World-renowned pianist Theodore Lettvin (1927-2003) proposed the idea for Great Lakes PAA during his tenure as professor of piano at the University of Michigan’s School of Music. Professor Lettvin became concerned when his graduating students, discouraged by the lack of performance opportunities available to them in this area, left for New York, California, Europe, or gave up on the idea of performing all together. To address this issue, Professor Lettvin and his wife, Joan, envisioned an organization that would focus on artists’ talent and promise, rather than their ability to generate profits. In 1978, after thorough research and planning, Joan Lettvin established Great Lakes Performing Artist Associates, a regional, not-for-profit artist management organization. It was good for the artists, good for the region, and good for the performing arts. Today Great Lakes PAA celebrates over 35 years of excellence in the arts, and its mission is as vital to regional artists and audiences as it ever was. The National Endowment for the Arts described PAA as “a resource unlike any other.”

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Great Lakes Performing Artist Associates

A unique non-profit arts organization, GLPAA was founded in 1978. Its mission is to encourage the cultural and artistic development of the Great Lakes region by supporting the performance careers of exceptional regional artists. By offering high caliber artists at affordable fees to regional performing arts presenters, we extend the strength and vitality of cultural enrichment to a greater and more diverse population. These presenters include college, church, and community concert series, regional orchestras, schools, libraries, and “non-traditional” venues such as community centers and nursing homes. Great Lakes PAA’s artists present concerts, recitals, master classes, workshops residencies, and educational programs throughout the Great Lakes region.

Because of its not-for-profit status, Great Lakes PAA can focus on artists’ talent and promise rather than their ability to finance the cost of managing a performance career. To that end, PAA seeks out and carefully selects talented artists from this region to join its roster and supports them by providing performance-career management services.

Listen to Aileen Rohwer, GLPAA executive director on the WEMU creative-impact radio show.


Aileen Rohwer, Executive Director

Classically trained as a cellist at the Oberlin Conservatory and Rice University Shepherd School of Music, Aileen Rohwer has found her way to GPLAA through administrative, performing, and teaching experiences at such organizations as Chamber Music Ann Arbor, The University of Michigan, the Riverfolk Music and Arts Organization, and as founding Director of Cultural Art Strings. She has performed as a freelance symphony and chamber music cellist throughout the United States, currently maintaining teaching studio in Manchester, MI. Having spent over 25 years building relationships with performers, presenters and educators, Ms. Rohwer brings a wealth of knowledge, dedication, and persistence to bringing performers and audiences together.

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