Jazz Gallery Center For The Arts
Press Release

JGCA Welcomes In A New Executive Director

Kai Simone the newest part of Jazz Gallery History

By - Aug 31st, 2021 05:33 pm
Kai Simone. Photo courtesy of the Jazz Gallery Center For The Arts.

Kai Simone. Photo courtesy of the Jazz Gallery Center For The Arts.

MILWAUKEE, WI, September, 1st, 2021: — Jazz Gallery Center For The Arts has been making efforts over the last few years to increase it’s communal impact, legacy, and dedication to the arts. A new era of branding, organizational studies, and updated venue space has opened opportunities for JGCA to expand its ability to serve the Milwaukee community at large and add a first time Executive Director position to its team. JGCA is excited to announce Kai Simone as its new Executive Director.

With over twenty-five years experience as a director, producer, musician, performing artist, radio personality, and teacher, Kai comes to JGCA with a wealth of knowledge that will be indispensable in her new role.  She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theater Directing and Design from the University of  Illinois-Chicago, with coursework in music theory, composition and voice technique. In 2016, Kai was awarded a Milwaukee Black Excellence Award for her hard work and dedication in Music and Theater. She has immersed herself in the creative community practices that help sustain great programming, boost funding, and promote equity through her working practices at many organizations such as Discover Music, Discover Life and Gallery 37 Advance Arts in Chicago to the Boys and Girls club, TransCenter for Youth and Arts@Large in Milwaukee.  Kai will be joining JGCA from her most recent role as co-founder of Skai Academy of the Performing Arts, which provides an opportunity for aspiring youth from various backgrounds and abilities to engage in music, theater, visual arts performance and arts education experiences.

“My philosophy and approach is encouraging and helping artists to thrive by using diversified perspectives through proven methods as well as new techniques which are essential for evolution and growth.” Kai Simone said. “Part of the Jazz Gallery’s legacy has been a place where people connect; planting the seed for an environment of multifarious artistic expression with the idea of inclusion and equity. This is important to Milwaukee and important to the world’s future quality of life.”

As Executive Director of Jazz gallery Center For The Arts, Kai will be focusing on advancing the strategic planning and rebranding that began in 2019 by developing a financial sustainability plan to navigate COVID-19 into the new normal. Expand and coordinate existing programs and partnerships, create new internships and advance training opportunities, develop multi-level arts education and youth programming and build the overall operational infrastructure of the JGCA that includes a robust inclusion and diversity initiative.

For more information, media requests, and other inquiries please email at info@jazzgallerycenterforarts.org.


Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts builds community through opportunities to create, present, and experience the visual and performing arts in an open, collaborative environment.

The Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts, formerly the Riverwest Artist Association, builds community through an enriching and collaborative environment that is reflective, innovative, and intentional. Through music performances, visual arts, theater, arts education, film, poetry and dance, we strive to create a space that is diverse and inclusive, allowing both artists and the public to participate in the development of a vibrant artistic community.

The Jazz Gallery also features an annual membership exhibition, produces four weekly radio shows on Riverwest Radio and is home to Artwalk, Wisconsin’s oldest and largest walking art tour. Our signature OWL program, (Old.Wise.Local) gives focus to our community members 50+ years of age and older.

Located at 926 East Center St, once the address of the historic Jazz Gallery, a music venue that featured many jazz greats such as Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, Betty Carter, Sun Ra, Dexter Gordon and many more.

To learn more about changes at JGCA visit jazzgallerycenterforarts.org

Mentioned in This Press Release


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