Chu has led the Kauffman Center since 2006, overseeing the $14 million campaign to open the center, which opened in 2011.
Chu's nomination follows the retirement of Rocco Landesman, who headed Jujamcyn Theaters before serving as Chairman of the NEA. He retired in 2012. The NEA’s senior deputy director, Joan Shikegawa, has served as acting NEA chairman since then.
“Jane’s lifelong passion for the arts and her background in philanthropy have made her a powerful advocate for artists and arts education in Kansas City,” Obama said in a statement. “She knows firsthand how art can open minds, transform lives and revitalize communities, and believes deeply in the importance of the arts to our national culture.”
Chu's professional career has included working as an arts administrator and fundraiser, including serving as chief fundraiser for the Van Cliburn Foundation in Ft. Worth, TX. She has also served as an executive for two charitable organizations, the Kansas City Community Foundation and the Kauffman Fund, before being hired to lead the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
Chu has authored the children's book "Joy's Discovery," which is about growing up as an Asian-American child.
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