Virtual Event
Thursday, March 11 at 7PM (pt)

Two Distinguished Leaders,
Steven D. Lavine and Kenneth Fischer Discuss Arts and Democracy.

steven lavine.jpg

The EINO approach not only deepened UMS's engagement with the university and southeast Michigan communities, it led to exemplary partnerships with distinguished artists across the world. Under Fischer's leadership, UMS hosted numerous breakthrough performances, including the Vienna Philharmonic's final tour with Leonard Bernstein, appearances by then relatively unknown opera singer Cecilia Bartoli, a multiyear partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and artists as diverse as Yo-Yo Ma, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Elizabeth Streb, and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.


Though peppered with colorful anecdotes of how these successes came to be, this book is neither a history of UMS nor a memoir of Fischer's significant accomplishments with the organization. Rather it is a reflection on the power of the performing arts to engage and enrich communities--not by handing down cultural enrichment from on high, but by meeting communities where they live and helping them preserve cultural heritage, incubate talent, and find ways to make community voices heard.


Walt Disney's vision for an art school located before the gates of Los Angeles became a reality: Opened 50 years ago, the California Institute of the Arts had long been in crisis, before Steven D. Lavine led it to financial prosperity and international acclaim. Today, CalArts is the cradle of many Academy Award and Pulitzer Prize winners, of Mellon and Guggenheim Fellows - a hotspot of American creativity.

In personal conversations with Jörn Jacob Rohwer, Lavine tells his life story for the first time, talking about cultural politics, philanthropy, the avant-garde and Los Angeles at the centre of his life. Spurred on by self-doubts and a desire to learn from failure, he proves to be a sensitive thinker, visionary and transatlantic mediator between the worlds of art, politics and education.

Headshot Ken Fischer.tif



KEN FISCHER is President Emeritus of the University Musical Society (UMS) of the University of Michigan (U-M), a position he held from 1987 to 2017.  UMS, founded in 1879, is an independent multi-disciplinary performing arts presenter with a long and deep affiliation with U-M.  In 2015, Ken accepted the National Medal of Arts on behalf of UMS from President Obama at the White House.  UMS is the first and only university presenter to receive the National Medal of Arts, which is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the U.S. government.  Under Ken’s leadership UMS greatly expanded and diversified its programming and its audiences; deepened its engagement with the University and southeast Michigan communities; created exemplary partnerships with arts organizations, educational institutions, community organizations, local businesses, and major corporations; and received significant endowment grants awarded by the leading foundations in the arts. His mentor was the late Patrick Hayes, founder of Washington Performing Arts and a leading figure in desegregating the lunch counters and theaters in the nation’s capital.  Ken brought to UMS Hayes’ inclusion policy for the arts, EINO – “Everybody In, Nobody Out.”

Steven D. Lavine headshot.jpg



In the Spring of 2017, STEVEN LAVINE stepped down after serving for 29 years as President of the California Institute of the Arts, becoming President Emeritus and an Honorary Doctor of the Arts degree.  Shortly thereafter, he was appointed as Founding Director of the Mann House in Los Angeles, with the mandate to establish a residency and public presentation series bringing together scholars and other innovative thinkers from Germany and the United States to address

pressing contemporary issues, particularly the future of democracy.  With that program now launched he has become Chair of the Advisory Board of the Thomas Mann House.

Lavine has been an active participant in the Los Angeles and national cultural and educational communities, serving at various times on the boards of the American Council on Education, the American Council on the Arts, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, the Operating Company of the Los Angeles Music Center, KCRW-FM Public Radio, KCET Public Television, the Idyllwild Arts Academy, the Villa Aurora Foundation for European American Relations, and the Visiting Committee of the J Paul Getty Museum.  He currently is a Board member of the Los Angeles Review of Books, the American University in Rome, the Cotsen Foundation for the Art of Teaching, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.