Brown Arts

Avery Willis Hoffman

Artistic Director, Brown Arts Institute, Professor of the Practice of Arts and Classics


An artistic director, creative producer and curator of public programs, Avery Willis Hoffman joined Brown University in 2020 as the inaugural Artistic Director of the Brown Arts Institute and Professor of the Practice of Arts and Classics. In her recent role as inaugural Program Director at Park Avenue Armory in New York, Avery curated and produced innovative and diverse artistic and public programming initiatives, including numerous large- and intimate-scale cultural events, most recently: the multi-partner digital initiative 100 Years | 100 Women (2020), the 12 episode podcast project, Helga: The Armory Conversations (2021), and Carrie Mae Weems: The Land of Broken Dreams Convening (2021).

Prior to the Armory, Avery was a Senior Project Developer at Ralph Appelbaum Associates, a museum planning and design firm, where she conducted research and developed content for a number of special projects, including the development of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Avery has also held positions at Focus Features, The Clinton Global Initiative, and TED.

For nearly two decades, her professional career has included multiple projects with acclaimed director Peter Sellars, including Shakespeare’s Othello, Mozart’s opera Zaide, Vienna’s New Crowned Hope Festival, Toni Morrison’s Desdemona, and from 2016-2020, the international tour of FLEXN, Sellars’s collaboration with choreographer Reggie Gray and the Brooklyn flex community.

 Avery earned her D.Phil and M.St in Classical Languages and Literature from Balliol College, University of Oxford (as a Marshall Scholar), and earned her B.A. in Classics and English at Stanford University.