How we EXCEL!

EXCEL is Excellence in Entrepreneurship, Career Empowerment & Leadership. The name says everything; EXCEL helps its students integrate vital aspects of real-world skills—such as marketing, business relations, storytelling, social impact, international collaboration, etc.—into a well-rounded career in the arts.

EXCEL Director: Jonathan Kuuskoski

The EXCEL Lab is also a place where students can get help with business planning, career creating, résumé revision, application advising, and so much more. “The EXCEL Lab is SMTD’s home base for performing arts entrepreneurship, leadership, and career services. We start by meeting students where they are in terms of their professional interests and goals, and then connect them with the resources they need to thrive,” says Jonathan Kuuskoski, the Lab’s Director.

EXCEL Talk with Robert Honstein and Mike Avitabile

Events hosted by EXCEL expand upon the deep professional training inherent in any SMTD degree, often going beyond the classroom. Through advising, workshops, courses, funding, and immersions, student can gain tangible resources alongside access to world-class professional artists and arts managers. Through those programs students are encouraged to expand their network, build their community, and receive (and adopt) feedback. The goal is to translate students’ ideas into action, and to help them connect with the expansive professional development opportunities available through the School of Music, Theatre & Dance; other colleges at the University of Michigan; and with performing arts organizations at the local, regional, national, and international levels.

EXCEL’s NYC Immersion at Carnegie Hall

To learn about how EXCEL helps students succeed, follow this blog. We’ll delve into stories about students who have personalized these opportunities to leverage their skills, training, talent and ambitions.

To find out more about events and resources available through EXCEL, visit our homepage.

If you are interested in learning how you might support our programming, which is funded through the generosity of donors, please visit “Leaders and Best online giving” through the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

EXCEL is excited to share the amazing stories and events with you throughout the coming year! Feel free to subscribe to the blog via e-mail for up-to-date posting information.

—Timothy Brewer




The EXCEL Log is your resource for Interviews, Opinion Editorials, Student and Faculty features, and more!