Named a 2005 MacArthur Fellow, President Obama’s first appointment to the National Council on the Arts, and member of President Biden’s Arts Policy Committee, Aaron P. Dworkin served as dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD), which is ranked among the top performing arts schools in the nation. He is currently a tenured full professor of arts leadership and entrepreneurship at SMTD as well as serving as a professor of entrepreneurial studies at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. In addition, he is a successful social entrepreneur having founded The Sphinx Organization, the leading arts organization with the mission of transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts.
Aaron serves as host of the nationally-broadcast Arts Engines show which reaches a weekly audience of over 100,000 in collaboration with Detroit Public Television, Ovation TV, The Violin Channel, and American Public Media including Performance Today and YourClassical. As a best-selling writer, Aaron has authored The Entrepreneurial Artist: Lessons from Highly Successful Creatives published by Rowman & Littlefield, a science-fiction novel Ethos: Rise of Malcolm published by Morgan James, as well as his memoir titled Uncommon Rhythm: A Black, White, Jewish, Jehovah's Witness, Irish Catholic Adoptee's Journey to Leadership released through Aquarius Press, a poetry collection They Said I Wasn’t Really Black, and a children’s book The 1st Adventure of Chilli Pepperz.
A lifelong musician, Aaron is a prominent spoken-word performing artist represented by Cadenza Artists with a current national tour of his American Rhapsody with a national consortium of orchestras and premiered with the Minnesota Orchestra and Maestro Osmo Vänskä. He has collaborated with a breadth of artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Damien Sneed, Anna Deveare Smith, Damian Woetzel, Lil Buck, and others. His visual digital art project Fractured History has been exhibited at multiple galleries and museums to rave reviews. Aaron is also an award-winning filmmaker, having produced and directed two films including An American Prophecy and Deliberation, in addition to recording and producing two CDs entitled Ebony Rhythm and Bar-Talk.