Michael Tiknis

Michael Tiknis, President and Managing Director of the Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Chicago since 2004, possesses a diverse background in the administration of the performing arts.  His experience includes more than 40 years of work in arts-related enterprise.

As President, Mr. Tiknis guides the artistic and organizational vision of the Harris Theater. Working together with the Theater’s Board and staff, Mr. Tiknis also oversees the Theater’s mission of partnership and collaboration with an array of Chicago’s emerging and mid-sized performing arts organizations. The Harris Theater uniquely offers each of its partner organizations individual assistance, thereby helping them build the specific resources and infrastructure necessary to achieve artistic growth and long-term organizational sustainability. The Theater was the first multi-use performing arts venue to be built in the Chicago downtown area since 1929 and today it offers the most diverse schedule of events of any venue in Chicago. Not only is it a home to some of the city’s world-renowned music and dance institutions, it also produces the Harris Theater Presents, a series of acclaimed performances by national and international companies.  The Chicago Tribune recently noted “…the Millennium Park venue has become a pivotal part of Chicago’s cultural landscape with a slate of programming to rival any single-venue arts center in the nation.”

Mr. Tiknis previously held the position of President/CEO of the Midland Center for the Arts in Midland, Michigan, a project the Dow Family began more than 35 years ago, served as Managing Director of the Virginia Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, San Diego Symphony Orchestra, Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, and Houston’s Tony Award-winning Alley Theatre. In addition, he has worked as Marketing and Public Relations Director with the San Antonio Symphony and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and its May Festival. He also represented performing artists and touring ensembles in his work for Herbert Barrett Management in New York.

Mr. Tiknis did his undergraduate study at Seton Hall University, was recently a Roman Nomitch Fellow of the Harvard Business School Club of Chicago, and a participant in Harvard’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management seminar.