Michael M. Kaiser
Michael M. Kaiser oversees the DeVos Institute's training and consulting programs, both in the United States and around the world.
Mr. Kaiser was President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., from January 2001 through August 2014. During his tenure, he expanded the educational and artistic programming for the United States’ center for the performing arts, oversaw a major renovation effort of most of the Center’s theaters, and led the nation in arts management training. In 2001, Mr. Kaiser created the Kennedy Center Arts Management Institute, renamed the DeVos Institute of Arts Management in May 2010. In honor of his accomplishments, the Board of the Kennedy Center named him President Emeritus in 2014.
Mr. Kaiser previously served as the Executive Director of the Royal Opera House, the largest performing arts organization in the United Kingdom. During his tenure with the Royal Opera House, it erased its historic accumulated deficit, completed a £214 million redevelopment of the facility, created an endowment fund, and greatly increased its level of support from the private and public sectors.
Prior to joining the Royal Opera House, Mr. Kaiser was Executive Director of American Ballet Theatre, where he erased its entire historic accumulated deficit, created a second company, greatly expanded national and international touring activity, and built an acclaimed series of education programs. During his tenure as Executive Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Foundation, the Company erased its accumulated deficit, expanded its school, and increased all forms of revenue. He has also served as General Manager of the Kansas City Ballet, where he erased the company’s deficit.
Mr. Kaiser received his master’s degree in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management and his Bachelor’s degree in economics magna cum laude from Brandeis University. He has been an Adjunct Professor of Arts Administration at New York University and a Lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
He received the Dance Magazine Award in 2001, Capezio Award in 2002, Helen Hayes Washington Post Award for Innovative Leadership in the Theater Community in 2003, the St. Petersburg 300 Medal in 2004, Washingtonian of the Year in 2004, a U.S. Department of State Citation in 2005, the Blacks in Dance Award in 2005, and was the first American to receive China’s “Award for Cultural Exchange” in 2005. In 2006, he was awarded The Order of the Mexican Eagle and was named Impresario of the Year by Musical America. In 2009, Mr. Kaiser received the George Peabody Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Music in America and the Kahlil Gibran “Spirit of Humanity” Award from the Arab American Institute Foundation. The King of Sweden named Mr. Kaiser a Commander of Order of the Polar Star in 2013, and the Finnish government named him a Commander of the Order of the Lion of Finland in 2014. He holds honorary doctorate degrees from Georgetown University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Contact Mr. Kaiser through ajschoenborn (at) devosinstitute.net.
Brett Egan provides planning, training, and on-site support services for arts, culture, humanities, and education institutions in the United States and around the world.
He specializes in strategic planning; succession planning; capital campaigns; annual fundraising; fundraising campaigns; community-based practice; human resource development; board development; and institutional and programmatic marketing.
In November 2020, Mr. Egan led two international intensives for participants in seven countries and thirty-two states on fundraising and organizational resilience in the pandemic environment. From March to May 2020, Mr. Egan led a team of seven consultants in his firm’s pro bono effort to support 431 cultural, educational, humanities, and arts organizations in the United States in their recovery response in light of the impact of the COVID-19 Impact. Since the onset of the pandemic, Mr. Egan has been featured as a keynote speaker on resilience, fundraising, and communications in the pandemic environment at a number of national and international conferences.
Since 2009, Mr. Egan has overseen the nation’s most comprehensive training program for managers, fundraisers, marketers and board members in partnership with the nation’s leading philanthropies, including Bloomberg Philanthropies; the Ford Foundation; the Kresge Foundation; the Knight Foundation; and numerous other foundations, state, and city governments. Internationally, Mr. Egan has overseen the design and delivery of national training intensives for the governments and cultural leadership of England, Ireland, Vietnam, Trinidad and Tobago, Croatia, Taiwan, Oman, and the Czech Republic. Through this work, Mr. Egan has designed and delivered training, planning, and support services for over 2,000 arts, culture, education, and humanities organizations.
Recent representative planning clients include the National Public Radio Foundation (Washington, D.C.); American Repertory Theater at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA); The September 11 National Memorial and Museum (New York City); The Apollo Theater (New York City); Santa Monica College (Santa Monica, CA); Sundance Institute (Los Angeles and Park City); Doha Center for Creative Industry (Doha, Qatar); The National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.); Motown Museum (Detroit, MI); Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana (San Jose, CA); KERA (PBS/NPR North Texas; Dallas); Outfest (Los Angeles); International Center for Photography (NYC); Women in Film (Los Angeles); Philadelphia Mural Arts Program; the Longhouse at Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA); Hi-Arts/Hip Hop Theater Festival (NYC); Arts for LA (Los Angeles, CA); Cornerstone Theater (Los Angeles, CA); Center for Asian American Media (San Francisco, CA); Asian Arts Initiative (Philadelphia, PA); Memphis Symphony Orchestra (Memphis, TN); National Black Arts Festival (Atlanta, GA); and From the Top (Boston, MA).
As needed, he partners with clients to provide interim leadership while permanent leadership is sought. For instance, in 2011 and 2012, Mr. Egan served as Interim CEO of the Royal Opera House Muscat (Oman), working with local leadership to open this first-of-its-kind institution on the Arabian Peninsula. Mr. Egan led the organization through a successful first season with performances by Renée Fleming and Andrea Bocelli; the Mariinsky Ballet, La Scala Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre; the Royal Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra; and four operas including Franco Zeffirelli's Metropolitan Opera production of Turandot and the world premiere of a new Carmen commissioned and produced by the Royal Opera House. The inaugural season attracted a diverse audience of Omanis and expatriates with average attendance at 92 percent of seating capacity. In 2013, Mr. Egan again supported the Opera House in its development of the first library of musical arts and education on the Arabian Peninsula. Mr. Egan’s tenure ended with a successful transition of responsibility to the institution’s first permanent CEO.
From 2006 to 2009, Mr. Egan served as Executive Director of the New York-based modern dance company, Shen Wei Dance Arts, which toured an average of two dozen cities worldwide each year, was a Kennedy Center resident company, and was a principal contributor to the 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Beijing. Prior to 2006, Mr. Egan worked with a variety of cultural organizations including Lincoln Center Theater, New York Theater Workshop, the Annie Leibowitz Studio, and Santa Fe Opera.
Mr. Egan is the co-author, with Michael M. Kaiser, of The Cycle: A Practical Approach to Managing Arts Organizations (2013).
Mr. Egan is a frequent guest at national and international conferences, speaking on a range of topics from audience engagement and fundraising to the role and impact of new media in arts management today. He regularly facilitates discussions amongst diverse stakeholders on behalf of regional and national foundations to identify common interest and deliver strategic direction, often at the intersection of cultural practice and broader civic concerns.
Mr. Egan graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in Cultural and Performance Theory, received the Antarctic Service Medal and a Princess Grace Fellowship (Monaco), and wrote a travel guide on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. He is a trained actor and theater director and, throughout his upbringing in Long Beach, California, attended the Orange County School of the Arts and studied classical piano theory and performance.
He and his wife, Joan, and daughters, Bell and Lark, live in Asheville, North Carolina.
Contact Mr. Egan through apsharp (at) devosinstitute.net.