Chu will be responsible for development, strategy, programming and community initiatives at the $326 million center, which is scheduled to open in December 2009. The MKCPAC, which will include a 1,600-seat orchestral concert hall and an 1,800-seat theater for opera and ballet, will be home to the Kansas City Symphony, the Kansas City Ballet and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. The venue's design team includes architect Moshe Safdie, Yasuhisa Toyota of Nagata Acoustics and Richard Pilbrow of Theatre Projects Consultants; construction is expected to start this fall.
Chu most recently served as the fund executive for the Kauffman Fund for Kansas City. From 1997-2002 she was vice president of community investment at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, where she led the five-year Kansas City Community Arts Initiative to increase local participation in the arts. Chu was also vice president of external relations at Union Station Kansas City from 2002-2004, and vice president and director of development at the Van Cliburn Foundation in Fort Worth, Texas.
Chu has a Master of Business Administration from Rockhurst University and is currently a Ph.D. student in philanthropic studies at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. She is also a musician, with a Bachelor of Music in piano performance and Bachelor of Music Education from Ouachita Baptist University. She received a Master of Music degree in piano pedagogy from Southern Methodist University.
Speaking of the appointment, Julia Irene Kauffman, chairman of the board and president of the MKCPAC, said, "Jane has the unique combination of experience, expertise, passion and creativity required to lead this important, community-defining project. Jane understands our community and our vision for the future. More than that, she blends the soul of an artist with the practical track record for strategic planning, leading and completing major, complicated philanthropic and community projects."