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PBS Taps Former NEA Chief Jane Chu To Expand Representation of the Arts From Communities Across America
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Photo Courtesy of J. Augustino

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.


About PBS
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Aparna Kumar, PBS, 703-739-5028,