Gateways Music Festival in association with Eastman School of Music, at the University of Rochester, has appointed Jaye Lopez Van Soest to the organization’s new position of Vice President & Chief Development Officer. With her appointment, Ms. Lopez Van Soest becomes Gateways’ first full-time fundraising professional. She will be responsible for the festival’s individual and institutional fundraising programs.
Lee Koonce, Gateways’ President & Artistic Director, said, “We are thrilled to welcome Jaye to the Gateways family. She brings a wealth of experience and has a demonstrated commitment to supporting and bringing underrepresented communities to the forefront.”
Gateways Board Chair, Kearstin Piper Brown said, “Jaye is a wonderful addition to the Gateways team. While we have been very successful in our fundraising efforts because of the extraordinary generosity of our donors and supporters, we recognize that we have to do even more to fully achieve our vision for the future. Jaye’s leadership is right on time!”
Douglas Phillips, chair of the Gateways Board of Directors’ Development Committee, commented on the importance of fundraising for the festival’s future growth. “Gateways Music Festival’s annual budget has doubled in just a few years commensurate with the recent expansion of our programming,” said Phillips, who is also the University of Rochester’s Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer. He continued, “A significant portion of that comes from our fundraising efforts. We are looking forward to Jaye’s leadership as we strengthen our fundraising in all areas, in particular individual giving, so that we can support even more musicians and audiences.”
A certified fundraising professional executive, Ms. Lopez Van Soest was Senior Director of Development with Fair Food Network based in Ann Arbor, Michigan prior to her Gateways appointment. She has held leadership positions at the American Foundation for the Blind and the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) David A. Clarke School of Law. Ms. Lopez Van Soest is a Los Angeles native and a graduate of the University of Southern California. Her complete bio appears below.
Ms. Lopez Van Soest officially joined Gateways Music Festival on January 23, 2023.
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ABOUT JAYE LOPEZ VAN SOEST:
Jaye is a development and fundraising executive with over 25 years of experience working with nonprofits advocating for civil rights and social and economic justice.
She most recently served as Senior Director of Development with Fair Food Network which works to growing community health and wealth through food. Previously, Jaye worked with the American Foundation for the Blind where she led development efforts to advocate for structural change to promote accessibility, equality, and opportunity for people who are blind or visually impaired. She also led development at Public Justice, which pursues high impact lawsuits to combat social and economic injustice. Her work also includes serving as development director for the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law, one of only six American Bar Association-accredited law schools at a historically Black college and university. In addition, Jaye has held frontline development positions at the American Constitution Society, the Human Rights Campaign and the Los Angeles LBGT Center.
Jaye is past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Washington DC Metro Area Chapter (AFP DC) and served on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP Global). She served as co-chair of the Virtual 2021 Bridge to Integrated Marketing & Fundraising Conference. Jaye previously co-chaired the Bridge Conference in 2011. Jaye served on the board of the Capital City Symphony, a vibrant orchestra that provides a variety of opportunities for talented musicians and diverse audiences to engage with great music in the nation’s capital, and Art Enables, an art gallery and vocational arts program dedicated to creating opportunities for artists with disabilities to make, market and earn income from their original and compelling artwork also in Washington, D.C.
Born and raised in suburban Los Angeles, Jaye graduated from the University of Southern California. She earned her initial Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification in 2010.
ABOUT GATEWAYS MUSIC FESTIVAL:
The mission of Gateways Music Festival is to connect and support professional classical musicians of African descent and enlighten and inspire communities through the power of performance. Founded in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1993 by noted concert pianist Armenta Hummings Dumisani, the Festival was brought to Rochester, NY in 1997 when Hummings Dumisani joined the Eastman School of Music faculty. Approximately 125 musicians –– players in major symphony orchestras, faculty from renowned music schools and conservatories, and active freelance artists –– participate in each Festival. In 2016, while remaining an independent non-profit organization, Gateways formalized its long-time relationship with Eastman and the University of Rochester. Among other mutual benefits, this deepened relationship provided many of the resources and infrastructure necessary for Gateways to increase its programming capacity, appoint its first paid staff position and broaden the impact that the organization has made in and beyond Rochester, New York.
In addition to the annual full-orchestra festival held in the spring, other Gateways initiatives include: a yearly chamber music festival each fall; the Daily Showcase, a social media campaign featuring a Black classical composer every day on Facebook and Instagram; the Gateways Brass Collective, the only all-Black professional brass quintet in the country; the Gateways Residency which presents renown Gateways artists in recital, master classes and community-based activities throughout the year and across the country; and, starting in January 2023, Gateways Radio, a one-hour syndicated radio program featuring Black classical artists on radio stations across the United States.
ABOUT EASTMAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC:
The Eastman School of Music was founded in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company. It was the first professional school of the University of Rochester. Eastman’s dream was that his school would provide a broad education in the liberal arts as well as superb musical training. More than 900 students are enrolled in the Collegiate Division of the Eastman School of Music –– about 500 undergraduates and 400 graduate students. They come from almost every state, and approximately 23 percent are from other countries. They are taught by a faculty comprised of more than 130 highly regarded performers, composers, conductors, scholars and educators, who include Pulitzer Prize winners, Grammy winners, Emmy winners, Guggenheim fellows, ASCAP Award recipients, published authors, recording artists and acclaimed musicians who have performed in the world’s greatest concert halls. Each year, Eastman’s students, faculty members, and guest artists present more than 900 concerts to the Rochester community. Additionally, more than 1,700 members of the Rochester community, from young children through senior citizens, are enrolled in the Eastman Community Music School.
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER:
The University of Rochester is one of the nation’s leading private research universities, one of only 62-member institutions in the Association of American Universities. Located in Rochester, N.Y., the University gives undergraduates exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close collaboration with faculty through its unique cluster-based curriculum. Its College, School of Arts and Sciences, and Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are complemented by the Eastman School of Music, Simon School of Business, Warner School of Education, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, School of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Nursing, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, and the Memorial Art Gallery.