People / Our Staff

Walter Zooi

Executive Director

Walter is an award-winning arts entrepreneur and organizational leader with over 20 years of experience in program development, strategic planning and driving organizational change. As executive director of the Young Musicians Foundation, he oversaw a comprehensive refocusing and restructuring of the organization’s mission and program model to provide access to music and media arts education to those who would not have access otherwise.  YMF now brings culturally responsive, long-term programming to over 5,000 students at 27 schools in underserved, under-resourced communities across LA County.

Walter is the founder and past artistic director of the South Pasadena Eclectic Music Festival, a city-wide, multi-stage event that showcases musical artists from across a wide variety of cultures and genres. As director of communications at the California Institute of the Arts he oversaw the branding and development communications program for both the Institute and the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater (REDCAT) in the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Walter held a similar position with USC’s Thornton School of Music, where he was part of the development that helped secure Flora L. Thornton’s $25 million naming gift to the school. Walter is a native of Philadelphia, where he attended Temple University. He is currently completing an M.S. in Philanthropic Leadership through the University of Denver.