Makeover Artist

Renowned for successful rescue missions, the Kennedy Center's Michael Kaiser nurtures arts groups with his unvarnished guidance

April 29, 2007|By Tim Smith | Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic

I FEEL LIKE DR. PHIL UP HERE," MICHAEL Kaiser says, looking out at rows of arts administrators gathered at a Capitol Hill hotel to soak up the wisdom of the "Turnaround King."

The affable, soft-spoken, bespectacled man might not look like a dispenser of organizational tough love. But the president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is a straight-shooting source of pointed advice on the volatile politics, finances and marketing needs of nonprofit arts groups.

To read Michael Kaiser's Strategic Planning in the Arts: A Practical Guide, go to / strategic /

Michael Kaiser


Oct. 27, 1953, New York City


B.A. in economics, Brandeis University; M.A. in management, MIT

Current job:

President, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, since 2001

Previous arts executive posts:

Royal Opera House (1998-2000), American Ballet Theatre (1995-98), Alvin Ailey Dance Theater (1991-93), Pierpont Morgan Library (1987-90), Kansas City Ballet (1985-86).


Great art, well marketed

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