Founder/Director Emerita Research Center for Arts and Culture/Performing Arts Legacy project
Brooklyn, NY

”What is honored in a country is cultivated there.”
Plato, Book VIII

Artists dream up problems, and figure out how to solve them. Joan Jeffri has spent a lifetime in their service. After her beginnings as a poet and a professional actress, Joan’s frustration with how poorly artists were treated led her into management. She founded the Research Center for Arts and Culture to focus on the situation and condition of living artists, and ran it and the graduate Program in Arts Administration for three decades at Columbia University.

After mentoring programs in arts management around the world, and creating 30 years of studies on jazz musicians, ballet dancers, painters, craftspeople and actors, Joan developed in-depth interviews with both visual and performing artists. From these, she created two legacy programs for them in NYC and Washington DC, transferring the programs from academia to the real world, most recently to the Entertainment Community Fund, with resources to create community and safe functioning, and to combat isolation, depression, and financial alarm.

Past President of the Association of Arts Administration Educators and the International Arts Medicine Association, she is an honorary professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. She values the international, the interdisciplinary, the intergenerational, the creative struggle in all its forms.

Joan attended Boston University, Columbia, and the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. As one of her study artists said, “Art is what it does for you.”