Arts to Grow is very pleased that Michael Meng, Senior Associate, Healthcare sector Apax Partners has been working with us since November 2012 to develop our launch strategy for our Growing Innovative Youth Initiative (raising $500,000 to kick off our “5in5” Campaign to serve 5,000 children annually). Michael sits on the board of Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis & Education as well as Medicomp, a company that provides remote cardio-telemetry services.
During his MBA studies at Wharton, Michael made a pact with a group of students he worked with in a program called the Nonprofit Board Leadership Fellows. Upon completion of the program, they pledged to become involved in a nonprofit organization and make a measurable impact. Michael states, “this has allowed us to hold each other accountable for continuing our efforts in the nonprofit world”.
Michael explains, “it has been great helping the organization (ATG) build the processes and action plan from the ground up, adapting it to today’s challenging fundraising world. I find the leadership of the organization (ATG), particularly Mallory, to be very engaging and enthusiastic about the organization’s mission. The chance to truly make a difference permeates throughout the organization”.
Throughout his childhood, Michael himself participated in musical theater productions and music arts. He received formal piano and viola training for more than 12 years and played in both the Metropolitan Youth Symphony of Metro Detroit and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Civic – 2 of the top youth symphonies in the country.
“I once even had the opportunity to play with world renowned violinist, conductor and composer, Itzahk Perlman”, Michael states. “Playing music and the other arts in general helped develop my mind, maturity, and discipline which I have carried with me ever since”.
Michael strongly believes there is a great disparity in the opportunity for arts among children due to economic class status. According to Michael, “this leaves quite a hole in a child’s life and development. There is an aspect of intelligence and maturity that comes from the arts that cannot be measured directly, but certainly exists”.