back to thought leaders
Michael Donovan
Executive Director
Missouri Arts Council
thought leaders

Michael Donovan

Michael Donovan, Executive Director of the Missouri Arts Council, leads the state agency responsible for supporting the arts. His focus includes expanded presence statewide, proportional and equitable grant funding, and building partnerships and creative communities. He is responsible for developing a strategic and effective organization, supporting a staff of 11 professionals, and creating training and professional development for nonprofit arts organizations. Prior to joining the state arts council, he was the editor of a publication on fundraising events for nonprofits, directed a cultural center in Louisiana and worked for a united arts fund in Ohio.

For over thirty-five years, Donovan has been a professional in the arts serving on many cultural and community boards including the Mid-America Arts Alliance as well as grant panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and several states and communities. As a writer and frequent speaker at conferences and workshops, his topics include program development, strategic planning, fundraising, and marketing. VSA Arts recognized his commitment to accessibility and artists with disabilities with their Award of Excellence. He received his Master’s degree in Community Arts Management from the University of Illinois, Springfield and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. He was a participant in the Missouri Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class.

He and his wife, Gwen, live in University City, MO, in the creative and diverse Loop neighborhood of Parkview Gardens, where he serves on the board of the neighborhood association.