I've interviewed a LOT of people for this podcast. Literally people from all over the world, but none have been as personally rewarding for me as this one, for one simple fact. The interviewee is someone I have known for so long, that he and I are family in the most profound ways. He is my dear dear friend for over 40 years, and we have gone through thick and thin together. Had I NOT met him all those years ago, my life would only be a shadow of what it is today. It is an honor, a privilege and just oodles and oodles of fun to have had this conversation with him and to now offer it to all of you. I also want to apologize to him and to listeners for getting a bit too enthusiastic in our interview at times and overloading my mic. That buzz you'll hear occasionally is just me being a loud and unruly Frenchman.
George Tzougros, the 2019 recipient of the Michael Newton award. has been the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Arts Board since 1996. We have been friends since 1979. So we go . . . Way WAY back Mr. Peabody. It has been such a joy, as I've gotten older, to watch the careers of my closet friends from our Carroll College days (yeah, I know, it’s a University now), achieve high levels of success and prominence in their fields. George is one that I am particularly proud of, because he has attained a high level of success and retained his integrity, compassion and desire to continually learn through it all.
The arts board is the state agency which nurtures creativity, cultivates expression, promotes the arts and supports arts in education, stimulates community and economic development, and serves as a resource for people of every culture and heritage.
He works regularly with the Governor’s Office and WI legislature as well as the Cultural Coalition of Wisconsin, Governor’s Council on Tourism, Robert E. Gard Wisconsin Idea Foundation, Wisconsin Alliance for Arts Education, and the Wisconsin Foundation for the Arts. Tzougros is a co-founder of the National Creativity Network and has served as Board Chair since its inception in 2010. He earned a BA in theatre arts from Carroll University and an MA in arts administration from the University of Wisconsin at Madison School of Business where he also served as Director of Research for the Center for Arts Administration. He was a co-founder and former Managing Director of the Rankin Theatre Guild and is a seasoned choir director at a Greek Orthodox church.