The Presidio Theatre welcomes Lilly Schwartz as Executive and Artistic Director

Lilly Schwartz joins the Presidio Theatre after serving for over 10 years as the Artistic Director of SFJAZZ.

The Board of Directors of the Presidio Theatre has announced that national arts leader Lilly Schwartz will be its new Executive and Artistic Director. Schwartz, who has served more than ten years as Artistic Director at SFJAZZ, brings more than 25 years of experience in arts administration, programming and curation, development, marketing, education, and community enhancement to the position as well as an academic background in music performance and musicology. Schwartz will oversee all aspects of the Presidio Theatre operations including programming, marketing, fundraising, community relations, strategic planning, and execution and management of the 600-seat performing arts center’s active producing, presenting, and rental operation. She will begin August 5 and succeeds Presidio Theatre founding Executive Director Robert Martin, who retired January 31 of this year.

“We are excited to welcome Lilly; her experience, energy, and vision are the ideal combination to guide us into our next chapter as a leading arts venue,” says Presidio Theatre founder and Board President Peggy Haas. “Her broad background in performing arts leadership and administration make her ideally suited to oversee the Presidio Theatre’s wide-ranging mix of production and presentation of theater, dance, music, and film. Her enthusiastic and inclusive personality and approach will be invaluable in continuing our reputation as a performing arts center cherished by both artists and audiences.”

“I am honored and thrilled to join Peggy and the Presidio Team to move this beautiful theater into its next iteration,” says Schwartz. “We will work together to build upon the organization’s vision and to refine our own unique voice in the performing arts world. This thoughtful renovation which created a state of the art 600 seat hall, is positioned for creative programmatic expansion to include music, dance, theater, and arts of all genres. In following in the original intention of the theater, we will welcome resident artistic companies, local artists, and the community at large. I can’t wait to usher the Presidio Theatre into its next era.”


Lilly Schwartz has enjoyed a career of more than 25 years in performing arts management, executive leadership, artistic planning, programming and performance production. She has a strong track record of engaging diverse artists in ways that drive audiences, strengthen careers and advance the arts. She has served as the Artistic Director of SFJAZZ since 2013, where she has been responsible for all aspects of curating the programming consisting of more than 400 concerts annually in its mainstage series, San Francisco Jazz Festival and Summer Sessions. In addition, she was responsible for management and the production within the organization, including SFJAZZ’ annual $1.8 million gala fundraiser, The NEA Jazz Masters Awards concerts, and appointing the Resident Artistic Directors.

Prior to SFJAZZ, Schwartz was Director of Pops and Programming and Director of the Composers Institute at the Minnesota Orchestral Association.  She began her career as Programming Manager at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. She has served as a consultant, speaker and  panelist for many organizations including Carnegie Hall, Stonington Jazz Festival in Australia, , California Presenters Conference, Delaware Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, Summer Music at Harkness and Jazz in Germany, among others.  Schwartz earned a Master of Music degree in Musicology from Florida State University, a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from Philadelphia College of Performing Arts and is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy.

Media Contact:
Scott Horton Communications
510-229-9739  |   Email

See All News

Join our mailing list