Wichita Jazz Festival office to open at Clifton Square

WICHITA — Clifton Square at 3700 E. Douglas is going to be the new home of the Wichita Jazz Festival office.

Executive director Craig Owens has been running the 41-year-old group from his office at Wichita State University where he’s director of the jazz studies program and teaches jazz guitar.

“It’s just important for the festival to have its own office,” Owens says. “It’s just the next natural step in the development of our organization.”

The group, which has a weeklong festival every April and educational activities throughout the year, also is adding staff for the new office.

Clifton Square developer Jo Zakas says the Wichita Jazz Festival will help her celebrate the center’s 40th birthday this fall.

“I would like to have a citywide community jazz day at Clifton Square,” she says. “We’ll just make it an all-day thing.”

Zakas says she’s surprised Clifton Square has been around so long. Then she rethinks it.

“I knew we’d be here this long. I’m just surprised it came so quickly.”