTON, DC – September 4, 2019 – DC Jazz Festival (DCJF), with the nation’s capital’s premier music festival event, is proud to announce that Executive Director Sunny Sumter is one of the “exceptional leaders” selected for NAS’ celebrated Chief Executive Program. At a time when many arts and culture executives feel increasingly isolated and under-supported, the Chief Executive Program connects an international cohort of CEOs to explore leadership and strengthen efforts to drive change in their organizations, communities, and the cultural field. DCJF Board Chair Conrad Kenley noted, "Sunny's passion for jazz and commitment to community building makes her perfectly suited for the NAS Chief Executive Program."
Sumter joined the DCJF team in 2008 and has served as its Executive Director since 2012. She has led the organization's talented team in the successful presentation of seven festivals and has grown DCJF's year-round jazz education programs and community partnerships significantly. Sumter has an expertise in program management, strategic planning and directing community engagement initiatives. She has two decades of experience working with nonprofit cultural and public policy institutions, and previously performed as a vocalist internationally for over 15 years. In 2019, Sumter was selected to the 2019 fellowship class of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland, a highly competitive fellowship program providing practical training in arts administration. In 2018, Sumter received the Sitar Arts Center's Visionary Award for her impact on the District of Columbia's arts community.
Over the next 10 months, the NAS cohort of selected executives will learn new frameworks with industry-leading faculty, engage in one-on-one reflective exercises with NAS-trained coaches, and collaborate with one another. Convenings at Harvard Business School and 1440 Multiversity will build a community of practice they will call on for the rest of their careers. At the program’s conclusion, participants will join an international community of nearly 250 program alumni. “These leaders are integral parts of their communities, driving positive change in challenging times,” said Gail Crider, President and CEO of NAS. “Together with our partners at Harvard Business School, we look forward to supporting this amazing group as they learn and share knowledge across a diverse and cross-disciplinary network.”
The Chief Executive Program is supported by The Kresge Foundation, with backing for regional leaders by the Barr Foundation, the Educational Foundation of America and the Australia Council for the Arts.
The DC Jazz Festival team and its Board of Directors wish the best of luck to our leader, Sunny Sumter!
About DC Jazz Festival: DC Jazz Festival presents world-renowned and emerging artists in celebration of jazz; unifies diverse communities; advances jazz and music education with exciting and adventurous musical experiences; shines the spotlight on DC-based musicians; and highlights DC as a premier cultural destination. Our signature programs are the annual DC JazzFest, now in its 15th year; the year-round DCJF Education in partnership with DC public and charter schools, and arts centers; the Charles Fishman Artist Embassy Series honoring our founder; and DCJazzPrix, an international band competition. The DC Jazz Festival won the 2018 DC Mayor's Arts Award for Excellence in Creative Industries. In 2015, The New York Times named DC JazzFest one of "50 Essential Summer Festivals." For more information, visit dcjazzfest.org.
ABOUT NAS: NAS strengthens the arts and culture sector by creating meaningful and useful educational experiences for leaders at all levels of the ecosystem – from boards and CEOs to entrepreneurs and artists – giving them the tools, connections and support to transform their leadership, their organizations and their communities. Over its 30-year history, NAS has worked with thousands of people to build management and leadership capacities. Its model is to build connections that have a high level of trust and that are both deep and broad. NAS works closely with individual communities and connects local leaders with a broad and diverse network of likely and unlikely allies from across the globe. The NAS approach brings concepts and frameworks from outside the sector to bear on the seemingly intractable problems those arts leaders face every day. NAS partners with faculty from top-tier universities who excel in both researching and teaching to deliver programs such as the Chief Executive Program, Creative Community Fellows and the Executive Program in Arts and Culture Strategy. Learn more at www.artstrategies.org.