Chris Lewis is Executive Director of the Great American Songbook Foundation, a role he assumed in January 2017 after five years as Director of Programs. He oversees all the organization’s activities, including management of the Songbook Archives & Library, the Songbook Exhibit Gallery, the Songbook Hall of Fame and all educational and outreach programming.
During his tenure, Lewis has spearheaded the national expansion of the Foundation’s most prominent education program, the annual Songbook Academy® summer intensive, as well as the development of Perfect Harmony, a research-based program of therapeutic musical activities designed for people living with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. Lewis also cultivated the Foundation’s relationship with the Los Angeles-based Grammy Museum®, which now recognizes the Foundation as one of its five Cultural Affiliates around the world.
An accomplished musician with professional vocal experience, Lewis holds a master's degree in education from Mercy College and has worked as a history teacher and special education liaison for the New York City Department of Education. He earned a graduate certificate in nonprofit executive leadership through the IUPUI School of Philanthropy and is a graduate of the Hamilton County Leadership Academy. Lewis is a member of the Indianapolis Consortium of Arts Administrators, the National Association of Music Educators, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the Jazz Education Network and the Recording Academy.
Chris can be reached at clewis@TheSongbook.org or 317-844-9446.
Archivist Lisa Lobdell has had a life-long interest in preserving and organizing things dating back to her childhood when she used rainy days to reorganize her coloring books and games. She worked in banking, manufacturing, and property management prior to returning to her first love. She joined the Great American Songbook Foundation in May 2010 after completing her graduate degrees in library science and history.
Since joining the Songbook Foundation, she has moved the collections twice, provided input on the design of office space, and serves as both head librarian and museum curator along with her archival duties. Today she oversees a team of volunteers and interns who work to make all of our collections accessible in a variety of ways to our user community.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her four grown children, grandchildren and friends, preferably outdoors.
Lisa may be reached at llobdell@TheSongbook.org or 317-844-9457.
Cathy A. Burton
Director of Museum Planning & Audience Enrichment
Cathy Burton joined the Songbook Foundation staff in January 2017. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Art (Art History) and a Master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology. She has worked for four museums during her career emphasizing museum education and programs. At the Songbook Foundation, Cathy researches and plans how to build a Songbook museum to meet the needs of diverse audiences; she welcomes, trains, and works with volunteers, and is a team member producing enjoyable and memorable activities for gallery visitors and specific audiences. Cathy has many interests; she volunteers for an arts organization, enjoys creating in visual arts, and travels and participates in museums with friends and family.
Cathy can be reached at cburton@TheSongbook.orgor (317) 844-9454.
Renée La Schiazza
Manager of Programs & Communications
Renée La Schiazza joined the Great American Songbook Foundation in February 2018. Though a new staff member, she was no stranger to the Great American Songbook Foundation, as she was a 2012 Songbook Academy Alum and interned for the organization in 2013. Renée holds a B.F.A. in Music Theatre and a B.A. in Arts Administration from Elon University. She is an accomplished performing artist with experience as a professional actress, associate director/music director and choreographer at regional theaters and performance venues throughout the country. Renée most recently appeared as Lucy in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” at Flat Rock Playhouse, the State Theatre of North Carolina, while also working full-time in their Marketing & Development office.
Renée can be reached at Renée email@example.com or 317-844-5832.