Michael Wainstein, director of the UCF School of Performing Arts, has been reappointed for a second five-year term.
The decision follows an assessment of Director Wainstein and the school under his leadership. The process included feedback from faculty and staff, as well as college administration.
The committee that oversaw Wainstein’s five-year assessment found him to be level-headed, decisive and caring of faculty, staff and students. Comments about his first five-year term note that he has made strides in uniting the disciplines within the school, he is very supportive of faculty and he effectively led the school through the very difficult period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jeff Moore, dean of the UCF College of Arts and Humanities, credited Wainstein’s tenacity, experience and leadership skills for the fact that the School of Performing Arts was able to continue effective teaching, learning and performing throughout 2020 and 2021.
“The School of Performing Arts is in the capable hands of a leader with a clear vision,” said Moore. “Michael’s steady leadership carried the school through the challenges of COVID-19. He enabled students and faculty to focus on arts-making as soon and as safely possible. Additionally, the School of Performing Arts has a great opportunity for creating community connections for the university. Prior to, and even during the pandemic, Michael was building strong ties within Central Florida. I’m glad he has agreed to serve a second term to continue these important efforts.”
Wainstein joined UCF as the director of the School of Performing Arts in 2017. The school offers academic programs and courses of interest to future performing arts practitioners, designers, educators, scholars and patrons. In 2019, the school introduced a new themed experience track in the Theatre MFA program, expanding graduate offerings to better meet the growing workforce needs of the region.
Wainstein also serves as producer of “UCF Celebrates the Arts,” an annual festival at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. As producer, Wainstein has overseen productions of Bernstein’s Mass, Titanic the Musical, and Shrek the Musical. Under his guidance, the festival has seen a 37 percent increase in attendees and a tenfold increase in revenue. He has secured more than $80,000 in grants to support the festival.
During the next five years, Wainstein’s goals include increasing exposure and recognition for UCF performing arts programs; strengthening the faculty through development, travel and inclusive hiring practices; increasing the impact of UCF Celebrates the Arts; and collaborating with the dean’s office and UCF Advancement to build new facilities on campus that will prepare students for 21st century careers in arts, entertainment and themed experiences.