A Word With… Milan Dukic

New to Wyoming Living is our A Word With… column featuring those who work in our community. In an effort to learn more about those spending 40-60 hours a week in our little burb, we wanted to find a way to scratch beneath the surface of a work-related interview. Milan Dukic of the Wyoming Fine Arts Center answered a handful of different questions about his path leading to Wyoming, his youth, and his favorite things. Here are his thoughtful answers:

Milan Dukic is the Executive Director of the Wyoming Fine Arts Center.

Name: Milan Dukic
Title: Wyoming Fine Arts Center’s Executive Director
Years in this position: 10
Job Description: “Making sure we provide the best learning environment for kids and grownups with affinities towards fine arts, music, and dance. Oh, also from A to Z around here, you name it, I do it.”

What was your path leading to your current career in Wyoming?
“I came to the United States (from Belgrade, Serbia) at the ripe ol’ age of 18 to pursue violin performance studies at the oldest North American Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan. After a summer of awe-inspiring experiences amongst the pine trees up north (how’s for playing with the likes of Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, DSO with Neeme Jarvee, under the baton of some of the most incredible conductors of today), I auditioned for and spent the next two years as a High School Senior and a Post Grad Student on a full-ride scholarship at the Interlochen Arts Academy. Following completion of my studies there, I was accepted as a scholarship student to the UC-CCM (University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music). This is where I completed my undergrad and my master degrees in violin performance, and that’s when I started teaching and gigging in the area. I joined the faculty at the Wyoming Fine Arts Center in 2001, and while teaching here, I also taught at the NKU prep. In 2007, after serving as a coordinator for the Center’s Touchstone Project that taught free violin lessons in Cincinnati’s disadvantaged neighborhoods, I stepped into the position of an interim, and then full-time, Executive Director of the Wyoming Fine Arts Center.

What is the best book you have read this year?
“From Immigrant to Inventor, 1924 Pulitzer winning autobiography of Michael Pupin.”

What book do you wish every adult in Wyoming would read?
“Definitely From Immigrant to Inventor by Michael Pupin.”

What is your go-to-book to read?
“Wikipedia / Ben Franklin’s Autobiography.”

How about your favorite movie?
“I love Singing in the Rain.”

What is the best play or musical you have ever seen live?
“The 1994 season of Grand Traverse Players (Traverse City, Michigan) production of Forever Plaid.”

What was your favorite subject when you were in school?
“It’s a tie between Shop Class and History.”

Who was your favorite teacher – and why?
“My first violin teacher from Serbia, Zoran Ilich. I am yet to meet anyone so enthusiastic and inspiring when it comes to music and teaching violin.”

What is your hidden talent? (Besides violin - which isn’t really hidden but it is a talent!)
“I can pretty much fix anything mechanical around the house.”

Who is your idol?
“My mom and dad, my sister, and my grandparents.”

Where would your dream vacation take you?
“Rapa Nui – Easter Island”

What is your guilty pleasure to binge watch on television?
“Depends on what’s on. Lately, The Young Pope, Homeland, Billions, The Untold History of the United States. And I am waiting on return of Game of Thrones.”

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