Blake-Anthony Johnson, CEO & President of Chicago Sinfonietta, a recipient of the 2023 Harvard Business School Club of Chicago’s Fellowship

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Blake-Anthony Johnson, CEO & President of Chicago Sinfonietta, a recipient of the 2023 Harvard Business School Club of Chicago’s Fellowship to attend Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Non-profit Management (SPNM) course

Blake-Anthony Johnson, CEO & President of Chicago Sinfonietta

CHICAGO, IL – The Harvard Business School Club of Chicago (HBSCC) today announced “a record eight Chicago leaders will attend Harvard Business School’s Executive Education course, Strategic Perspectives in Non-profit Management (SPNM) July 9-15, 2023.

“SPNM provides case study and team learning for 160 nonprofit leaders from around the world. With eight 2023 attendees, Chicago expects to have the highest cohort of any American city.”


Chicago Sinfonietta Lifetime Board Trustee Michelle L. Collins, Principal of Cambium LLC, who joined the CS Board in 1995 and served as chair from 2001 until 2007 is also a corporate board director, civic leader and past HBSCC President. One of Chicago Sinfonietta’s most creative thought leaders and consistent and generous supporters, she recruited Mr. Johnson. She is quoted in HBSCC’s release, saying “I am so proud of HBSCC to have selected not only the most talented non-profit leaders in Chicago, but also the most diverse, to have the opportunity to experience Harvard’s SPNM Exec Ed Program. I can’t wait to see how these leaders will impact Chicago’s non-profit community when they return!”


HGSCC announced the following nonprofit leaders attending the course this July at Harvard Business School:


Inhe Choi, Executive Director of the HANA Center, an immigrant resource center advocating for and providing aid to Korean and Latino families in Chicago;


Jason Coleman, Co-founder and Executive Director of Project SYNCERE, which provides opportunities for students who have been traditionally under-represented in STEM;


Christa Hamilton, President and CEO of UCAN, which offers programs focused on healing trauma, building strong families, educating youth and preventing violence;


Alaina Harkness, Executive Director of Current Innovation, which works to grow the blue economy, accelerate innovation and solve pressing water challenges;


Cara Hendrickson, Executive Director of Impact for Equity, formerly known as BPI, which combats systemic barriers to equity and to fight for racial, economic, and social justice;


Blake-Anthony Johnson, President and CEO of Chicago Sinfonietta, which creates community through dynamic, innovative symphonic experiences, dynamic education and outreach programs, and advocates for inclusivity in all aspects of its work;


Imran Khan, CEO and Cofounder Embarc, an experiential learning program which changes how teachers teach, students learn, and schools become communities and


Carole Wood, CEO of Northwestern University Settlement Association, which disrupts generational poverty by supporting and empowering young people at distinct stages of life.



Since 2005, the HBSCC has advanced 60 Chicago area non-profit leaders to attend the SPNM Exec Ed Program. To learn about the 2024 HBSCC SPNM Scholarship, contact [email protected] To support future SPNM scholars from Chicagoland, donate at



A tenured orchestra and acclaimed cultural leader that champions diversity, equity, and inclusion by creating community through curated symphonic experiences, Chicago Sinfonietta (CS) is a source of community through music, as well as ensuring and inspiring a continued investment in diversity and inclusivity in the genre of classical music to promote fairness and equity. Celebrating its 36th season this 2023-24, the orchestra is recognized as groundbreaking, dynamic and daring, with core values built around being culturally responsive and advocates of inclusivity in all aspects of its work. Chicago Sinfonietta’s unrelenting commitment to being at the forefront of innovation drives its high standard of symphonic experiences. CS takes pride in leading by example with immersive audience engagement activities, impactful career development, education, and extensive community outreach programs. Learn more about RESONATE, Chicago Sinfonietta’s 36th season, at


Noted as a “business heavyweight” by Crain’s Chicago Business, arts executive Blake-Anthony Johnson has, throughout his career, extended the artistic, commercial, and technological boundaries of what an orchestra can be in the 21st century through creative leadership, commitment to innovation, and progressive vision. The first African American executive to guide a nationally renowned orchestra, he is President and Chief Executive Officer of the award-winning Chicago Sinfonietta, and has led the acclaimed cultural leader in the field and powerful champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion since May 2020. An active member of numerous organizational boards and committees, Johnson was appointed Co-Chair of the City of Chicago’s DCASE Cultural Advisory Council in January 2023 and serves on the Cultural Arts Council for the City of Chicago, The Sir Georg Solti Foundation U.S., and the League of American Orchestras’ EDI Orchestra Management Committee, amongst others. Recent honors include a 2023 Black Men in Excellence Award by the Black Professionals Network, Chicago Tribune’s 2022 Chicagoan of the Year in Classical Music, being named one of 2022’s Top 30 Professionals of the Year by, and one of Crain’s Chicago Business magazine’s Class of 2022 40 Under 40. An accomplished musician, and a former professional cellist and protégé of Michael Tilson Thomas at New World Symphony, Johnson is the recipient of the 2022 Chicago Community Trust Daniel Burnham Fellowship. Former posts include two terms on the National Endowment for the Arts Music Panel.

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