Kathy Acosta Zavala continues to embrace arts administration and music programming as a way to positively impact the communities she serves. A seasoned arts administrator and performer, she served the Tucson musical community for ten years as Tucson Guitar Society’s Operations Director and President, and Tucson Desert Song Festival’s Operations Director. She currently lives in Miami where she is Young Musicians Unite’s Operation Manager and an adjunct music professor at MDC-Kendall campus.

Recognized for her leadership and organizational skills, Acosta Zavala became the production manager and artistic director of the Sundays in the Garden concert series, a collaboration between Tohono Chul Park and Tucson Guitar Society.

A musicologist and classical guitarist by training, Kathy is graduating with a Ph.D. in Music, Musicology from the University of Arizona. Her dissertation reveals Vahdah Olcott-Bickford’s crucial role in the construction of the modern American guitar landscape. Her other research interests include the soundscapes of protests in the United States as well as American symphonic commissions during WWII. Her paper “War, Institutions and Commissions: A Study of the 1943 League of Composers’ War-Themed Commissions,” was recognized as best student paper at the 2018 Rocky Mountain Music Scholars Conference. In 2020, Kathy was also honored by the Fred Fox School of Music Advisory Board with a Distinguished Graduate Student Award. In academia, Acosta Zavala has served as chair of the Graduate Student Music Conference organization committee and was the conference organizer of the 2018 Rocky Mountain Music Scholars Conference, which welcomed over 100 scholars from all across the Southwest region. She is currently serving in the American Musicological Society Council.

Through her passion for interdisciplinary work, Acosta Zavala has worked with leading arts organizations around the country such as the Boston Early Music Festival, Aquilon Music Festival, and the American Musicological Society.

As a performer, Acosta Zavala has concertized in the United States, France, Spain, Peru, and Canada. She holds degrees from the University of Arizona and the University of Alicante and plays a 2014 Gnatek guitar.