Jess Rezac, Development Manager at the American Jazz Museum, leads the Museum’s successful sustainable funding initiative, PEER Into the Future, and identifies, writes, and administers grants and corporate sponsorships, raising funds to support the four pillars of the Musem’s mission: preservation, education, exhibition, and research. Ms. Rezac coordinates donor relations through PEER Into the Future and the American Jazz Museum Society membership group. Under her management, the Museum has successfully generated over $800,000 in contributed revenue.
Ms. Rezac is an active participant in arts administration professional communities in Kansas City and Missouri. She currently serves as Board Member At-Large for the Missouri Association of Museums and Archives, Co-Chair of KC Live Arts performing arts marketing group, and participates in the Kansas City Arts & Culture Development Roundtable and Kansas City Emerging Museum Professionals group.
Prior to her tenure at the Museum, Ms. Rezac led the collections, education, and exhibition programs at Andrew County Museum where she worked as Curator until 2012. Texas Tech University awarded Ms. Rezac a Master of Arts degree in Museum Science in 2010. Her master’s thesis, “Postcolonial Museology and Jenne-Jeno Terracottas: A Theory for Broadening Interpretation of African Material Culture in American Museums,” explored the ways in which American museums interpret African material culture and proposed a new museology that challenges Western narratives of African and colonial history and engages visitors by offering exhibition narratives that move beyond static presentations of African peoples through an anthropological lens. This research built on previous projects completed while at Washburn University (B.A., History, ’08) that explored fictional and documentary representations of West Africa in American and English film and fictional narratives of Biafra/Nigeria as written by Igbo women authors.
In addition to her training in collections management, preventive conservation, interpretation and museum education, Ms. Rezac has over ten years of experience in web design and development with WordPress and other content management systems.