Aaron Dworkin

AAAE 2020 Board Nominee

Aaron P. Dworkin, AAAE Individual Member 

Bio: Named a 2005 MacArthur Fellow, President Obama’s first appointment to the National Council on the Arts and Governor Snyder’s appointment to the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs, Aaron P. Dworkin served as dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD). He is currently a tenured full professor of arts leadership and entrepreneurship at SMTD as well as serving as a Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.  Aaron is a successful social entrepreneur having founded The Sphinx Organization, the leading arts organization focused on diversity. Aaron is a best-selling writer having authored The Entrepreneurial Artist: Lessons from Highly Successful Creatives published by Rowman & Littlefield, a science-fiction novel, Ethos: Rise of Malcolm published by MorganJames, as well as his memoir titled Uncommon Rhythm: A Black, White, Jewish, Jehovah's Witness, Irish Catholic Adoptee's Journey to Leadership released through Aquarius Press, a poetry collection, They Said I Wasn’t Really Black, and a children’s book The 1st Adventure of Chilli Pepperz. Aaron is a prominent spoken-word performing artist with a current national tour of his American Rhapsody with a national consortium of orchestras and premiered with the Minnesota Orchestra. He has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Damien Sneed, Anna Deveare Smith, Damian Woetzel, Lil Buck and others.  His visual digital art project, Fractured History, has been exhibited at multiple galleries and museums to rave reviews. Aaron has been featured in People Magazine, on NBC’s Today Show and Nightly News, CNN, NPR and others. He is a frequent keynote speaker and lecturer at numerous national and global arts conferences and serves as a board or advisory member for numerous influential arts organizations including the National Council on the Arts, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Avery Fisher Artist Program and others.

AAAE Position Statement: I am honored to be considered for a board role with the Association of Arts Administration Educators. Through my current role as a Professor at the University of Michigan, I believe I could bring my experience and knowledge of teaching and preparing my students for careers in the arts to bear in support of the organization. In addition, in my previous administrative role as dean at our School of Music, Theatre & Dance, I designed and founded our EXCEL (Excellence in Career Development, Entrepreneurship and Leadership) lab and department and could bring the lessons learned from those experiences to our discussions and strategy development. Finally, I have been a life-long arts administrator and entrepreneur having founded the Sphinx Organization and several other non-profits and can bring not only an academic viewpoint to these issues but also a perspective built upon a career of arts administrative practice.