UC Santa Cruz names new director of Arts & Lectures

Jeanette Pilak

Jeanette Pilak has been selected to become the new director of the Arts & Lectures program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, effective October 1, 2007.

A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Pilak has an extensive background in arts management that spans both coasts. She became the first festival manager at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, where she was responsible for coordinating regional, national, and international performing arts festivals. During her tenure, she produced the annual Kennedy Center Open House Arts Festival, a one-day festival of more than 300 artists on seven stages, attracting 100,000 attendees. She also served as director of programs for the 30,000-member Friends of the Kennedy Center and the National Symphony Orchestra.

In 1993, Pilak moved to the West Coast to become director of programming and marketing at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene, Oregon, where she managed a 30-event annual performance series, as well as Cuthbert Amphitheater, a summer outdoor venue.

Pilak moved to Portland in 2000 to become the director of the Oregon Creative Services Alliance, a trade association with an economic development mission to create a regional brand awareness of the more than 6,000 creative firms in Oregon. For the past several years, she has worked as an independent management consultant, serving nonprofit and economic-development clients across the Pacific Northwest.

"I'm looking forward to working with the entire UCSC campus community," said Pilak. "In my first incarnation as a performing arts presenter, I was driven by a love for the arts and a deep respect for the artists. Now, after several years of working in the area of cultural economic development, I have a much broader appreciation for the foundational role the arts plays in our communities," she added.

A high resolution image of Jeanette Pilak is available for download here.