Michael M. Kaiser Receives Honorary Doctorate From the UMKC Conservatory


The UMKC Conservatory is pleased to announce that Michael M. Kaiser, President of the Kennedy Center since January 2001, receives a Doctor of Musical Arts honoris causa from the UMKC Conservatory at the Spring Commencement, May 17, 2014, 10 a.m. The ceremony is in Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, which opened to international acclaim, September 2011. 

He gives the commencement address to the Conservatory’s 2014 graduates, as well.

Mr. Kaiser has strong ties to Kansas City, where he was General Manager of the Kansas City Ballet.  During his tenure, he helped to set the foundation for many of the successes the company enjoys today.

Conservatory Dean Peter Witte notes, "Michael Kaiser is recognized internationally as a leader able to guide arts organizations toward health and vibrancy.  Of course, his arts career began with the Kansas City Ballet. He continues to trumpet Kansas City's ascendance as an arts city, most recently as a consultant to the essential Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey.  We look forward to honoring his tenure as President of the Kennedy Center, learning more about his next adventures with the DeVos Institute and at IMG Artists, and to celebrating his accomplishments along with those of UMKC's 2014 Conservatory graduates."

Kaiser previously served as the Executive Director of the Royal Opera House, the largest performing arts organization in the United Kingdom. Prior to joining the Royal Opera House, Mr. Kaiser was Executive Director of American Ballet Theatre. During his three-year tenure at ABT, Mr. Kaiser erased the entire historic accumulated deficit, created a second company, greatly expanded national and international touring activity, substantially increased both contributed and earned income, and built an acclaimed series of education programs.

Mr. Kaiser has also served as Executive Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Foundation, the world's largest modern dance organization. During his tenure, the Ailey Company erased its accumulated deficit, expanded its school, and increased all forms of revenue.

After he steps down as president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Sept. 1, he becomes co-chairman of IMG Artist, the performing arts management agency.  Mr. Kaiser will move the DeVos Institute of Arts Management, where he is president, to the University of Maryland. The DeVos Institute will work with IMG Artists in training and supporting arts managers.


For more information, please contact:

Name: Dana Self
Phone: 816-235-2949