John Michael Schert began his career as a dancer with American Ballet Theatre and Alonzo King LINES Ballet. In 2004, Schert cofounded Trey McIntyre Project (TMP), serving as the company’s executive director and a dancer for nine years. During that time he gained a unique insight into the process and product of art, which has led him to become a sought-after national arts leader and speaker focusing on the evolving role of artists in American society. As executive director of TMP, Schert oversaw the company’s mission and ensured McIntyre’s artistic voice was recognized, funded, and marketed across the globe. During his tenure, TMP was profiled in theNew York Times, by the PBS NewsHour, and was named one of "5 Nonprofit Innovators to Watch in 2013" by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
In 2011, Schert was given the “Young Leader of the Year Award” by Boise Young Professionals and named one of “40 Accomplished Under 40” by the Idaho Business Review. Schert helped establish TMP as the first ever City of Boise Economic Development Cultural Ambassador and, in 2012, his efforts led to a company tour of Vietnam, China, the Philippines, and South Korea as part of DanceMotion USAsm, a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State, produced by Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM).
Schert was raised in Valdosta, Georgia, and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts training under Melissa Hayden, Warren Conover, and Duncan Noble.
In fall 2013, Schert began as visiting artist and social entrepreneur for the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and UChicago Arts. In this newly created, two-year position, he will mentor students and work with faculty to explore the creative process, as practiced by artists, and how this asset can be of relevance and value to other sectors including business, economics, civic government, and healthcare. He believes that people in an array of fields can learn how artists engage in the creative process and then deploy that knowledge, channeling creativity into a marketable product that also can contain high community value, to enhance their own areas of enterprise.
Schert recently appeared in Chicago Booth's "Big Question" video series to discuss the role artists can play in inspiring corporate creativity. Watch: The Big Question: Does your company need an artist?
The fall 2014 issue of the Chicago Booth magazine highlighted Schert's work at Chicago Booth noting his involvement with Booth faculty research and coaching of John Edwardson, '72, Social New Venture Challenge Teams. Read: "Bringing Artistry to Business Thinking."