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ArtsPartners names new executive director

Photo J Gordon
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ArtsPartners of Central Illinois Inc. has named Peoria native Jennifer Gordon as its new executive director, effective April 1. She replaces Suzette Boulais, who retired March 1 after more than 12 years at the helm.


Gordon will return to Peoria from New York City, where she has been working for Steinway & Sons-Americas as manager in the Concert and Artist Department. While at Steinway & Sons, the world-renowned piano company founded in 1853, Gordon was involved in numerous facets of the operation. She was artist relations liaison for more than 800 Steinway artists in the Americas and she represented Steinway at international piano competitions and music festivals across the country.


"My time with Steinway & Sons provided me with invaluable experience working and building relationships with a wide variety of organizers, venues, and incredible artists from around the world," Gordon said. "As executive director for ArtsPartners, I look forward to my past experiences enabling me to better serve the promotion of great art in Central Illinois."


Gordon, the daughter of Arthur and Linda Von Behren, studied violin at the Interlochen Arts Academy and received her bachelor’s degree in music, emphasizing violin performance, from the University of Illinois. In addition to being active in the performing arts in New York, she was involved with several arts organizations while living in the Peoria area, including the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, Opera Illinois, Peoria Municipal Band, Peoria Players Theatre, and Cornstock Theatre and Winter Playhouse.


"Peoria has such a rich heritage as a destination for artists and audiences," Gordon said. "Personally, my own love and enthusiasm for the arts was cultivated growing up here. I'm honored to join ArtsPartners and contribute to and help build the already vibrant platform for the arts in Peoria."


Gordon, her husband Eric and infant daughter Josephine will move back to the Peoria area.