275 N. Eagleson Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
Charles E. Sykes, D.M.E., is executive director of the African American Arts Institute (AAAI), a performing arts program that operates under the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Indiana University.
An experienced arts administrator, performer, teacher, and scholar, Sykes received his B.S. degree from Florida A&M University (FAMU) where he was a member of the famed Marching 100. He received his master's and doctorate degrees in music education from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. As a performer, he was a member of the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra (Michigan) in which he played flute and piccolo, was the director of the Battle Creek Youth Orchestra, and performed as a pit musician on numerous musicals. As executive director of the African American Arts Institute he overseas approximately 30 annual events presented by its three ensembles (African American Choral Ensemble, African American Dance Company, and IU Soul Revue), a summer program for high school students (Camp S.O.U.L), and AAAI RECORDS.
Along with his administrative duties at IU, he is an affiliate faculty in the Departments of African American and African Diaspora Studies and Folklore and Ethnomusicology, and research associate with the Archives of African American Music and Culture. His research focuses on African American popular music, with emphasis on Motown. He has served as a consultant for the Motown Historical Museum, and as co-contributor of text for the study guide and souvenir program for Motown the Musical. He developed the first noted course on the history of Motown, which he teaches at IU. He has presented and lectured nationally and internationally on popular music.
His recent published works include the “Motown” chapter in the first edition of African American Music: An Introduction, “The Black Forum Label: Motown Joins the Revolution” in the Association for Recorded Sound Collections journal, and “The Motown Legacy: Homegrown Sound, Mass Appeal” in Issues inAfrican American Music: Power, Gender, Race, Representation. He is currently researching the history and culture of the FAMU Marching 100 for an upcoming publication.