Deborah Rutter

President @ John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Deborah F. Rutter began her tenure as President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on September 1, 2014. Known for emphasizing collaboration, innovation, and community engagement, she is considered one of the most influential arts administrators in the nation. As president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Ms. Rutter is the artistic and administrative director of the world’s busiest performing arts center, managing all facets of the facility, including expansive theater, contemporary dance, ballet, chamber music, Hip Hop, comedy, and jazz seasons as well as its affiliates the National Symphony Orchestra and Washington National Opera and offerings of contemporary music and international programming. The Center encompasses one of the nation’s largest arts education programs, reaching millions of people of all ages each year, and includes VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, and Turnaround Arts. Ms. Rutter has overseen the planning and completion of the REACH, the Center’s first-ever expansion of its historic campus, which will open to the public on September 7, 2019. The REACH, designed by renowned architect Steven Holl, is a 21stcentury arts campus featuring flexible spaces and year-round events and activities that reimagine the connections between community and art, artists and audiences.

From August 2003 through June 2014, she served as president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA), employing her dynamic influence to further enhance the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s reputation as one of the world’s most highly acclaimed orchestras. As CSOA president, Ms. Rutter oversaw the operations of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), Symphony Center Presents, the Institute for Learning, Access and Training (including the Civic Orchestra of Chicago), and the Chicago Symphony Chorus. The management of the renowned Symphony Center facility, and its extensive presentations of chamber music, jazz, and eclectic performances from around the world, was also under her direction. Prior to her position in Chicago, she has served as executive director of the Seattle Symphony, executive director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the orchestra manager of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.