Deirdre Harrison, chief operating officer
Deirdre Harrison became Chief Operating Officer for Eighth Blackbird in 2018, after having served as their Interim Director of Development for six months. Previously, she was the Director of Development for the MacArthur-funded shared advancement staff project Creative Partners, Director of Development and Communications for Rush Hour Concerts/Make Music Chicago through its merger with the International Music Foundation, and for several years Music Institute of Chicago’s first Director of Community Engagement. Additional non-profit administration experience includes launching Global Citizenship Experience Lab School and work as Director of Admission and Financial Aid for Baker Demonstration School. Deirdre earned a double BA at Yale after completing her theater training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. A dual American-Irish citizen, she worked in the UK, EU and US for many years as an actress and director . Deirdre performs all over Chicagoland with her literacy chamber band, The Lucky Trikes, and serves as board treasurer for performance ensemble MOCREP.
Justin Peters, studio and tour manager
Alex Monroe, grants manager
Alex joined Eighth Blackbird in November 2016. A native of St. Louis, MO, he holds degrees in percussion performance from Northwestern University (M.M.) and Truman State University (B.M.) and is completing a certificate in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Management from the Northwestern School of Professional Studies. Prior to joining Eighth Blackbird, Alex served as General Manager of the Lake Forest Symphony in Lake Forest, IL. Alex is a strong advocate of new music and collaborative art. In 2014, he co-founded beyond this point, an experimental percussion group specializing in cross-disciplinary work.