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UW alum Holmes named Overture Center’s new director of diversity and inclusion

September 02, 2016

Edward Holmes will be the Overture Center for the Arts’ new director of diversity and inclusion, the performing arts center announced in a news release last week.

Holmes is a member of the UW-Madison School of Education’s Board of Visitors.

A native of Washington, D.C., Holmes came to UW-Madison, where he completed undergraduate degrees in English and political science, a master’s in social work and a Ph.D. from the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.

Edward Holmes
Holmes established the Ebony Expression Cultural Awareness Project in 1982, a program that received congressional recognition for its innovation and dedication to the development of the talents of African American youth and the education of the broader community about the richness and significance of African American culture.

His 38-year career in the Madison community focused primarily on implementation of creative community based educational programs and creating inclusive, engaging, academically successful public schools.

Holmes received the prestigious Milken Educator of the Year award for the state of Wisconsin in 2003 for his work in the revitalization of Wright Middle School.  He also successfully led Madison West High School for a decade as one of the top public high schools in the state of Wisconsin and nation.

He also received the state of Wisconsin's first Martin Luther King Heritage Award.

In 2014, the Board of Overture Center Foundation (OCF) was moved to action after reading the Race to Equity Report issued by the Wisconsin Council on Children & Families, and created Overture’s response, the Racial Equity Initiative.

“We are thrilled to have Ed join our team to extend Overture’s presence into our communities,” said Ted DeDee, President and CEO of Madison’s Overture Center for the Arts. “Our core belief is that the arts are a critical means by which a whole community can come together, celebrate and thrive educationally, artistically, socially and economically.”

A press conference and official welcome for Holmes will be held at Overture Center on Thursday, Sept. 15 at 4 p.m.

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