top of page


By Sunny Sumter, CEO, DC Jazz Festival

Great art attaches people to places and to each other. Investing in the arts is central to building stronger, better informed, and more engage communities. And the District is one of the greatest place on the planet for art to shine. Jazz in DC is thriving at a time when the arts are noticeably elevated as a creative place maker in communities. For the DC Jazz Festival, now more than ever, the importance of our creative work to educate, entertain and inspire cultural exchanges through the power of jazz cannot be underestimated. We know an organizing force of residents, business owners, corporate and government stakeholders, and business improvement districts can strengthen neighborhoods, reveal the authentic character of communities, and connect artists with diverse audiences.

DC Jazz Festival, as a growing institution, is committed to being that coalescing force, a bridge between artists and our community, a common ground that celebrates our diversity, and an economic driver that supports building DC back stronger. Whether through our annual DC JazzFest in more than a dozen neighborhoods, our jazz education programs that getting our kids ‘jazzed’ about learning, our embassy series events highlighting the global brand that is jazz, or our year-round concerts here at the Mead Center, we aim to do our part to entertain, educate, uplift our community, and inspire.

With great art comes big ideas. Gone is the desperation in the arts community when we were all trying to figure out how to prove the economic value of investing in the arts and culture sector. Through the great work of Events DC, Destination DC, Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment, Humanities DC and others, vibrant economic cultural contributors like DC Jazz Festival are being seen, appreciated, and rewarded for doing their part. Now, DC Jazz Festival is excited about advancing a few big ideas as we build our home here at the Mead Center in the Southwest neighborhood. As we make strides towards advancing those big ideas, we hope to meet more of our community members, strengthen the connection with our artists and cultural institutions, and create more opportunities for this music we call jazz to thrive.

It is a privilege to lead this organization and serve the DC community. #inspired


bottom of page