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Blog Post: Sep 20, 2022

OTSL Announces New Class of Rising Arts Leaders with Clayco Future Leaders Fellowship

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL) announced today the third class of the Clayco Future Leaders Fellowship. This innovative and highly successful program cultivates future leaders in arts administration who come from historically underrepresented backgrounds, particularly those who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. The class, which will join OTSL beginning September 30, includes Jhané Perdue (Artistic Fellow), Linda Holyoke (Advancement Fellow), and Jenna Pieper (Administration Fellow).  

“As OTSL embarks upon the third year of this thriving program, we couldn’t be more excited to welcome our new Fellows,” said General Director Andrew Jorgensen. “It’s vital that we take a comprehensive approach to preparing emerging talent in the world of opera, whether it be for roles on the stage, backstage, or in administration. We’re incredibly proud of our previous classes of Fellows and are grateful for all they’ve taught our organization. We are encouraged by their remarkable successes since leaving the program, and are confident that Jhané, Linda, and Jenna will add to the legacy of this initiative. They’re a wonderful and talented group of individuals, and we’re thrilled to have them join the OTSL team.” 

The Clayco Future Leaders Fellowship provides in-depth work experience to strengthen the skills, knowledge, and capabilities that make careers in the arts possible. Building on their experience at OTSL, the two previous classes of Clayco Fellows have progressed into roles at prominent organizations including the Glimmerglass Festival, Santa Fe Opera, Houston Grand Opera, LA Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Austin Opera, The New Harmony Project, and IMG Artists. The positions they’ve attained span a wide variety of fields within arts administration, from artist management to education and community engagement to grant writing and fundraising. 

“The Clayco Future Leaders Fellowship thoroughly prepared me for a career in non-profit arts administration,” said Andréa Ochoa, 2021-22 Advancement Fellow and current Director of Education and Community Engagement at Austin Opera. “It empowered me with skills, experience, and knowledge that have propelled me into a new and exciting stage of my career. I developed a deep understanding of the opera and arts non-profit industries, which has allowed me to step confidently into a leadership role with a new company. I am so thankful for this program and cannot recommend it highly enough.” 

The Clayco Fellowship runs from September 30, 2022, through July 21, 2023. Over the course of the program, participants will serve in a full-time position specializing in one department while gaining hands-on experience in a range of essential functions across the organization. All Fellows will receive a full-time salary, benefits, transportation and relocation stipends, professional development, and networking opportunities. Each Fellow will also be mentored by another leader in the field, providing connection to the broader arts community. The Clayco Future Leaders Fellowship is possible thanks to a generous three-year commitment from Bob and Jane Clark and Clayco, the 2021 recipient of the Missouri Arts Award for Philanthropy.  

“Clayco is thrilled to continue supporting this OTSL Fellowship program,” said Bob Clark, Executive Chairman and Founder of Clayco. “A diverse workforce is imperative to success, and the Fellowship’s mission is to increase the number of BIPOC leaders in the arts. My wife Jane, an OTSL board member, and I are incredibly proud of the previous Fellows and excited to see what the new cohorts will bring to OTSL. We extend a warm, St. Louis welcome to our third class of Jhané, Linda, and Jenna, and look forward to witnessing their success.”

About Jenna Pieper, Administration Fellow

Jenna Pieper is a St. Louisbased classical percussionist and arts administrator. Jenna has performed with multiple ensembles in the St. Louis area, including the SIUE Orchestra/Wind Symphony, St. Louis Civic Orchestra, and the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. She recently served as the Artistic Administration Intern at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis for the 2022 Festival Season. Jenna holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Performance from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts Degree in Arts Leadership and Cultural Management from Colorado State University.

About Linda Holyoke, Advancement Fellow

Linda Holyoke is a former sustainability engineer holding a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Saint Louis University. They spent five years in solar energy working as a weather data analyst and supervisor navigating rapid growth and change in the industry. As a lifelong lover of the arts and former student of Saint Louis Ballet School, Linda is thrilled to unite their artistic passions with strategic thinking in this new role.

About Jhané Perdue, Artistic Fellow

Jhané Perdue currently serves as the Artistic Project Coordinator with the Pleiades Project, an organization that creates unique performance opportunities for female artists who wish to express the strength, unique vision, and individuality of their art. During her time with the Pleiades Project, Jhané created the Black Brilliance Competition, to celebrate Black artists, and has also worked on multiple short films and live events. As a singer, Perdue has been a soloist with the Flint Symphony Orchestra. Perdue received her Bachelor of Music from Bowling Green State University.