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Arts fundraising seminars from the 'turnaround king'

Michael Kaiser shares his expertise with arts organisations across England.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Arts organisations across the country will next week get the chance to learn fundraising secrets from ‘turnaround king’ Michael Kaiser, the man who helped companies such as American Ballet Theatre, Kansas City Ballet and London’s Royal Opera House back onto the path to success.

Michael Kaiser, a world renowned leader in arts management was Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House from 1998-2001 and is now president of the Kennedy Center in Washington.  He was invited by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey to share his expertise with arts organisations in England as part of a philanthropy drive by DCMS and Arts Council England.

Kaiser, will host six fundraising masterclasses across England, starting on Tuesday 31st May.  The three hour seminars organised by Arts Council England, are each for up to 100 people from arts organisations and will take place in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Bristol.

Michael Kaiser said: “As private support for the arts is becoming more important, I am looking forward to coming to England to discuss fundraising techniques”.

Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey said: “Michael Kaiser is known in the UK chiefly for his extraordinary work turning around the future of the Royal Opera House and setting it on the path to its current financial and artistic success. More recently he has done the same for a broad range of arts organisations in the US and his experience and ability in fundraising for arts organisations is now unsurpassed.

“I am extremely grateful that he has agreed to come to the UK to share his redoubtable knowledge.”

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said: “Although the mix of arts funding in the States and the UK is quite different, arts organisations across the world are experiencing the common challenge of how to increase levels of private giving.

“Michael Kaiser has an unparalleled track record on both sides of the Atlantic and I’ve no doubt his advice will be practical, hard-hitting and of immense value to arts organisations of all shapes and sizes.”

The Government’s agenda to increase philanthropic giving to arts organisations includes an £80m match funding programme, aimed in part at helping smaller arts organisations attract private donors.  This is made up of £50 million Arts Council England and £30 million DCMS funds, available to arts organisations between 2011/12 and 2015/16.  Other measures include:

  • a package of tax measures to make giving easier and boost legacy giving;
  • restoring the National Lottery to the original good causes;
  • strengthening donor recognition; and
  • publishing a Government-wide white paper looking at ways to increase charitable giving.

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Notes to editors

  1. Michael Kaiser will visit:

• Newcastle-Upon-Tyne - Tuesday 31st May
• Leeds - Wednesday 1st June
• Manchester - Thursday 2nd June
• Liverpool - Friday 3rd June
• Birmingham - Monday 6th June
• Bristol - Tuesday 7th June

  1. **Biographical information:
    Michael M. Kaiser is President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  He has expanded the educational and artistic programming for the nation’s center for the performing arts and has overseen a major renovation effort of most of the Center’s theaters.  Dubbed “the Turnaround King” for his work at numerous institutions, including the Royal Opera House (London), American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and the Kansas City Ballet, Michael has earned international renown for his expertise in arts management.  He advises performing arts organisations around the world, working with arts leaders in nearly 70 countries.  Upon joining the Kennedy Center in 2001, Michael created the Kennedy Center Arts Management Institute, renamed the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center after a $22.5 million commitment from Dick and Betsy DeVos, which aims to train the current and next generation of arts leaders.  The Institute features a variety of initiatives and programs, including an online education forum for arts administrators at, where professionals and students in the field can share experiences, seek employment, and post opportunities.  He founded Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative in February 2009, and embarked on a 50-state tour to spread his arts expertise across the United States.

  2. Further information on the Government’s philanthropy strategy

  3. Arts Council England works to get great art to everyone by championing, developing and investing in artistic experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of artistic activities from theatre to music, literature to dance, photography to digital art, and carnival to crafts. Great art inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves, and the world around us. In short, it makes life better.  Between 2008 and 2011, we will invest £1.3 billion of public money from government and a further £0.3 billion from the National Lottery to create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

  4. The Davey Report on Endowments in the Arts is available on the Arts Council England website.

  5. For press enquiries relating to Arts Council England contact Emma Russell, Media Relations Officer, tel: 020 7973 6890, e:

Press Enquiries: 020 7211 2210
Out of hours telephone pager no: 07699 751153
Public Enquiries: 020 7211 6000

Published 26 May 2011