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Joe Kinosian

Broadway Writer, Composer and Actor

Milwaukee High School of the Arts

Broadway Writer, Composer and Actor - Joe Kinosian, a proud Milwaukee High School of the Arts (MHSA) alumnus, returned to MHSA this September, 2019 to offer compelling "heart's in the arts" wisdom to students. Joe, now living in New York City, graduated from the Milwaukee High School of the Arts in 1999. He wrote and composed the music for the Chicago hit "Murder for Two," which eventually played at World Stages Theatre in NYC - Off-Broadway. He is currently working on three different musicals.

Joe got his early start at MHSA as a 220-student and Joe Kinosianreflects on the value and excellence of his training: "My training was outstanding - a better foundation for what I ultimately wound up doing in life, than from what I had learned in college.  MHSA provided me the freedom to create my own show over the course of my senior year - and for me, a student who knew that I wanted a career in the arts, that was empowering!  I was also provided multiple opportunities to assist on school productions (acting of course, but also working props, sets and running crews) and having teachers inspire and appreciate my contributions, was meaningful.  I believe that the high quality of teachers at MPS is what allowed me to come into my own. Through the years I've been lucky enough to thank them for encouraging me while not underplaying the difficulty of pursuing an arts career. They are incredible people and I deeply value my connection to them."

When I speak to students from around the country, (most recently at MHSA) I tell them that seeing art works in their community can be inspiring.  Wherever and whenever possible, take trips to see professional work in town. Whether it is the theatre, dance, jazz or classical work - make every attempt to see it. Go visit art galleries and museums, and then have conversations with your peers and classmates as to how it applies to you personally and practically. "Nothing could expand a student's mind more than experiences such as these!"

Joe KinosianI am very fortunate to have graduated from the Milwaukee High School of the Arts. I still keep in contact with a lot of my classmates and fellow alums, most who have similar feelings about their experiences at Arts.  How can we give back? I think at a minimum, we can be advocates for MHSA simply by representing  through the work that we do.  Giving back is important.  I am here today (at MHSA) to offer support for the work the teachers do at MHSA -their work should continue to inspire. 

If I had a chance to share some thoughts with the current students at MHSA; or anywhere for that matter, I would tell them to, "Read! Read anything that interests you. Write, whether it's a play or a journal entry of your thoughts. Collaborate! Absorb! Keep Going!  Learn to appreciate the process and never give up on your dreams!

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MHSA Alumni Association:

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Phone: 414-475-8633

Alumni Engagement Associate:
David Valdés

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