Joann Stevens is a seasoned communications strategist, program manager, writer, and public relations professional whose skills have helped propel diverse nonprofits to new levels of public recognition, capacity building, and financial sustainability. She has held leadership positions with The Executive Leadership Council, a member organization of the most senior African-American corporate executives in Fortune 500 companies; Special Olympics International with Sargent and Eunice Kennedy Shriver; the National Urban Coalition; The George Washington University; the Association of American Colleges and Universities; the Washington Post; and the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday Commission.
In 2008, the office of Jazz Appreciation Month Initiatives organized the first Jazz Interns Forum for National Museum of American History summer interns. The event featured presentations by Museum staff involved with jazz programs/collections/archives and was followed by an open discussion between staff and interns to help improve JAM programs for wider audiences and educate interns about the museum's jazz orchestra, collections, and archives. The interns were used as a focus group (interns on average were 18-25 years old). What started three years ago as a small forum with 15 people, has grown into an annual event that is extended to summer interns across the entire Smithsonian system in Washington, DC. On occasion, we will also offer jazz and related music research/commentary from JAM Partners and collaborators.