WASHINGTON, D. C.-Sometimes when we think about people in ‘high places’ we automatically assume that they are going to be aloof, unapproachable or simply not interested in what we have to say. Nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to the man who is at the helm of our nation’s greatest institution for the arts. Michael Kaiser, the president of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is dedicated to providing the opportunity for all of the diverse voices to be heard in the arts. Last year, I was honored to visit his office and share some of my goals and aspirations in the performing arts. He offered sound advice and encouragement. In that moment, the only thing I could think was ‘Wow! I am speaking one on one with the President of The Kennedy Center!’
Michael M. Kaiser began his tenure at The Kennedy Center in January 2001. To his credit, he has expanded most of the artistic and educational programming at the center. He also has included major festivals that celebrate international achievements in the arts. Because of his insight, the center enjoys wonderful relationships with such groups such as The Bolshoi Ballet, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, New York City Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet and Opera and numerous others. Of special note, he created the Kennedy Center Arts Management Institute, that provides training to individuals who seek or desire to improve their skill in the area of arts administration. Most recently, the major sacred music festival, Joyful Sounds: Gospel Across America has come to pass because of his vision and insight. Kaiser shared with me when we met that he started out his college years with the desire to be a singer, but since journeyed on the road of administration when he realized that singing was not his niche.
Michael Kaiser was grew up in New Rochelle, New York. He went on to earn an undergraduate economics with a minor in music from Brandeis University, graduating magna cum laude and the MIT Sloan School of Management, where he earned a Masters degree in management.
To read his full biography, CLICK HERE.
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