Attorney, Smithyman & Zakoura, Chartered
Jim Zakoura, of Overland Park, is a partner in Smithyman & Zakoura Chartered, Overland Park; his principal area of practice is energy law. An alumnus of the University of Kansas, he earned two degrees: a bachelor’s in language arts in 1970 and a law degree in 1972.
He has been a generous supporter of the School of Music and fine arts for years, and his donations to KU Endowment have helped provide scholarships for music students, music professorships, a summer program for youths, and more.
His passion is to bring music to people who otherwise would not be exposed to it. Zakoura has established two nonprofit foundations — Reach Out Kansas Inc. and the Zakoura Family Foundation (a fund of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation-ZFF) — to help bring his vision to life. The development of outreach programs through Reach Out Kansas Inc. were designed to better provide youth a chance to experience the fine arts, targeting rural communities and underserved and minority populations, and at no cost to the audience.
Hailing from the small Kansas town of Osawatomie, Zakoura believes everyone shares a personal connection to music and knows many smaller communities love the fine arts but are underserved. Reach Out Kansas Inc. has permitted the creation, support, and presentation of programs and performances to rural and minority populations.
The world premiere of Mohammed Fairouz’s “In the Shadow of No Towers” was commissioned for the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble and Paul Popiel, director of bands, by Reach Out Kansas Inc.