Devon M. Akmon
Devon Akmon became the second director of the Arab American National Museum (AANM) in 2013, succeeding founding director Dr. Anan Ameri.
Mr. Akmon joined the AANM as curator of community history shortly before the museum opened in 2005; was promoted to deputy director in 2009; and assumed control of daily operations in 2012. Under his aegis, the AANM was named one of just 160 Affiliates of the Smithsonian Institution and achieved accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums, a seal of approval earned by just 6 percent of American cultural institutions. As director, Mr. Akmon has established new relationships with individuals and organizations that have resulted in the expansion of the museum’s mission and programming throughout the nation. Most recently, Mr. Akmon has overseen the physical expansion of the museum with the creation of the Annex, a new community art space immediately adjacent to the museum.
In addition to leading the AANM, Mr. Akmon is a board member of CultureSource, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and The CivCity Initiative. He serves on advisory councils for the Detroit Institute of Arts, Kresge Arts in Detroit, Smithsonian Affiliations, and the Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies at North Carolina State University.
Mr. Akmon earned his Master of Science in Historic Preservation at Eastern Michigan University. He is a graduate of the Michigan Nonprofit Association’s Emerging Leaders Class IX and Leadership Detroit Class XXXIV. In 2013, Mr. Akmon was named one of Crain’s Detroit Business magazine’s “40 Under 40” business leaders.
Dominick Balletta became the first Managing Director of the Jacob Burns Film Center in May 2008, following seven years as General Manager of New York City’s Film Forum. Since 2011, he has served as an Advisor to the DeVos Institute of Arts Management, working with organizations globally on issues of strategic planning.
Mr. Balletta also produces for theater and film. Film credits include Executive Producer of Another Telepathic Thing and Associate Producer of I’m Carolyn Parker, both directed by Jonathan Demme. Theatrically, he received a 2009 Tony Award nomination as a producer of Moisés Kaufman’s 33 Variations starring Jane Fonda and was the longtime General Manager/Producer for Kaufman's Tectonic Theater Project (1997-2010). He has served as a panelist for multiple New York State Council on the Arts grant programs, as well as the National Endowment for the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, ArtsWestchester, and CEC/ArtsLink.
As the Founding Executive/Artistic Director for the National Center for Choreography at the University of Akron (NCCAkron), Bolingbroke is responsible for setting the curatorial vision and sustainable business model to foster research and development in dance.
Previously, she served as the Deputy Director for Advancement at ODC in San Francisco, overseeing curation and performance programming as well as marketing and development organization-wide. ODC programming was recognized for. Bolingbroke’s curatorial choices showcasing quality and aesthetic diversity from the emerging to mid-career artists with a variety of entry points for audiences. A key aspect of her position included managing a unique three-year artist in residence program for dance artists; guiding and advising them in all aspects of creative development and administration. Prior to ODC, she was the Director of Marketing at the Mark Morris Dance Group in Brooklyn where her achievements included increasing ticket sales in tour markets worldwide and activating Access/MMDG events in such major hub cities as Seattle, Houston, Boston, New York, and Berkeley.
Bolingbroke earned a B.A. in Dance from the University of California, Los Angeles; an M.A. in Performance Curation at Wesleyan University (Thesis Title: Designing a 21st Century Ecology for Dance: Questioning Current Practices and Embracing Curatorial Interventions); and is a graduate of the Arts Management Fellowship program at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She is a former Board President of the Dance Resource Center of Greater Los Angeles, a founding member of Emerging Leaders for New York Arts, a retired board member of California Presenters, and a consulting advisor for the Bloomberg Philanthropies Arts Innovation Management initiative.
Jean Davidson was appointed President & CEO of the Los Angeles Master Chorale in 2015. In this role, she has instigated a successful re-branding and re-positioning of the organization, working in partnership with Artistic Director Grant Gershon to uphold and fulfill the organization’s core values while also encouraging artistic daring and audience engagement. Prior to this position, she spent 15 years in Chief Executive roles working alongside renowned artistic directors Bill T. Jones, of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, and Yo-Yo Ma, with the Silk Road Project.
In 2011, as Chief Executive of the Bill T. Joes/Arnie Zane Dance Company, she led the merger discussions with Dance Theater Workshop — including a multi-million dollar campaign — to form New York Live Arts, a 20,000 square foot center for interdisciplinary performance located in Chelsea, New York City. She subsequently served as the founding CEO of New York Live Arts until 2015.
She was appointed the founding Managing Director of the Silk Road Project in 2001. Having served at the helm of two newly-created non-profits, she has significant “start-up” experience including board development, capacity building, fundraising, identity branding, and long-term financial planning. While at the Silk Road Project she was involved with producing the expansive Smithsonian Folklife Festival, “Connecting Culture, Creating Trust,” and in planning the Silk Road Ensemble's participation in the World Expo in Nagoya, Japan. She has also been involved with producing several commercial recordings and documentary films with Sony Classical, Smithsonian Folkways, NHK, ARTE, and Kartemquin Films, and she has planned numerous tours, commissions and collaborations. She is an Oberlin College alumna.
Aaron P. Dworkin
Named a 2005 MacArthur Fellow, a former member of the Obama National Arts Policy Committee, and President Obama's first appointment to the National Council on the Arts, Aaron P. Dworkin serves as Dean of the University of Michigan's School of Music, Theatre & Dance, which is ranked among the top performing arts schools in the nation.
Mr. Dworkin is also founder of The Sphinx Organization, the leading national arts organization for transforming lives through the power of diversity and the arts. A multi-media performing artist, author, social entrepreneur, and educator, he continually receives national recognition for his leadership and service to communities. He founded the Dworkin Foundation, where he serves as chairman.
Mr. Dworkin is the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society Honorary Membership, Harvard University’s Vosgerchian Teaching Award, National Governors Association 2005 Distinguished Service to State Government Award, Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award, Crain’s 40 Under 40 and Who’s Who Awards, BET’s History Makers in the Making Award, and National Black MBA’s Entrepreneur of The Year. In 2013, the Curtis Institute of Music awarded an honorary doctorate to Mr. Dworkin. Mr. Dworkin recorded and produced two CDs, entitled Ebony Rhythm and Bar-Talk, in addition to writing, producing, and directing the independent film Deliberation.
An accomplished electric and acoustic violinist, Mr. Dworkin earned his bachelors of music and masters of music in violin performance from the University of Michigan School of Music, graduating with high honors. Mr. Dworkin offers a uniquely strong organizational, fundraising, and administrative background combined with an unwavering passion for music and its role in society. As dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance, he leads a world-class faculty of 150 and a staff of 90 while administering a budget of $44 million and an endowment in excess of $140 million. As founder of the Sphinx Organization, Mr. Dworkin created an organization with a staff and faculty of over 40 and a budget of $5 million that awards more than $1 million in prizes and scholarships annually.
Rachel Fine is Managing Director of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, drawing upon an 18-year career in the arts as a versatile administrator, educator, and fundraiser, as well as a professional classical musician.
Ms. Fine has served as Senior Consultant at the DeVos Institute, where she worked with an international portfolio of arts and cultural organizations, as well as Executive Director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) from November 2010 through February 2015. Some of the highlights of Ms. Fine’s LACO tenure included establishing LACO as orchestra-in-residence for the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA in an ongoing and mutually beneficial collaboration; successfully shepherding LACO through the challenges of the Great Recession; and expanding the reach of the Orchestra with prestigious debuts beyond Los Angeles. In addition, she spearheaded such high-profile community events as Play Me, I’m Yours, an ambitious three-week project that placed 30 pianos in 30 locations across Los Angeles, and Strad Fest LA, a four-day citywide festival featuring eight Stradivarius violins. Strad Fest LA earned press coverage in The Wall Street Journal and on 60 Minutes, and also resulted in the highest-grossing fundraiser in LACO history.
Previously, she served in leadership positions at such institutions as the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, where she helped found the Young Men’s Ensemble, a rare choral group for young men with changing voices, for The Juilliard School, Santa Fe Opera, and the Aspen Music Festival, as well as the renowned San Francisco-based period ensemble Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.
Ms. Fine completed a one-year comprehensive training program as one of six American Management Fellows in 2001-02 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts under the guidance of then-President Michael M. Kaiser. The program, now part of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management, included intensive training in strategic planning, development, marketing, public relations, and finance. Ms. Fine was also selected to participate in the 2012 Leadership L.A. program, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission’s 2008-09 Arts Leadership Initiative, and the 2007-08 Wells Fargo New Executive Directors Institute of Southern California’s Executive Service Corps. She is a founding mentor of the Los Angeles Emerging Arts Leaders’ mentorship program.
An accomplished pianist, Ms. Fine studied at the Eastman School of Music and the University of California, Irvine, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in music. She also attended graduate school in musicology at Yale University. Ms. Fine served on the Board of Directors of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) for six years and recently joined the Board of Councilors for the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, where she also teaches a graduate course in executive arts leadership. She has been enlisted as moderator and panelist by ACSO, League of American Orchestras, USC Thornton School of Music and Chorus America conferences, and has served as advisor since 2009 to the DeVos Institute of Arts Management.
She and her husband, Christopher Hawthorne, the architecture critic of the Los Angeles Times, have two children who love the arts.