Aaron P. Dworkin

Ypsilanti, MI

Named a 2005 MacArthur Fellow, Aaron P. Dworkin is former dean and current professor of arts leadership & entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance, which is ranked among the top performing arts schools in the nation. Dworkin is a successful social entrepreneur having founded the globally recognized Sphinx Organization, the leading arts organization with the mission of transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. He also serves as host of the nationally broadcast Arts Engines show with a viewership of more than 100,000. As a bestselling writer and poet journalist, Dworkin has authored The Entrepreneurial Artist: Lessons from Highly Successful Creatives along with four other books, including his memoir, Uncommon Rhythm: A Black, White, Jewish, Jehovah's Witness, Irish Catholic Adoptee's Journey to Leadership and poetry collection, They Said I Wasn’t Really Black. Dworkin is a prominent spoken-word artist, having toured nationally with his work The American Rhapsody, which premiered with the Minnesota Orchestra.  He has two recording albums and collaborated with a breadth of artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Damien Sneed, Anna Deveare Smith, Damian Woetzel, Lil Buck, and others. His Emmy award-winning film An American Prophecy was honored by numerous festivals, while his visual digital art project, Fractured History, has exhibited to rave reviews.

Dworkin has been featured in People Magazine, the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, Washington Post, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Emerge and Jet magazines, and on the Today Show, CNN and NPR, and was named one of Newsweek’s “15 People Who Make America Great.” He is the recipient of honors including the National Governors Association Distinguished Service to State Government Award, BET’s History Makers in the Making Award, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and been named Detroit News’s Michiganian of the Year and the National Black MBA’s Entrepreneur of The Year.