Born and raised in a rhythm and blues-oriented household in Chicago, Janis Lane-Ewart came to her passion for jazz as a young college student and went on to work in arts administration with a jazz focus. She studied Political Science at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago with intentions of pursuing a law career, but life took some turns and she has no regrets about her career in community radio and cultural activism.
Janis moved to Minneapolis in 1989 to work for a regional organization that provided funding and technical assistance to artists and organizations. She immediately became a volunteer with KFAI, hosting a weekly jazz program, the Collective Eye since 1989. In 2001 Janis became KFAI's Executive Director, assuming responsibility for management of five staff and over four hundred volunteers, fundraising and development, fiscal operations, and, development of new program initiatives.
Janis has an extensive background as an arts administrator, fundraiser and meeting facilitator. Additionally, she has a strong background in community service and cultural activism, having served as a volunteer and/or board member with Minnesotan organizations such as the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association, the Midtown Greenway Coalition, Community Shares, and COMPAS: Community Programs in the Arts; regionally by serving as past Treasurer of the Board of the Association of Minnesota Public Educational Radio Stations (AMPERS); at the national level, as past Board Treasurer of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, and as current Affiliate Representative on the Pacifica National Radio Board