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About

Jaime Sharp (she/they) is a Black queer nonprofit leader, social impact strategist, and arts & culture innovator residing on the stolen territory of the Three Fires People and members of the Kickapoo, Peoria, and Myaamia tribes. Jaime strives to evolve organizational culture by challenging structural exclusion and disrupting the pipeline to executive leadership through the instillment of knowledge and access to adequate resources and mutual aid. They stand firm in the belief that anti-racism is not possible without dismantling White supremacy culture and reaching Black liberation across all communities of the global majority. She has been influenced by her incredible mentors, who have instilled in her the importance of transparency, candor, and information passing to mold the next generation. As an active performer, Jaime also invites artists to explore their entrepreneurial talents to craft change on and off the stage. She imagines an artist-centric structure that asks creatives what they need instead of telling them. 

 

Jaime is currently the Program Manager for Grantmakers in the Arts. Passionate about community involvement, they are on the steering committee for the LGBTQ+ Network with OPERA America and the Chicago Chapter of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy. Additionally, she is the Strategic Operations Co-Chair for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Chicago, an advisory board member for the African American Network at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a board member-at-large for Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Young Professionals, and an Auxiliary Board Member for the Chicago Philharmonic. In Spring 2024, Jaime will participate in a week-long initiative with the Arts and Culture Organization Management program developed by Harvard University and American Repertory Theatre (A.R.T.). They are a recent graduate of the Executive Program for Social Impact Strategy (University of Pennsylvania), Leadership Intensive with OPERA America, and Turn the Spotlight Fellowship under the tutelage of Melissa Wegner (Metropolitan Opera) and Afa Dworkin (Sphinx Organization).

 

Jaime has participated in several professional development programs, including BIPOC Leadership Circle (artEquity), Racial Equity Action & Learning Cohort (United Philanthropy Forum), Career Accelerator (Tessitura Network), Hart Institute for Women Administrators (The Dallas Opera), Leadership Through Mentorship (Women of Color in the Arts), Opera Leaders of Color (OPERA America), and the All Rise Initiative (Tom O’Connor Consulting Group). Her work is intensely focused on racial equity in the arts. She served as the 2021-2022 EDI Research Fellow for the Association of Arts Administration Educators and former Administrative Manager for the Black Opera Alliance. Jaime is also the Co-Founder & Executive Director of the choral ensemble Hear Us, Hear Them, a Black-led Cincinnati-based organization focused on decolonizing choral repertoire by uplifting under-recognized composers. A champion for grassroots organizations, she led Opera NexGen as President & General Director from 2020-2022. The artist-led, entirely remote, and virtual company created full-length productions and educational content during the height of the pandemic.

 

Jaime has previously worked with the American Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and the University Musical Society. Previously, she served on the advisory cabinet for Victory Hall Opera’s SINGTANK, a collective of professional singers, and the Multi-Cultural Awareness Council with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Jaime has participated in grants panels for Association of Arts Administration Educators, OPERA America, and Ohio Arts Council. They hold certificates in fundraising from the Tessitura Network and the University of Kentucky in fundraising. She has also been featured in presentations, panels, and interviews with the Association of Arts Administration Educators, Sphinx Organization, Cincinnati Business Courier, CanvasRebel, TRILLOQUY, I Care If You Listen, OPERA America, Modern Singer, and more. 

 

In addition to her administrative pursuits, Jaime is an active performer. In 2022-2023, they joined Opera Ithaca as a young artist and made her solo debut with the Akron Symphony Orchestra. Jaime also toured with the Sphinx Organization’s EXIGENCE Vocal Ensemble for the 25th anniversary celebration. She has sung with Cincinnati Opera Opera Fusion: New Works, Detroit Opera (formerly Michigan Opera Theatre), Opera MODO, Detroit Song Collective, Brevard Music Center, and the Chautauqua Opera Institution. They were an Apprentice Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera during Summer 2022, covering mainstage roles in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Porgy and Bess. Jaime received the Audience Choice Award at the 2020 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Great Lakes Regional Finals after winning the Buffalo/Toronto District and was honored with the Hilda Harris Mezzo-Soprano Award at the 2018 George Shirley Vocal Competition. She received a BM in voice from the University of Michigan under the tutelage of Stanford Olsen and George Shirley and an MM in voice from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati (CCM), where they studied with Tom Baresel.

 

In the little free time that remains, Jaime enjoys overspending on flea market earrings, Roxanne Gay’s book recommendations, and anything about legos. Her most important role is being a parent to her incredible cats Dalyla and Estyr.

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