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Meet Our New Director of Development, Heidi Weatherspoon

Welcome Heidi Weatherspoon, a fan of jazz, travel, puppies, and more. Heidi is JazzArts Charlotte’s new full-time Development Director. She joins us with a strong six years experience in Development and a Masters from UNCC in Public Administration concentrating in Nonprofit Management.

In a few short weeks, Heidi has already met many of our jazz aficionados at the Jazz at Victoria Yards events and begun setting in place our next level of growth goals and strategies.

We caught up with Heidi before a Monday team touchbase.

What was the path that led you to JazzArts Charlotte?

I grew up in and around Charlotte. I know, that’s as rare as a unicorn.

On the surface, my background seems all over the place, but there is a clear thread. I started volunteering in middle school, where my dad took me to help out at nonprofit events. While studying Broadcast Media in college, I began handling nonprofit conferences. I got involved in PR and video, and had some amazing experiences editing video documentaries in countries like India and Thailand. The travel bug hit me, so in the carefree years after college, I took the opportunity to move to Korea and teach English for nearly two years.

Back in the United States, I settled down to get my Masters and have been fundraising and event planning ever sense.

How would you describe yourself and your approach?

I believe in building relationships, to understand what people are most interested in. My desire is to help people align their passions with their giving, whether that is through volunteering time or donation.

What are you looking forward to in this role?

Opportunity and growth. There is so much opportunity that comes with the grants we are pursuing, and where we can go. Expanding this role to full-time gives the space to lay foundational work and put in motion some new and exciting things.

Favorite things to do when not at work?

I like to read: mainly Agatha Christy, Nicholas Sparks plus books on leadership and development. I’m also an outdoor person, so I really enjoy taking my lab puppy exploring.

What was the first live show you ever went to?

That’s hard! My dad worked with a network of music festivals across the East Coast, so I was going to events when I was a toddler.
You might laugh, but my favorite live performance was a K-pop group called Big Bang in South Korea. Tickets sold out in less than 10 minutes – and we scored standing front stage tickets, so you could see the band up close.
Another was an intimate setting show at my college campus of Jake Shimabukuro, a ukulele player. I love ukulele.

What’s on your playlist of favorite music?

I have a fairly broad range of musical taste. I have been to classical shows. I’m currently enjoying a playlist of feel good oldies and Michael Jackson. I would consider myself somewhere between new to jazz and familiar with the greats. I love Count Basie, and Louis Armstrong for his deep raspy sound. I took a Jazz Appreciation course in college and am looking forward to expanding my repertoire.

Next time you see Heidi, introduce yourself – I bet you have found something you have in common. At the least, you can add your favorite jazz artist to her next playlist.

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