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. She is a member of the 2013 cohort of the Community Arts Education Leadership Institute of the National Guild for Community Arts Education. 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 before 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, singer and director. Deirdre performs all over Chicagoland with her literacy chamber band, The Lucky Trikes, serves on the boards of performance ensemble MOCREP and New Music Chicago.
Justin Peters, tour manager
Justin joined the Eighth Blackbird team in 2016 as Studio Manager, adding tour managing duties in 2018. He manages Eighth Blackbird’s Chicago studio and offices, provides production support for local performances, and works with national and international presenters to help bring Eighth Blackbird to venues across the world.
Justin received his Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Outside of the studio, he freelances as a drummer, percussionist, and composer with many groups in Chicago and abroad. His numerous projects include Matthäus, Emily Blue, and a residency at Zen Yoga Garage.
Kimberly Sutton, business manager
Kimberly A. Sutton is a cellist, sound artist and composer living in Chicago, IL. Her sound work explores the subtleties of daily life and connections between the physical properties of sound and cultural signifiers of its content. As a composer and improviser her practice involves meditational exploration of a physical connection with an instrument. She has a BA in Political Science and Music from the University of Chicago and an MFA in Electronic Music from Mills College, where she studied with John Bischoff and Roscoe Mitchell. After three years accounting management in the for profit sector Kimberly is thrilled to bring her expertise to a vibrant arts community in Chicago.