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Dr. Quinton Morris is the new co-chair of the Seattle Arts Commission

Dr. Quinton Morris, concert violinist, educator, entrepreneur and filmmaker is the new co-chair of the Seattle Arts Commission, serving with Chair Priya Frank. Dr. Morris joined the Seattle Arts Commission in 2017. The 16-member Seattle Arts Commission, citizen volunteers appointed by the mayor and City Council, supports the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. Commission members include artists, arts professionals and other citizens with diverse backgrounds and strong links to Seattle’s arts community. The Seattle Arts Commission supports the City by advocating for arts policy, creating access for equitable participation in the arts, and fostering enriching arts engagement for all residents.

portrait of Dr. Quinton Morris with violin
Dr. Quinton Morris, photo by Jean

Dr. Morris is the founder of Key to Change, a nonprofit with the mission of inspiring underserved youth and students of color through world-class music instruction and supporting their development as self-aware leaders. Key to Change operates two string studios in South King County, Washington which serve middle and high school students who may not otherwise have access to classical music instruction.

Key to Change was born out of Dr. Morris’s BREAKTHROUGH World Tour, which paired recitals and concerto performances with lectures, master classes and educational outreach in over 40 cities across five continents. The tour also featured Dr. Morris’s short film The BREAKTHROUGH, which premiered at the Seattle Art Museum and the Louvre Museum in Paris, among other distinguished venues worldwide. He directed and starred in the film, which tells a modernized story of the Chevalier de Saint-Georges: a violinist of African origin who, against all odds, rose to become one of the most prolific and forgotten figures of the 18th century.

Dr. Morris has received numerous awards including the Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award, the Young Artist Governor’s Arts Award, top prizes at the European Independent Film Awards (Paris) and New York Film Week. He was recognized as one of Musical America’s Top 30 Movers & Shapers and the Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award. Additional career highlights include concerto appearances with the Seattle Symphony, three consecutive years of sold-out recitals at Carnegie Hall, eleven years as Artistic Director of The Young Eight String Octet and a TEDxSeattle talk on “The Age of the Artist Entrepreneur.”

Dr. Morris is a Renton native and earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He joined the Seattle University faculty in 2007 as Director of Chamber and Instrumental Music and Associate Professor of Violin and Chamber Music. He is the first tenured music professor at Seattle University in over 35 years and the second living African-American violinist in United States history to receive such a distinction. He is currently enrolled in an online business certificate program through Harvard Business School.