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Kennedy Center Chief to Take Arts Program to U-Md.

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WASHINGTON — An arts management training program at the Kennedy Center that’s funded by one of the center’s largest donations will move to the University of Maryland next year, along with the center’s outgoing chief executive, the two institutions announced Wednesday.

Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser tells The Associated Press he plans to join the university as a professor and will leave the arts center four months earlier than his contract was set to end. Kaiser will lead the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at Maryland’s flagship university in College Park, and he hopes to launch a master’s degree program in arts management.

Kaiser had planned to step down as Kennedy Center president at the end of 2014 and remain at the center to lead the arts management program through 2017.

“It became clear to us … that we really wanted to grow this institute faster,” Kaiser said. “There were certain resources we would need — for example the access to the kinds of faculty you would have at a university.”

The arts management institute will be part of an expanding arts program at Maryland, said University President Wallace Loh. The university also is in talks with the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington on a possible partnership, which would further expand the school’s presence in the nation’s capital.

The DeVos Institute will still maintain a relationship with the Kennedy Center and may host joint programs. The program operates with a $6 million annual budget. It is funded in part by a $22.5 million gift in 2010 from Dick and Betsy DeVos of Michigan, which was the Kennedy Center’s largest gift at the time. The institute is also funded by fees charged to consulting clients and support from the Ford Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Knight Foundation.

The bulk of the Kennedy Center’s $26 million education program will remain, which focuses on outreach to children in all 50 states and teachers. Of the center’s $200 million annual budget, about 3 percent is moving to the university, Kaiser said.

Loh said the institute will be based in the College of Arts and Humanities and at the school’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.

“The University of Maryland is very, very strong in the sciences and engineering,” he said. “I have always wanted to expand its strengths in the area of the arts, and here is one small step in that direction.”

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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