J Live Returns – Reimagined!
Honoring Jon Mayers
Featuring live music and special live-streamed guest artist appearances
Just days before J Live 2020, the JCC and the Gordon Center for Performing Arts were shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are thrilled to announce that we have created a revised version of this event called JLive -Reimagined that will take place on Tuesday, May 25, at the Gordon Outdoors, the JCC’s new drive-in venue. The evening will begin with a special reception for our VIP guests. This celebratory fundraiser supports the Gordon Center’s arts education programs for children and adults and provides financial assistance to JCC children, teens, individuals, and families.
JCC Executive Director Barak Hermann says the recognition for Jon Mayers is well
deserved. “Jon is an incredible visionary and the mastermind behind Gordon Outdoors. When I came here nine years ago, there was a lot of work being done to re-envision the Gordon Center and arts and culture at the JCC. I can’t even imagine where we’d be without Jon’s volunteer leadership, expertise, coaching, guidance, wisdom and support of the team and me.”
Jon recalls the dreams of the former JCC executive team, “In Buddy [Sapolsky] and Dale’s [Busch] days, we recognized that the JCC was strong when it came to its fitness programming but lagging behind in its arts and culture programming. So, we set up committees to look at arts and culture and made a commitment to [grow] it. Fast forward to when Barak came in,” recalls Jon. “I said I wanted to expand the [arts and culture] programming and he said he would work with me.” The results have been “tremendous,” he says.
“I volunteer because I have a background in arts and culture and a love for community,” says the Baltimore native. “I’m blessed to have certain skill sets and to be able to give back.” Adds Jon: “[The Gordon Center’s success] is really due to the staff, the culture of the JCC and the board. So many people put in so many hours that they’re not paid for. It’s really a wonderful experience to be involved.”
Jon also credits his wife Beth, a former JCC board chair, with getting him and the rest of their family involved with the JCC almost 30 years ago. “Beth joined a Baby and Me class and she made all her best friends,” he says. She’s really the one working behind the scenes.”
When he isn’t volunteering at the JCC or contributing his time and resources to the other charitable organizations he supports, Jon is President of Chesapeake Realty Partners. Jon’s experience in real estate development has made him a terrific advisor for the JCC’s regarding facilities management and planning.
Before his career in real estate development, Jon worked as a sound engineer for entertainers such as Stevie Wonder, Hall & Oates and Frank Sinatra. He also served as sound engineer for the Reagan White House. “I left the road in 1986,” he says. “At the time, I was about to go on the road with a little band called Pink Floyd. My girlfriend — now my wife — told me I had to make a choice. I chose her and it was the best decision I ever made.”
Little did he know at the time, but Jon’s decision to retire from the music business was great news for the JCC and the Gordon Center. For years, Jon has worked tirelessly to develop the J’s arts and culture programming. “I helped to execute the first Maccabi Arts Fest; and I advise them [the Gordon Center] about what equipment to buy and what acts to book. It’s a very small staff so I’m very involved,” says Jon.
Especially during the pandemic, the opening of the Gordon Outdoors has expanded the JCC’s capabilities to provide entertainment to the community in a COVID-safe environment. May 25 will be no exception; with live music on an outdoor stage and live-streamed music featuring some nationally-known musicians performing on the Gordon Outdoors mega screen.
“It’s an incredible night to bring community together and to celebrate the JCC and arts and culture,” says Barak. We’ll also be raising money for financial aid so that no one who needs our support is turned away.”
JLive is chaired by Alyson Friedman and Larry Plant.
The schedule for the evening is as follows:
6:45pm to 8:30pm:
Pre-show VIP dinner reception, live music, live auction, and presentation to Jon Mayers
8:30-9:30pm: Music program
VIP Admission: $200 per person | includes delicious dinner and adult beverages
General Admission: $85 per person ($100 at the door) | snacks and adult beverages
For more details and to purchase tickets online visit www.jcc.org/jlive.