Sat. Feb 22nd, 2020


The Emerald City

Dr. Quinton Morris is the new co-chair of the Seattle Arts Commission

2 min read

Dr. Quinton Morris, concert violinist, educator,
entrepreneur and filmmaker is the new co-chair of the Seattle Arts Commission,
serving with Chair Priya Frank. Dr. Morris joined the Seattle Arts Commission
in 2017. The 16-member Seattle Arts Commission, citizen volunteers
appointed by the mayor and City Council, supports the Seattle Office of Arts
& Culture. Commission members include artists, arts professionals and other
citizens with diverse backgrounds and strong links to Seattle’s arts community.
The Seattle Arts Commission supports the City by advocating for arts
policy, creating access for equitable participation in the arts, and fostering
enriching arts engagement for all residents.

Dr. Morris is the founder of Key
to Change
, a nonprofit with the mission of inspiring underserved youth and
students of color through world-class music instruction and supporting their
development as self-aware leaders. Key to Change operates two string studios in
South King County, Washington which serve middle and high school students who
may not otherwise have access to classical music instruction.

Key to Change was born out of Dr.
Morris’s BREAKTHROUGH World Tour, which paired recitals and concerto
performances with lectures, master classes and educational outreach in over 40
cities across five continents. The tour also featured Dr. Morris’s short
film The BREAKTHROUGH, which premiered at the Seattle Art
Museum and the Louvre Museum in Paris, among other distinguished venues
worldwide. He directed and starred in the film, which tells a modernized story
of the Chevalier de Saint-Georges: a violinist of African origin who, against
all odds, rose to become one of the most prolific and forgotten figures of the
18th century.

Morris has received numerous awards including the Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award,
the Young Artist Governor’s Arts Award, top prizes at the European Independent
Film Awards (Paris) and New York Film Week. He was recognized as one of Musical
America’s Top 30 Movers & Shapers and the Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40
Under 40 Award. Additional career highlights include concerto appearances with
the Seattle Symphony, three consecutive years of sold-out recitals at Carnegie
Hall, eleven years as Artistic Director of The Young Eight String Octet and a
TEDxSeattle talk on “The Age of the Artist Entrepreneur.”

Dr. Morris is a Renton native and earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He joined the Seattle University faculty in 2007 as Director of Chamber and Instrumental Music and Associate Professor of Violin and Chamber Music. He is the first tenured music professor at Seattle University in over 35 years and the second living African-American violinist in United States history to receive such a distinction. He is currently enrolled in an online business certificate program through Harvard Business School. 

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