Instructor, Arts Administration and Policy (2008). BA, 1989, Hamilton College, Clinton, NY; MA, 2008, School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Concurrent Positions: Chicago Composers Forum; MSJO Jazz Organization; Noir Records. Productions/Recordings: Productions: Rovate '04, Mirror Ball '05, Glass Head '06; Fixtures and Fissures '09. Recordings: The Sophisticate, Port Chicago, Harriet Tubman. Music Curator/Consultant: Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco; Cafe Royale, San Francisco; Bruno's Jazz Club, San Francisco.

Experience at SAIC

I have been a part of the SAIC faculty since 2008, first as part-time faculty and now as an Assistant Professor. I am also an alumna of the Master of Arts in Arts Administration and Policy program. It is impossible to overstate how much the SAIC community has meant to my life and my work. SAIC is a fascinating environment in which to engage critical questions about culture. It is a place for makers, thinkers, producers, organizers, designers, advocates, curators, creators, philanthropists, innovators... and on and on. SAIC embraces complexity and all its attributes. It is also a warm community that supports student learning with profound depth and commitment.

Personal Statement

My teaching philosophy is based on placing students at the crux of theory-practice. I try to create a learning environment in which students are continually and critically engaged with history, theory, and creative practice in the context of making things happen in real time. It is my hope that students in my classes are actively engaged in creating the future, not simply learning skills for the present. I want students to practice making change. This is what I hope the Management Studio does through a diverse set of experiences.

My own work for the last 20 years has been primarily in jazz and improvised music. In all of my work is a fundamental interest in how and why ideas, people, and systems organize; how to continually shape environments that support experimentation and creativity; and what it means to lead emergent systems. I am interested in the interplay between composition (or structure) and improvisation (emergence).

My current work aside from SAIC is as the Executive and Artistic Director of the Hyde Park Jazz Festival on the South Side of Chicago. The South Side has a rich history in jazz and improvised music, from Louis Armstrong to the black experimentalist movement of the AACM. The Festival is a fascinating evolving cultural model and a major production annually. In addition to this, I work closely with individual artists to support their efforts to develop various aspects of their work.

Official Bio

Kate Dumbleton is the Executive and Artistic Director of the Hyde Park Jazz Festival and an Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the MA program in Arts Administration and Policy. She had been part-time faculty since 2008. Kate joined the Hyde Park Jazz Festival and SAIC in fall 2012 from the position of Executive Director of the critically acclaimed Chicago Jazz Ensemble, resident at Columbia College since 1965. Her work in jazz, improvised music, and performance spans nearly two decades. 

Kate's experience includes music direction for jazz clubs and festivals; curatorial direction of artist residencies; direction of interdisciplinary projects in music, dance, theater, visual art, film; venue and record label management; administrative direction; and artist management. She owned and operated a successful performance, exhibition space/wine bar in the Bay Area from 2000-2006. Kate's current affiliations include the Advisory Council for the Chicago Artists Resource and; Board of Directors for the Experimental Sound Studio (ESS); Board of Directors for Rova Arts (SF); Artistic Direction Advisory Council, Yerba Buena Garden Festival (SF); Leadership Team for Red Poppy Art House (SF).

Current Interests

Collaboration and coalition building; commissioning and developing new work; advocating for individual artist support; urban planning and cultural programming; environmentalism/sustainability/adaptation; systems theory; improvisation as methodology; black experimental music; design theory; social justice.


Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.