Center for the Arts Names New CEO

Michael H. Jessup
Michael H. Jessup: Michael Jessup is the new CEO of the Center for the Arts. He brings more than 20 years of non-profit leadership experience to the organization.


Michael H. Jessup brings more than 20 years of nonprofit leadership experience and a proven track record of success to the organization.


The Board of Trustees of the Center for the Arts (CFA) announces that following an extensive search, Michael H. Jessup has been named the new chief executive office of the nonprofit organization. He assumed the duties of the position effective January 4, replacing interim CEO Carolyn Evans.

A graduate of Loyola Blakefield and Towson University, Jessup has more than 20 years experience in nonprofit management and fundraising, both professionally and as a volunteer. His background includes overseeing operations at the University of Florida, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Salisbury University, American Diabetes Association, Archbishop Spalding High School and Capital Caring. Among his many notable career accomplishments, Jessup secured a $21 million gift for cancer research and a cancer hospital, raised $26 million in the first two years of a seven year $55 million national capital campaign, and generated a 500% increase in major gifts for Salisbury University’s national major gifts program.

As a volunteer, Jessup has served on boards and committees for the National Kidney Foundation of Maryland; the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundations of Maryland and North Florida; the Association of Fundraising Professionals North Florida Chapter; and the Corporate Sponsorship and Membership Committees of the Towson University Tiger Club. He was also named Volunteer of the Year for 2000 for the National Kidney Foundation.

Jessup has also lectured at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine immunology program and served as a mentor for the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Transplant Center. Prior to entering the nonprofit arena, he worked in the investment industry for Riggs, Counselman, Michaels & Downs and T. Rowe Price.

“We are thrilled to have Michael on board as the new face of Center for the Arts,” says Board of Trustees President Toby Musser. “He has an excellent track record of helping other nonprofits achieve significant fundraising, programmatic and operational success, and  the Center for the Arts Board of Trustees and staff are eager to put his skills and experience to use in creating a world-class arts center right here in Harford County.”

Of his new role at Center for the Arts Jessup says, “I have worked to develop or restructure programs, campaigns and teams to benefit a variety of organizations around the country, and look forward to applying that experience to help a nonprofit in my home state realize its mission. As a current Harford County resident myself, I look forward to building on existing partnerships and cultivating new relationships to increase support of this very worthwhile project. I have no doubt that it will not only benefit the local economy, but also bring cultural enrichment to our community and enhance the quality of life for the whole region.”

Jessup currently resides in Abingdon with his wife Jennifer and their three children, Emily, Tyler and Maddie.

About the Center for the Arts (
Founded in 2005, the Center for the Arts is a nonprofit organization dedicated to establishing a permanent site for performance, display, and education in the arts in Harford County, Maryland.  The mission of the Center for the Arts is to nurture art and artists, and positively impact the community at large by providing a broad range of experiences in music, dance, theater, visual and literary arts.

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