Charmaine Jefferson, doing business as Kélan Resources, is philosophically dedicated to integrating art, history, culture, inclusion and diversity into the DNA of education, community, business, philanthropy, and public/private collaborations. Offering customized consulting services, Jefferson brings to her work a complex depth of industry skills that include research, tactical thinking and an expectation of delivering ideas, plans and solutions connected to the client’s mission, vision immediate and long term goals. With more than 36 years of direct hands-on nonprofit and for profit business and volunteer charitable service, Jefferson’s specific experience includes: policy development, legal and statistical analysis; institutional operations and financial management; strategic planning; fostering media relations, community engagement and marketing strategies; presenting speeches, lectures, workshops and trainings; and, creating and producing performances, exhibits and programs.
Having trained, staged and performed as an artist, Jefferson is skilled in creative production and interpretation. As an attorney and hands-on administrator, she is trained to decipher, present and analyze multiple sides of an issue. This training and experience has consistently served her as an executive navigating everything from fostering creative opportunities and reconciling public and political demands to budget reductions, fundraising, managing teams, and maintaining the flexibility necessary to be nimble and responsive to change. Most recently, Jefferson served for 11 years as the Executive Director of the California African American Museum (CAAM), a state agency, and Vice President of its non-profit partner, Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum (Friends). During her tenure, Jefferson increased attendance from 35K to 100K, annual public programs from 35 to 80, and annual exhibits from 9 to 13 while curating several shows and sending others out on local and national tours. She grew the Friends resources at its peak from $225K to $1.2mil; expanded the art and historic documents collection; completed to schematics a $62mil capital expansion plan for the future physical growth of the museum facility; conceived and co-produced for 9 years the highly popular live monthly Target Sundays at CAAM performances; and institutionalized CAAM’s Young Docents program to provide high school students with year-round paid employment training opportunities.
Jefferson maintains a standing role as the Executive Consultant to the Tom & Ethel Bradley Foundation, and is a professional member of The Museum Group (a nationwide consortium of leading museum consultants). Jefferson’s other past professional responsibilities have included serving as: Director of Show Development for Disney Entertainment Productions; Vice President of Business Affairs for dePasse Entertainment; Executive Director of Dance Theatre of Harlem; as a for-profit Board Director for Just Toys, Inc; Acting & Deputy Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for the City of New York; Associate Attorney for the Law Firm of Holland and Knight; and, as Sr. Dance Program Specialist & Site Visit Coordinator for the National Endowment for the Arts.
In addition to professional positions, Jefferson currently serves as Vice Chair of the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Commission; as a Board Trustee for the California Institute of the Arts where she Co-Chairs the Academic and Campus Affairs Committee, and serves on the Finance and Trustee Committees. Jefferson is also the Co-Chair of the PBS SoCal African American Community Council, and is a member of the Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative Advisory Committee for the Los Angeles County Cultural Affairs Commission. In the past, Jefferson has volunteered on a diverse range of institutional boards including the California Arts Council; Arts for LA; Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival; as Co-Chair of the Harlem Empowerment Zone; and as an Ex Officio Trustee for the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Charmaine Jefferson received a B.A.in Dance from U.C.L.A., M.A. in Dance Education from New York University, and J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. She maintains law licenses in the District of Columbia and State of Florida.
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