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April 10, 2020

MSU names Devon Akmon director of Science Gallery Detroit

Following an extensive international search, Michigan State University is pleased to announce Devon Akmon as its director of Science Gallery Detroit.

Akmon, an alumnus of MSU and a native Detroiter, began work April 1.

As director of Science Gallery Detroit, Akmon will play a leadership role in building connections among MSU, the local Detroit community and the greater global community via the Science Gallery International Network.

Additionally, his responsibilities will include leading the organization as it transitions from a “startup” into a more established presence in Detroit.

“I am excited to welcome Devon to Science Gallery Detroit,” said Jeff Grabill, Science Gallery Detroit’s interim director and MSU associate provost for teaching, learning and technology. “He has built a remarkable career in Detroit and nationally as a leader of cultural institutions, and he understands how transformative the Science Gallery model can be for Detroit and Michigan State.”

Prior to joining Science Gallery Detroit, Akmon served as a senior consultant with the DeVos Institute for Arts Management at the University of Maryland.

His work included providing coaching and mentoring for cultural organizations throughout the nation on arts management, strategic planning, fundraising, board development, institutional and programmatic marketing; and artistic programming.

Additionally, Akmon previously served as deputy director (2009-2013) and director (2013-2018) of the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

Under his leadership, Akmon established new relationships with individuals and organizations that resulted in the expansion of the museum’s mission and programming throughout the nation.

Akmon also oversaw the physical expansion of the museum with the creation of the Annex, a new community arts space immediately adjacent to the museum, and an artist-in-residency unit in the neighboring City Hall Artspace Lofts.

 “I am both honored and excited to lead Science Gallery Detroit’s innovative, place-based, transdisciplinary work. The educational and community-building approach to this award-winning model is both inspiring and impactful,” said Akmon.

Akmon is also a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and serves on the boards of CultureSource and the American Alliance of Museums.

In 2013, Akmon was named one of Crain’s Detroit Business magazine’s “40 Under 40” business leaders. And, in 2016, he was named one of twelve American Express NGen Fellows with the Independent Sector.

Science Gallery Detroit

Science Gallery Detroit is a project of Michigan State University committed to public engagement through science and art. The Science Gallery Network consists of eight locations worldwide: Dublin, London, Venice, Bengaluru, Melbourne, Rotterdam, Detroit and Atlanta. Science Gallery is an award-winning international initiative pioneered by Trinity College Dublin that delivers a dynamic new model for engaging 15–25-year olds with science and art. Science Gallery Detroit is the first gallery in the Americas.

By: Kelly Mazurkiewicz

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