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Sharon Yazowski

Sharon Yazowski is the Executive Director of Levitt Pavilions, a national placemaking nonprofit that invigorates community life in American cities by transforming neglected public spaces into welcoming music destinations open to all. Levitt venues form the only national network of outdoor music venues offering free concert series. Each presents 50+ free professional concerts annually, produced by local Friends of Levitt nonprofits through community-driven, public/private partnerships. As Executive Director, Sharon provides visionary leadership in fulfilling Levitt Pavilions’ mission. She serves as the primary spokesperson for the organization and travels throughout the country to build the visibility of Levitt Pavilions and share the impact of the Levitt program. Sharon provides strategic direction for the Levitt network’s growth and guides the development of each local Levitt venue, from first discussion through opening day, working closely with civic and community leadership. Sharon also collaborates with Friends of Levitt leadership in developing sustainability strategies, ensuring the long-term success of each Levitt venue.

Prior to her position with Levitt Pavilions, Sharon was the founding Executive Director of Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles in MacArthur Park (Levitt L.A.)—a place once notorious for gang activity and extreme crime. Sharon witnessed first-hand the transformative impact of Levitt’s creative placemaking program on surrounding neighborhoods and the park itself. In addition to developing the organization’s infrastructure, fundraising strategies, outreach and marketing initiatives, she also curated the annual 50 concerts featuring diverse entertainment.

Before her time with Levitt, Sharon was the first Company Manager of Jump Rhythm Jazz Project (JRJP), a critically acclaimed jazz dance company in Chicago, responsible for creating JRJP’s organizational structure and negotiating national and international appearances. Sharon’s experience also includes the Evanston Arts Council, in metropolitan Chicago, where she oversaw the agency’s grants program, managed youth arts programs, and produced over 100 free outdoor concerts.

An invited speaker at numerous events and conferences, including the National Recreation and Park Association and California Presenters, Sharon is thrilled to speak at The Art of Placemaking Conference. Sharon earned a Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University with a concentration in arts and business management. She serves as a board member of the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation.

Posted October 25, 2013 in: by Peter A. Mello

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