NEA Discipline Directors
Wayne S. Brown is currently the Director of Music and Opera for the National Endowment for the Arts, a post he has held since 1997. Brown provides oversight on grants to music and opera projects. Additionally, he manages the NEA Jazz Masters National Initiative and the choral music component of American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius. Prior to his affiliation with the Arts Endowment, Brown served as producer of music programs for the Cultural Olympiad in Atlanta, Georgia, where he managed music events associated with the 1996 Olympic Games.
Brown has a long history of involvement with symphony orchestras in Louisville, Kentucky; Springfield, Massachusetts; and Detroit, Michigan. He is the former executive director of The Louisville Orchestra, where he was responsible for the planning, supervision, and administration of all facets of the organization. Under his leadership, the orchestra launched and exceeded a $10 million endowment campaign; established a significant regional touring program; and produced two international music festivals.
Brown 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.
He began his role with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as an administrative manager, and subsequently was named an assistant manager where he was in charge of sales, community outreach, and the orchestra’s first Upper Peninsula tour. In 1979, Brown was instrumental in bringing about the first Classical Roots Concert in Detroit, an initiative that is now being celebrated by several communities throughout the nation.
He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree with a major in voice and a minor in business.
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