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BSM Welcomes Barbara “B.J.” Adler, Interim Director

B.J. Adler Announced as Interim Executive Director of Bloomingdale School of Music

January 3, 2014–Bloomingdale School of Music announced today the appointment of Barbara “B. J.” Adler as the organization’s interim director following the untimely death in November of its long-standing Executive Director Lawrence Davis. Adler will lead the school through a transition to a new executive director.  Bloomingdale’s mission is to provide open access to high quality music instruction at a reasonable cost.

Since the school’s founding in 1964, it has served the residents of the Upper West Side and beyond with a combination of music instruction and ground-breaking special projects like The Student New Music Project , the Music Access ProjectPerformathonBloomingdale Online, and a robust annual concert series.   The school’s home is a brownstone located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, a neighborhood with a rich musical legacy as the home of world-renowned musicians, conductors and composers, as well as celebrated music conservatories. Partnerships with organizations like Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Chelsea Opera, and Music from China enrich the musical education experience of the school’s students and the community. The heart of the organization is its dedicated faculty of some of New York’s best teaching artists whose unique skills and professional technique impart the power of making music to a diverse student body ranging from preschoolers to seniors.

Adler is a seasoned non-profit executive and strong advocate for music education. Her distinguished career has included serving as executive director of the national Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and Chamber Music America as well as Education Director of the national Young Audiences Network and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. As Founder and Principal Partner of the consulting firm Vision Emerging, she served as a certification consultant for Young Audiences Inc., the Special Projects Consultant for the National Art Education Association and a coach for the Education Leadership Institute of the National Endowment for the Arts. Her firm has been involved with numerous arts and education organizations as a special projects and strategic planning consultant.  She has mentored nonprofit arts education professionals and has been a motivational and keynote speaker in the area of creative development.

Well known for her visionary leadership, Adler pioneered the creation of Arts Partners while serving as Executive Director of Young Audiences of Kansas City in the mid 1970’s.  The ground breaking initiative, then known as Learning Through the Arts, championed the use of artists and community arts resources as powerful educational tools and was successful in bringing the first U.S. Department of Education grant in the arts to three urban school districts in the Kansas City area. The program became a model for the Young Audiences network.

“I am inspired by Bloomingdale School of Music’s commitment to music education and to providing its students with a ‘musical edge.’ ” Adler said. “There is a critical need for educational experiences that inspire and engage our youth and prepare them for a rapidly changing world full of challenges and opportunities.  So many of our City’s adults are seeking the meaning that music making can bring into their lives. There is no more important work. I welcome the opportunity to join the Bloomingdale family of board, staff and faculty in moving forward with its mission.”

Adler is the author of several publications about the arts and their role in education and creative development.  She is an avid amateur musician, gardener and the mother of two creative grown sons.

Ms. Adler began her position on Monday, January 6 at Bloomingdale, and can be reached at the school or by email.