Served as the sixth president of Interlochen Center for the Arts from 1998-2003. Downing first arrived at Interlochen in 1974 while serving as the director of the University of Michigan All-State Program at Interlochen, then going on to other positions. Downing established many Intelrochen initiatives and traditions, including the annual “Collage” summer concert. His presidential accomplishments included directing the $16 million campus renovation in 1999. In addition to leading Interlochen, Downing served as executive director of the Traverse Symphony Orchestra in Traverse City, Michigan, from 2007-12.