Festival of the Desert kick-off takes place at Sunnylands

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Michael Kaiser spoke on the State of the Arts in America during the Festival of the Desert

Michael M. Kaiser, former president of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, punctuated the opening session of the Festival of the Desert with a heart-felt call for increased support for the arts. In a speech at Sunnylands Center & Gardens, Kaiser, who is currently chairman of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management, said arts organizations need to do a better job in marketing and training managers and board members.

Better arts education is needed in schools, too, Kaiser said. But most importantly, he said arts groups must return to their roots and “remember that our function is to inspire, entertain, and educate our communities.”

Kaiser’s remarks closed the daytime event at Sunnylands, which featured a concert of music by great 20th century émigré composers and a luncheon curated by Iron Chef Cat Cora. Read Kaiser’s entire speech here.