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Snyder announces reappointments to Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs

Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the reappointments of Liz Ahrens, of Harbor Springs, Drew Buchholz, of Traverse City, Aaron Dworkin, of Ann Arbor, and Christian Gaines, of Grand Rapids, to the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

The council encourages, develops and facilitates an enriched environment of creative and cultural activity in Michigan.

"Arts and culture are key to economic development in our communities and state," Snyder said. "I'm confident these individuals will use their backgrounds and talents to help enhance Michigan as a place where families want to live and businesses want to invest.”

Ahrens is executive director of the Crooked Tree Arts Council. She worked as business and operations manager at River Capital, director of operations at Portfolio 1040, and was owner of The Woodward Gallery. Ahrens earned a bachelor’s degree in humanities from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in organizational management from Spring Arbor University.

Buchholz is director of external relations and major gifts for Interlochen Center for the Arts. He served as director of advocacy initiatives for ArtServe Michigan, program director for the Michigan House Civics Commission, and worked as a legislative assistant. He is chair of the Michigan Youth Arts Leadership Roundtable. Buchholz earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and interdisciplinary studies from Michigan State University.

Dworkin is the founder and president of the Sphinx Organization, an arts organization that focuses on youth development and diversity in classical music. He was named a 2006 Crain’s 40 Under 40, 2005 MacArthur Fellow, 2003 Michiganian of the Year, and received an honorary degree from the Curtis Institute of Music. Dworkin earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in violin performance from the University of Michigan.

Gaines is executive director of ArtPrize. He served as film festival specialist for, director of festivals for the American Film Institute, festival director and director of programming for the Hawaii International Film Festival, programmer for the Sundance Institute Sundance Film Festival, and administrative director for The American Pavilion. Gaines earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Vassar College.

Appointees will serve four-year terms expiring Sept. 1, 2018. Their appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.