NASHVILLE, TN — After a nationwide search, the Metro Arts Commission has named Daniel Phoenix Singh, an international and multi-lingual performing artist and arts leader, as the next Executive Director. Singh is excited to serve Metro Arts: Nashville Office of Arts + Culture.
Most recently, Sing served on the board of Maryland Citizens for the Arts, an advocacy arm for Maryland State Arts Council. He worked on increasing funding for the arts, advancing equitable funding practices, and championing direct grants to artists through both state and county arts agencies. In July 2022, he completed a year-long training program with the Government Alliance for Racial Equity (GARE) on re-imagining municipal processes and systems through an equity lens.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Daniel Singh to the Athens of the South,” said Mayor John Cooper. “Nashville’s thriving visual and performing arts communities and diverse culture make us one of the most dynamic and interesting places in America to live. Daniel’s leadership at the helm of Metro Arts will be an exciting addition and help us continue to create a Nashville that works for everyone.”
In selecting Singh, the Metro Arts Commission noted his bold vision as an important factor. That vision includes the role of Metro Arts in providing a mirror and tool for a powerful re-imagining of our lives and our society through the arts. “The arts are the nexus of critical interrogation, a sanctuary for those on the margins, and a repository for the emotional energy of our complicated times,” Singh said. “Together, we can leverage the collective power of the arts ecosystem as a catalyst for change.”
“Singh brings an interdisciplinary perspective and a systems-level approach to arts leadership,” said Matia Powell, Chair of the Metro Arts Commission. “One of his many strengths is his ability to engage diverse communities and operationalize equity-centered practices and processes, particularly in the government sector. Singh is also a passionate arts advocate who envisions innovative partnerships in education, social justice, technology, and other fields to address system-level inequities.”
Singh grew up in India and moved to the United States to attend the University of Maryland. In 2003, he founded a nationally acclaimed dance company. Later, he obtained master’s degrees in fine arts from the University of Maryland and in business administration from Georgetown University.
Singh will work closely with the Nashville community, Commission members, and staff to build trust and relationships with local artists, arts organizations, and community stakeholders. This process will include listening sessions to ensure that all community voices, needs, and ideas are heard. “As we look at publicly funded goals and strategies, ensuring that the community vision is deeply woven into our path forward is crucial,” Singh said.
Concurrently, he will work alongside Metro Arts staff to review internal processes and systems and align them with a new vision and strategic plan for a more just and equitable arts ecosystem.