Jeffrey S. Kimpton

President, Interlochen Center for the Arts

Jeffrey Kimpton is the seventh president of Interlochen Center for the Arts, where he leads all aspects of its distinguished programs in arts education, public broadcasting, presentations and engagement. A graduate of the University of Illinois with a Bachelors of Science in Music Education and master’s degrees in both school and arts administration, Mr. Kimpton has more than four decades of leadership in arts education in public and private K-12 and higher education, for- and non-profit organizations, and in private philanthropy.

Throughout his career Mr. Kimpton has been in positions of leadership that have been at the forefront of reshaping music and arts programs for the future. As a teacher and administrator of regional and nationally recognized K-12 programs in music and arts education for 16 years in New York, Minnesota and Kansas, he pioneered some of the first computer-assisted instruction programs, created innovative programs in interdisciplinary arts, teacher professional development and evaluation, student assessment, and community engagement. As Director of Education at Yamaha Corporation of America for nine years, he led a strategic planning effort that propelled the global leader in music manufacturing into creating new programs and products in technology, publishing, program research and teacher professional development in music in the United States. As Director of Public Engagement at Brown University’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform, he pioneered the first national research on the role of public engagement in the American school change movement, and charted the work of engagement that came from the gifts awarded to rural and urban communities across the country as part of the $1B Annenberg Challenge to public education reform. When he served as the Director of the School of Music and Professor of Music Education at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis, he led efforts that substantially increased undergraduate and graduate enrollments, restructured faculty assessment and governance, developed a new interdisciplinary undergraduate curriculum and raised more than $15 million in endowment, program and scholarship support.

At Interlochen Mr. Kimpton was given perhaps his most significant challenge by the Board of Trustees: take the long-vaunted legacy institution into a new century. Calling on a lifetime of change leadership, Mr. Kimpton led the Interlochen community through a multi-year and multi-phase period of brand analysis, long-range scenario planning, program assessment and review, and market and constituent research that ultimately shaped a new 25 year Vision for Interlochen taking it to its 100th anniversary in 2027-28. The impact on the creation of strategic goals and their relationship to individual and institutional growth and assessment created a unique new model for a non-profit organization.

Since coming to Interlochen in 2003, significant initiatives have led to growth in artistic quality, faculty and staff excellence, program and curricular growth, financial success and accountability, and a campus revitalization. Interlochen, which consists of five major core units and more than 100 separate programs, was restructured to create a responsibility-centered management structure and P and L program evaluation that allowed key decisions to be made related to core artistic, educational and programmatic missions. Major changes--from length of summer sessions to program revisions, admissions, recruiting and marketing --were made in 2005 that created rapid increases in enrollment numbers and applicant quality, financial stability and led to the list of accomplishments listed above. During his tenure as President, Interlochen received the National Medal of Art in 2006 from President George W. Bush for its leadership in the arts. Currently, Interlochen is at $95M of a $100M comprehensive campaign goal—nearly two years before the end of the campaign.

Mr. Kimpton is a regular consultant to schools, universities and non-profit organizations, and has been a frequent speaker and presenter at the conferences of most of the arts and education organizations in the U.S. He has written numerous articles for publications of the arts and education profession. Mr. Kimpton served on two national task forces on the future of music and arts education and teaching. From 2010 to 2015 he was a member of a think tank of 100 arts leaders from around the world studying the sustainability of non-profit arts and cultural organizations in the future, convened by National Arts Strategies. He was named a distinguished alumnus in education by the University of Illinois, received the Distinguished Service Award from Florida Music Educators and Michigan Music Educators Association, was Communicator of the Year for Michigan Toastmasters International, and Mr. Kimpton received the Jeffrey Lawrence Award from Arts Schools Network for "a lifetime of uncompromising commitment to excellence in arts education and training."