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Press Releases

Cal Performances at UC Berkeley names Taun Miller Wright as Chief Development Officer

January 13, 2020 | By Louisa Spier
Public Relations Manager

Berkeley, January 9, 2020 — Jeremy Geffen, executive and artistic director of Cal Performances, the performing arts presenter and producer at the University of California, Berkeley, announced today that Taun Miller Wright has been appointed the organization’s Chief Development Officer, effective Monday, January 13, 2020. Says Geffen, “Taun’s passion for the performing arts—and for Cal Performances in particular—her fundraising savvy, her critical thinking skills, her imagination, and, most importantly, her warm and winning personality are thoroughly impressive. The clarity of her understanding of philanthropy and our community was apparent from the first moment all of us on the search committee met her. I am confident that with her expert guidance of our development team, Cal Performances’ capacity for excellence and leadership in the performing arts will continue to grow and flourish.”

Reporting to Geffen, Wright will lead all of Cal Performances’ fundraising operations, with an emphasis on individual giving, corporate philanthropy, government and foundation grants, and campaigns for gifts to support and sustain the university’s comprehensive performing arts presenter and producer. As a member of Cal Performances’ senior leadership team, she will play a critical role in strategic decision-making affecting the entire organization. Additionally, in partnership with Geffen, she will work to develop strategies for development of the board of trustees, special campaigns, and fundraising events. Wright will also participate in the UC Berkeley campaign management team and work collaboratively with the principal gifts team at University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR).

Taun Miller Wright has a substantial background in philanthropy, including eight years at UC Berkeley, where she served as Associate Director and then Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations in UDAR. While there, she earned Berkeley’s Excellence in Management Award, working on projects such as bringing the arts into teacher credentialing programs, and securing a $113 million gift to UC Berkeley from the Hewlett Foundation.

Wright has also consulted on development and public relations for the University of California and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and founded Equal Read, a nonprofit organization that aims to increase diversity in children’s literature, so that all children can “see themselves and a world of possibility in the books they read.”

Wright holds a bachelor’s degree in music from University of California, Santa Cruz, where she was recognized with a Chancellor’s Undergraduate Award, and a master’s degree in nonprofit administration from the University of San Francisco. She has served as Cal Performances’ interim institutional giving manager since October 2019.

One of the foremost university arts presenters in the country, Cal Performances presents, produces, and commissions renowned and emerging artists of the highest caliber. Serving the entire San Francisco Bay Area, the organization aims, through ambitious programming, to cultivate the artistic literacy of future audiences and connect the most innovative and accomplished artists in the world with the intellectual capital of UC Berkeley. Cal Performances reaches nearly 120,000 people each year through its artistic programming and education and community outreach efforts, and presents close to 100 performances each year in each year in music (classical, early, and new music, world music, and jazz): dance (contemporary, ballet, folkloric and world); and theater. Cal Performances has an annual operating budget of $18 million. The organization generates 31% from ticket sales and 20% from venue rentals and other earned income, and relies upon the generous contributions of individuals, corporations, foundations, and UC Berkeley to cover the remaining 49% of its operating costs. 


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