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Garth Ross is the inaugural executive director of the Schwarzman Center at Yale University. Prior to his work at Yale, Ross served as vice president of community engagement at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He has over 20 years’ experience developing and executing strategies for enlarging constituencies and increasing participation in the arts. Through this work, he has produced over 7,000 performances in a wide range of genres, featuring artists from all 50 states and around the world.
Ross established The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage daily free performance series, as well as many other notable projects and festivals including Joyful Sounds: Gospel Across America, Look Both Ways: Street Arts Across America, American Voices with Renée Fleming, One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide and Finding a Line: Skateboarding, Music and Media. With a focus on cultivating unique collaborations between organizations, artists, communities and disciplines, his work illuminates the possibility of compatibility between different cultural viewpoints by including diverse stakeholders in the process of cultural production.
His chapter entitled, “From Fight club to The Kennedy Center: How We Learned to Cross Invisible Bridges,” was published in the book Grassroots Leadership and the Arts for Social Change (2017 Emerald Publishing Limited). Ross received his BA in English Literature and Music from Connecticut College and is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute.