Josh Stoltzfus, arts management ’06, knew from an early age that he wanted a career in the arts. After graduating from Berklee College of Music, he worked in the mail order division for Rounder Records. Later, he worked for a booking and management company representing jazz and blue performers. “It was a great job,” he says, “but after a while, I felt the need to expand my skill set.”
The D.C. Arts Connection
Stoltzfus found out about AU’s arts management program and enrolled. “The program appealed to me immediately. The faculty are tapped into D.C.’s art scene and have helped me make some great connections.”
After finding out that an AU arts management alum was working in jazz programming for the Kennedy Center, Stoltzfus decided to leverage his AU connection. “I emailed him, asked him to meet me for coffee, and after going through a competitive application process was offered [an] internship working on the Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead program.”
The Institutionalization of Jazz
Stoltzfus coordinated logistics for the Kennedy Center’s ten-day residency program for students, faculty, and performing artists. He used his internship experience as the basis for his thesis.
“I am interested in looking at the institutionalization of jazz,” he says. “In the 40s and 50s you learned jazz at a nightclub. Now we have institutions such as universities and performing arts venues where you learn to play jazz. How does this effect the jazz we see performed today? And how it will influence the jazz of tomorrow?”