Institution Names Senior Vice President, Chief Program Position
CHAUTAUQUA — Chautauqua Institution has named Deborah Sunya Moore as permanent senior vice president and chief program officer.
The role of chief program officer was created to align staffing and organization with the Institution’s strategic plan, 150 Forward, which calls for Chautauqua to optimize the Summer Assembly and expand programming beyond the summer months and outside of the grounds of Chautauqua.
Moore has served as senior vice president and chief program officer in an interim capacity since November 2020, while also fulfilling her existing responsibilities as vice president of performing and visual arts. A national search for her successor as in that role commences this week, with the support of Management Consultants for the Arts.
“Deborah’s strong and steady leadership of our program areas in this year of tumult and constantly shifting challenges convinced us that she is the right person to guide the conception and execution of Chautauqua’s programmatic life, which is ever-improving and expanding according to the goals in our strategic plan, 150 Forward,” said Michael E. Hill, president of Chautauqua Institution. “Her tenure at Chautauqua has brought about some of the most impressive and consequential expressions of the arts our audiences have ever engaged with, and I’m excited for her to expand that vision across our already extraordinary work in education, religion and recreation.”
Moore has served as the vice president responsible for Chautauqua’s performing and visual arts areas since 2015, having started her work at the institution in September 2013. In her new role, she will work with vice presidents Matt Ewalt (education) and Gene Robinson (religion) along with Director of Recreation Meg Pickard and the various artistic and program directors within each area to create a unified office and holistic vision for program at Chautauqua.
“I’m honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve in this expanded capacity, and I look forward to continued collaboration with colleagues and community as we lean in to fulfilling a visionary mission with inclusion and equity at its core,” Moore said. “Program is an active invitation to grow, explore, delight, disagree, rejoice, question — with our incredible team, Chautauqua is well positioned to more deeply curate experiences across program platforms that foster meaningful engagement on both a local and national level.”
Moore’s tenure at Chautauqua has seen the arrival of a new generation of leadership for each of Chautauqua’s resident artistic programs, including the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua Theater Company, Chautauqua Opera Company, Chautauqua Visual Arts and the Chautauqua Schools of Performing and Visual Arts. She also has been responsible for the Institution’s highly regarded series of concert and artistic residencies, fostering institutional relationships and partnerships with organizations and acts such as Jazz at Lincoln Center and Wynton Marsalis, The Avett Brothers, Pilobolus, Dance Theatre of Harlem and Silkroad Ensemble. Multidisciplinary projects have included orchestra commissions from spoken word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph and composer Daniel Bernard Romain, as well as author Sandra Cisneros and composer Derek Bermel.
An acclaimed arts educator and National Workshop Leader for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Moore was initially hired at Chautauqua as Associate Director of Programming, coming with the goal of creating an arts education program to serve and engage with local and regional youth, educators and school districts. What began in 2014 with a handful of programs in three schools is now a robust curriculum with a dedicated staff serving thousands of students and educators in districts across Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania. Under Moore’s leadership, the Institution partnered with Chautauqua Lake Central School and Jamestown Public Schools to become a Kennedy Center Partner in Education in 2016.
Previously, Moore held the positions of arts education and community engagement specialist and associate professor of percussion at the University of Trinidad and Tobago from 2010 to 2013. She was director of education and community engagement for the Louisville Orchestra from 2004 to 2009. As a percussionist that toured nationally performing as a chamber and orchestral musician, Moore first came to Chautauqua in 1996 in an appearance as an Amphitheater guest artist and has spent time here every summer since. Her husband, Brian Kushmaul, is the CSO’s principal percussionist.
Moore was selected to be an artist in residence at the Hermitage Artist Retreat 2013-2014 and became a speaker for the U.S. Department of State in 2014, representing the United States in Trinidad as a performer and speaker for Trinidad’s 2014 Arts & Disabilities Conference, which Moore created and hosted in 2013. She was a Fulbright Specialist in the area of Arts Integration 2018-2019. She currently serves on the board of the Chautauqua Child Advocacy Program and on the Advisory Board for the John F. Kennedy Center Partners in Education.
Moore holds a bachelor’s degree in percussion performance and an individual major, Performance and Education in Related Arts, from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and a master’s degree in education curriculum and instruction from the University of Cincinnati. Sunya is Moore’s middle name, which she uses to honor her Korean heritage.DEBORAH SUNYA MOORE APPOINTED PERMANENT SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF PROGRAM OFFICER AT CHAUTAUQUA INSTITUTION