National Endowment for the Arts Director of Music and Opera Wayne S. Brown to Depart NEA


Photo by Kevin Allen

Washington--The National Endowment for the Arts announces that Music and Opera Director Wayne S. Brown will depart the NEA to become the president and chief executive officer of the Michigan Opera Theatre (MOT) based in Detroit, Michigan. He will be with the NEA through mid-January 2014, joining MOT on January 16.

Wayne arrived at the NEA in 1997 and has managed thousands of music and opera grants. In addition, he has been integral to NEA’s national music initiatives, including the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships, the nation's highest award in jazz; NEA Opera Honors, celebrating individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to opera in America; and Great American Voices, in which vocal ensembles from opera companies toured military installations.

Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa said, "The breadth and depth of Wayne's 16 years of service and accomplishments on behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts and for music and opera across the country are so extensive that it is almost impossible to enumerate them fully. His vast knowledge, steady hand, and graceful presence have been distinctive assets for the NEA. We wish him all successes, and are eager to watch as he steers the Michigan Opera Theatre toward exciting new horizons."

Wayne Brown said, "I arrived at the NEA for what I anticipated would be a brief engagement. It has been a privilege to serve my country as a public servant for more than 16 years as the NEA director of music and opera. Along the journey, it has been my honor to work with inspired chairmen, committed directors, and numerous colleagues both within the Arts Endowment and nationwide who endeavor to provide the American people with quality arts experiences."

Prior to his affiliation with the NEA, Wayne served as producer of music programs for the Cultural Olympiad in Atlanta, Georgia, part of the 1996 Olympic Games. He has a long history of involvement with symphony orchestras. He was executive director of the Louisville Orchestra where he exceeded the organization's $10 million goal for its endowment campaign, established a regional touring program, and produced two international music festivals. With the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, he was an administrative manager and later named an assistant manager.

Wayne was a founding member of the Magic in Music Advisory Committee for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, has served on advisory boards for the Mellon and Ford Foundations, is a former vice chairman of the American Symphony Orchestra League, and previously served as a member of the American Arts Alliance Board. 


More information is available at Michigan Opera Theatre


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