Katherine Brown ’76 grew up in a family of musicians and singers. “From a very early age I could not imagine music and the arts not being a focus of my life,” she said.
What she did not expect was where her music degree would take her. “I had never really thought before about the people behind the scenes who were engaged in the fundraising, public relations, marketing, and other management-related activities so crucial to making the performing arts happen, and that there could be a career there,” she said.
Brown, whose career began with an entry-level position with the National Endowment for the Arts, was recently named executive director of the New York City Ballet.
“I have found the perfect combination for me: working in support of artistic pursuits but on the other side of the curtain in administration,” Brown said.
She previously worked for the New York City Ballet as director of development from 1988 to 1993. Brown has also served as the chief operating officer at WNYC Radio in New York, executive director for Jazz at Lincoln Center, and manager of major gifts for the New York Public Library.
She credits the College and its low student/faculty ratio with reinforcing her music background. “That meant there was much focused attention from the professors, which is so important, especially in a performing arts field,” she said.