ARLINGTON, VA; July 9, 2018 – Jane Chu, the most recent head of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), will join PBS as an arts adviser, the organization announced today. Chu will help identify opportunities for public media to broaden access and representation in its presentation of the arts to audiences nationwide, building on PBS’ role as America’s largest stage. During the 2016-17 season, PBS member stations offered nearly 600 hours of arts and cultural programming, seen by close to 110 million people.
Chu brings significant experience in both arts administration and philanthropy that reaches deep into communities. During her four years at the NEA, Chu served as the nation’s foremost ambassador for the arts, overseeing competitive grants that helped the arts flourish despite years of diminished state and local funding.
Previously, she spent eight years leading the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri, from its initial planning stages to overseeing construction of the $413-million center designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie in 2011. Earlier in her career, she held executive roles in development and philanthropy at Union Station Kansas City, the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and the Kauffman Fund.
“Jane Chu has been an extremely effective force for arts for many years,” said Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS. “Beyond her administrative expertise, she is a devoted artist, pianist and an educator. Her background is particularly suited to public media. We are eager to engage her expertise to help bring more of the arts to every American and showcase diverse works that reflect every corner of our nation.”
While at the NEA, Chu visited all 50 states in her work with local arts groups. In her new role, Chu will continue to traverse the country seeking opportunities for PBS and stations to collaborate with local arts organizations and funders to expand the arts’ imprint across national and local programming, digital content and education initiatives.
“PBS has long been a welcoming home for the arts and a source of education and inspiration for all ages. There is nothing else like it in the media landscape today. I look forward to working with the tremendous team at PBS to leverage public media’s broad influence, strong arts platform and local roots to help make the arts even more accessible, inclusive, representative and resilient.”
Born in Oklahoma and raised in Arkansas, Chu spent much of her life in rural communities in the South and Midwest. She earned multiple degrees in the arts and music from various institutions, a master’s in business administration from Rockhurst University in Kansas City and a doctorate in philanthropic studies from Indiana University.
PBS, with nearly 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 90 million people through television and 30 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’ premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a 24/7 channel, online at pbskids.org, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.
Aparna Kumar, PBS, 703-739-5028, email@example.com