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Kansas City Art Institute Names New Interim President

James Prinz
Courtesy: Kansas City Art Institute

The Kansas City Art Institute Thursday announced new leadership — at least for the next 18 months. Starting Dec. 3, Tony Jones, chancellor and president emeritus of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, will step in as interim president. 

Stephen Metzler, chair of the KCAI board of trustees, has served this role since August, when former president Jacqueline Chanda retired. 

"While the trustees turn our attention to an international search for the next full-time president of KCAI, Tony will bring seasoned leadership to the day-to-day operations of the college," Metzler said in a news release. 

Tony Jones was born in Great Britain, and studied in London and Wales as a sculptor, painter and art historian. Jones has an international reputation as an arts administrator, educator and historian, as well as a consultant on higher education and the arts.

In 2003, he received the title of Commander of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.  

Jones's ties to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago stretch back nearly 30 years. He served as president from 1986 to 1991, when he left to direct the Royal College of Art in London. In 1996, Jones returned to SAIC as president until 2012, when he took on the roles of chancellor and president-emeritus.  

"As someone who has loved living in the Midwest for many years, it feels quite natural to me to make my home for a time in Kansas City, which has a growing reputation as a center for arts and culture,” Jones said. 

Jones and his wife, photographer Patty Carroll, plan to relocate to Kansas City during his tenure as interim president of KCAI. 

Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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