BOSTON, Nov. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Silkroad, the global-reaching music nonprofit founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, has appointed Kathy Fletcher as Executive Director. The announcement comes as Silkroad — home of the Grammy Award-winning Silkroad Ensemble — enters its third decade of collaborative music-making and mission-driven programming to help build a more hopeful and inclusive society.
"I am so excited that Silkroad has reached the position today to attract such extraordinary talent as Kathy," said Silkroad Board President Golnar Khosrowshahi (CEO, Reservoir Media). "As a board, we couldn't be more thrilled to welcome Kathy and empower her to lead Silkroad into its next chapter."
Fletcher was most recently the Director of Creative Leadership Initiatives at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and will continue on as a senior advisor. Fletcher has an extensive track record of managing high-impact programs that leverage the arts to deepen humans' capacity for unfeigned connection and empathy. Rooted in a passion for social justice, Fletcher brings valuable fundraising, communications, and management experience in private, non-profit, and government settings.
"I could not be more honored to join Silkroad," said Fletcher, "which for two decades has led the way in overcoming barriers of all kinds through music and culture. I've already worked closely and happily with Silkroad artists through Turnaround Arts, so joining the Silkroad family feels very much like I'm coming home."
As Co-Founder of Turnaround Arts under First Lady Michelle Obama — a program that believes high-quality and integrated arts education can address the toughest educational challenges in our country — Fletcher led its expansion from a pilot project in eight schools to an exemplary program in over 80 schools. Under her leadership, Turnaround Arts transitioned from the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities to the Kennedy Center. In 2015, the Silkroad Ensemble formally joined the distinguished roster of Turnaround Artists under Fletcher's leadership, which led to Silkroad's ongoing partnership with Lame Deer Junior/Senior High School in Lame Deer, Montana.
"Twenty years ago, a few of us had a crazy idea, and it grew into this wonderful artistic family," said Silkroad Founder Yo-Yo Ma. "The values of peace, collaboration, and connection that Silkroad stands for have never been more important; I can't wait to see the new ways that Kathy and Silkroad will find to inspire us to find truth, build trust, and work in service of one another."
Arts Consulting Group guided Silkroad through the executive director search process.
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