The Arts and Education Council has named Jessie Youngblood director of development. In this role, Youngblood will cultivate and manage individual, corporate and foundation donors and prospects for A&E.

She also has direct oversight of A&E’s affinity groups, the Muse Society (women’s leadership giving) and Young Friends of the Arts. She works closely with senior leadership to devise comprehensive strategies for A&E’s future growth through new funding initiatives as well as securing investments in A&E’s arts incubator, the Centene Center for the Arts, and sponsorships of programs like the St. Louis Arts Awards, Catalyst Conversations, Arts Leadership and Management Academy and others.

“Jessie is an accomplished nonprofit professional who is passionate about the arts and understands the impact strong arts support from individuals, corporations and foundations can have for our region,” said Cynthia A. Prost, A&E president and CEO. “We look forward to working with her as we continue to grow the base of arts supporters in our community.”

Youngblood comes to A&E from Metro Theater Company, where she increased contributed income more than 15% and conducted the first ever Jazz Benefit Concert and Gala with special guest Terence Blanchard. Prior to her role at Metro Theater, Youngblood served as assistant director of development at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and donor services and database manager and box office manager at Jazz St. Louis.

Originally from Boise, Idaho, Youngblood relocated to St. Louis in 2013 after completing her Master of Music in violin pedagogy at Boise State University. She has been playing the violin for 23 years and performs in a variety of ensembles; from a 180-person full orchestra and chorus in Eisenstadt, Austria, to a string quartet behind legendary jazz pianist Billy Childs, and currently an Electric Light Orchestra tribute band. She holds a Master of Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis.