Legendary Motown Arranger and Composer
Mr. Riser began his professional career at Motown Records as a session trombonist and eventually propelled into arranging world-renowned tunes such as My Girl, Papa Was A Rolling Stone, I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Tears of A Clown, and If I Were Your Woman. He is also the composer of What Becomes of The Brokenhearted. Away from Motown, Mr. Riser’s hit compositions include, Never Too Much for Luther Vandross, Two Hearts for Phil Collins and I Believe I Can Fly for R. Kelly.
Addell Austin Anderson, Ph. D
Scholar and Symposium Coordinator
Dr. Anderson is a noted theatre scholar, administrative leader and arts education expert. She holds the following degrees: a B. A, in Business and Economics from Kalamazoo College; a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Michigan; and a Ph.D in Theatre from Michigan State University. She has a career filled with experience working with numerous nonprofit organizations, academic institutions and in various community service capacities. Among these positions, Dr. Anderson has served as Director of Wayne State University’s Black Theatre Program, Program Manager for events during Detroit 300 (the city’s Tercentennial), AmeriCorps Director for UM’s Ginsberg Center, Executive Director of the Woodward Heritage Organization-Wayne, and Director of the University of Michigan Detroit Center. She maintains an appointment with the Humanities Faculty for Wayne County Community College District. Also, she enjoys an appointment on the Board of Trustees for Detroit Public Television.
Andrew Flory, Ph. D
Music Scholar and Author
Andrew Flory is an assistant professor of music at Carleton College where he teaches courses on rock, rhythm and blues, and jazz. He recently contributed a chapter entitled “Marvin Gaye as Vocal Composer,” to the collection Sounding out Pop: Analytical Essays in Popular Music. Mr. Flory consulted on several Motown reissues, including the 1972 Marvin Gaye soundtrack to the film Trouble Man. His book, I Hear a Symphony: Listening to the Music of Motown, will be published this summer by University of Michigan Press.
Patricia Coleman-Burns, Ph. D
Former Motown Records Employee
Dr. Coleman-Burns is a University of Michigan Assistant Professor Emerita of Nursing and Black Studies. Early on, she worked as an Administrative Assisstant to Vice President Junius Griffin at Motown Records in the Dept. of Public Relations and Publicity.
Her research has evolved from rhetorical studies of radical and revolutionary social movements to a focus on racial identity in the reduction of health disparities through a social justice and social determinants of health perspective that examine workforce diversity, the education of underrepesented persons, efficacious research and community impact.
A long-time advocate for freedom from all forms of oppression and violence, Dr. Coleman-Burns serves on the Board of Safehouse Center and the UM Women of Color in the Academy Steering Committee; and is the Co-Chair for the UM Academic Women’s Caucus.
Ken Prouty, Ph. D
Music Scholar and Author
Dr. Prouty is Chair of the Musicology and Ethnomusicology division in Michigan State University’s College of Music where he teaches courses in Jazz History, American Music and Popular Music. He earned his Ph. D from the University of Pittsburgh and holds a masters degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas. Dr. Prouty is author of Knowing Jazz: Community, Pedagogy and Canon in the Information Age.
Allen Rawls, AICP
Motown Museum Board Member
Allen Rawls, a native Detroiter, has devoted his career to the development and promotion of the Motor City. A graduate of Cass Technical High School in the Architectural curriculum, he went on to study Architecture & Urban Planning as an undergraduate at Howard University. Years later he pursued advanced studies at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in the Advanced Management Development Program for Real Estate (AMDP).
Mr. Rawls remembers growing up in Detroit: ” Like many teenagers I was a member of a singing group that auditioned at Motown and even performed in the WCHB Talent Show.” Rawls’ group even received mentoring from members of the Funk Brothers.
As a trustee of The Motown Museum Mr. Rawls has married his passion for Motown music with his passion to develop Detroit. He employs his skills in architecture and historic preservation to maintain, protect, and expansion the physical structures that comprise the Museum campus.