Michael Greer - President & CEO
Michael Greer, President and CEO of ArtsFund, will give a brief overview of the state of the arts and culture sector today. The presentation will pull from data collected in ArtsFund's Covid Cultural Impact Study and focus on recommendations for supporting the sector, including observations on the current challenges and opportunities for arts and cultural organizations in the region. (vis Zoom)
About the Speaker
Michael Greer is the President and CEO at ArtsFund, a Seattle-based arts nonprofit whose mission it is to support the arts through leadership, advocacy, and grantmaking, in order to build a healthy, equitable, and creative Washington. As the leader of one of the country’s largest united arts funds, Michael oversees the distribution of millions of dollars of unrestricted funding, along with the implementation of capacity building programs and state-wide advocacy on behalf of the creative sector.
A native of St. Charles, MO, Michael began his career in the arts as a professional ballet dancer. A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy (’95), he went on to train at some of the world’s most recognizable ballet institutions including School of American Ballet, The Royal Ballet School, San Francisco Ballet School and others. He joined Ballet West in Salt Lake City, under the artistic direction of Jonas Käge and executive leadership of Jóhann Jacobs. As the first African-American dancer employed at the organization, Michael spent six seasons dancing lead roles in productions as varied as classics such as “The Nutcracker” and “The Sleeping Beauty”, to contemporary masterworks by Christopher Bruce, William Forsythe, and others.
Upon retirement from his performance career, Michael continued his educational pursuits and obtained his B.A. in economics and mathematics from Hampshire College, M.Ed. in International Education and Policy Leadership from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School with a focus in management. During his academic career, he was also fortunate to be named a Gilman Scholar by the U.S. Department of State and a Wharton Fellow by the University of Pennsylvania. Michael leveraged his educational attainment to secure positions in microcredit, financial services, and commodities in several multinational companies in India and Mainland, China. Having spent nearly a decade as an expatriate in Asia, he enjoyed bringing his entire set of experiences to his work and gained a true appreciation for multicultural leadership.
Michael returned to the arts nonprofit world in an executive capacity, leading several organizations including Portland Ballet in Maine, Oregon Ballet Theatre, and now ArtsFund. His background as a professional artist and a for-profit executive has allowed him to bring a unique perspective to his role in nonprofit leadership.
Michael sits on the board of the Downtown Seattle Association, Inspire WA, Economic Development District Board of the Puget Sound Regional Council, The Seattle Regional Chamber of Commerce, and United Way of King County
As a married father of two, when he is not promoting the benefits of arts and culture in our community, Michael enjoys time with his family and exploring all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.