Home News & Events Longtime Arts Leaders Form Inaugural Arts Midwest Emeritus Board

Longtime Arts Leaders Form Inaugural Arts Midwest Emeritus Board

Arts Midwest welcomes longtime Board members Ken Fischer and Sylvia Kaufman as inaugural members of the Arts Midwest Emeritus Board. Established to recognize and celebrate those individuals who have served Arts Midwest’s Board of Directors with distinction, the Emeritus Board will provide space for Arts Midwest to continue to collaborate with these close friends and colleagues and to honor their legacy of leadership to the organization. Collectively, Fischer and Kaufman have provided more than 50 years of service to Arts Midwest and we are pleased to bring their expertise and experience to our new Emeritus Board.


Ken Fischer and Sylvia Kaufman. Photo courtesy of Ken Fischer.

Ken Fischer joined the Arts Midwest Board of Directors in 1992 and served the organization in that capacity until 2020. During that time, he was a member of many committees and participated in two Arts Midwest delegations to China. Ken is President Emeritus of the University Musical Society (UMS) of the University of Michigan, a position he held for 30 years between 1987 and 2017. Fischer has written a book on his career in the performing arts titled Everybody In, Nobody Out: Inspiring Community at Michigan’s University Musical Society, published by the University of Michigan Press in August 2020.

Sylvia Kaufman served the Arts Midwest Board of Directors from 1996 until her retirement in November 2020. She is director of Corporate Affairs and a director of Amstore Corporation, a national manufacturer of interiors for retail stores. Kaufman was also the founder of the Mid East/West Fest, which created cultural exchanges between communities in the American Midwest and the Middle East. In 2003, she worked with Arts Midwest staff to bring that program into the organization’s portfolio as Arts Midwest World Fest. Today, World Fest delivers high-quality music and cultural exchange programming to thousands of individuals across the Midwest annually—reaching more than 650,000 people to date.