Professor of the Practice of Arts and Classics


A writer, director, producer and curator of public programs, Avery Willis Hoffman recently joined Brown University as the inaugural Artistic Director of the Brown Arts Initiative 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 has curated and produced innovative and diverse public programming initiatives, including numerous large- and small-scale cultural events: Artist and Curatorial Talks, a Confrontational Comedy Series (2016-2019), the annual Culture in a Changing America Symposium (2017-2020), Carrie Mae Weems’s Shape of Things Salon (2017), the United Lenape Nations’s first Manhattan-based Pow Wow (2018), Theaster Gates’s Black Artist Retreat 2019, and the recent multi-partner digital initiative 100 Years | 100 Women, marking the centennial of the 19th Amendment (2020).  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. Between 2010-2015, her primary project was the development of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, in Washington, D.C.

For more than a decade, her professional career has included multiple projects with acclaimed director Peter Sellars, including on his international productions of Shakespeare’s Othello, Mozart’s opera Zaide, New Crowned Hope Festival, and Toni Morrison’s Desdemona. She is currently international tour producer for FLEXN, Sellars’s collaboration with choreographer Reggie Gray and the Brooklyn flex community, which premiered at the Armory in March 2015 and has since been presented at the Marseille Festival, Napoli Teatro Festival, Holland Festival, New Zealand Festival, Sao Paolo Brasil Sesc, La Villette Paris, Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, residencies at Dartmouth College and Princeton University, and The Kennedy Center.


Avery earned her DPhil and MSt in Classical Languages and Literature from Balliol College, University of Oxford, where she was a Marshall Scholar, and earned her BA in Classics and English at Stanford University.

Brown Affiliations