David J. Fraher served as Arts Midwest’s founding president and CEO from 1983 until August of 2019. During that time, David guided Arts Midwest to its current position as a major force in the U.S. arts and culture landscape, with creative programs and services reaching close to one million individuals each year in communities across the Midwest, the nation, and the world.
At the helm of Arts Midwest, David designed and oversaw an array of programs that have had a lasting impact on the region’s cultural landscape. These include efforts to foster cultural exchange between the Midwest and more than three dozen nations around the world; support communities across our nine-state region in celebrating, exploring, and enjoying performing arts residencies and visual arts exhibitions; and develop leadership initiatives that have since strengthened arts organizations and our region’s cultural infrastructure for decades. His vision was for a region that had lasting access to creativity, and he approached all of his work with curiosity and collaboration.
That compelling vision, and David’s unprecedented leadership, have been recognized nationally and internationally, with awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, National Assembly for State Arts Agencies, the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China, and the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, among others.