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Alum Holmes named Overture Center's senior VP of equity and innovation

March 01, 2019

Edward Holmes has accepted a newly created position with the Overture Center for the Arts, and now is the organization’s senior vice president of equity and innovation.

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

In 2014, the Overture Center Foundation (OCF) Board was moved to action after reading the “Race to Equity Report” issued by the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, and created Overture’s response, the Racial Equity Initiative. Holmes was hired in August 2016 as the center’s first director of diversity and inclusion.

“Dr. Holmes’ former position laid the groundwork for Overture’s next steps in our response to the Racial Equity Initiative implemented in 2016,” Sandra Gajic, the president and CEO of Madison’s Overture Center for the Arts, said in a news release announcing Holmes’ new position. “His new role expands his responsibilities to implement programs that not only shine light on the issues but also use the visual and performing arts as a bridge to understanding and communications.”

The new position was created with the OCF Board’s executive committee approval of a new role in the center’s equity, diversity and inclusion portfolio, with the authority to oversee the creation and implementation of an organizational framework. 

Holmes first joined the Overture Center after leaving retirement from 24 years of work in the Madison Metropolitan School District. He is the former principal at West High School and Wright Middle School. 

A native of Washington, D.C., Holmes came to UW-Madison to complete 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.