Michael Sturtz

Involved Since: 1999
Crucible Staff Since: 1999
Website URL: michaelsturtz.com/


Michael Sturtz is an internationally acclaimed innovator, designer, educator, and artist. Michael earned his BFA from Alfred University and MFA at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He set out to reinvent the idea of arts education and founded The Crucible as a truly non-competitive learning environment. Launched with only a conceptual design and a grant for $1,750, it quickly grew under Michael’s leadership to become the largest nonprofit industrial arts education facility in the country.

While there, he designed, directed, and produced stunning theatrical Fire Operas, and Fire Ballets which defined a new genre of entertainment. After twelve years at the helm, Michael retired from The Crucible in 2011 and found new creative challenges at Stanford’s d.school, where he spearheaded the ReDesigning Theater project. He later established and led The Stanford Creative Ignition Lab at Autodesk in San Francisco. In early 2017, Michael was invited to lead the prototyping lab at Google X, a research and development facility that focuses on building early-stage proof of concept prototypes.

In 2019, Michael was tapped as lead consultant to Gracefield Innovation Quarter, a high-energy research and development district near Wellington, New Zealand. He has lent his expertise to the country’s effort to lead worldwide innovation in environmentally restorative technology. More recently, he became an Edmund Hillary Fellow, joining world-class entrepreneurs and investors in New Zealand who are working to catalyze positive change in the world. Michael continues to be an in-demand speaker, educator, and creative provocateur, igniting revolutions in thought, organizational development, and creative empowerment across the globe.

Website: http://michaelsturtz.com