Arts Education Leaders Elected to National Council
Washington, DC — December 14, 2009 — Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America, announced today the election of three new members to its Arts Education Council. They include: Ron Jones, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL; Stephanie Riven, Center of Creative Arts, St. Louis, MO; and Victoria J. Saunders, San Diego, CA. Donna Collins of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education and Steven Tennen of ArtsConnection in New York City were also re-elected to the council.
The Arts Education Council represents the Arts Education Network—a segment of the professional members of Americans for the Arts, who work to improve access to and quality of arts education. The 13-member council provides guidance on the development and execution of programs and services that meet the needs of the Arts Education Network.
“It is critical that America’s children get an opportunity to have a quality arts education. Those who serve on the Arts Education Council are leaders who bring expertise, skills, and passion to ensure that arts education excels in our nation’s schools and communities,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts.
The following is a list of the newly elected and re-elected Arts Education Council members:
Dean of the College of the Arts, University of South Florida
Ron Jones, Dean of the College of The Arts of the University of South Florida, has published more than 20 professional articles on aesthetics, art education and criticism, in addition to writing art reviews, and contributing to the book Art Education: Content and Practice in a Postmodern Era. He has presented over 20 papers for the American Psychological Association, the National Art Education Association, the National Council for Policy Study in Art, the International Council of Fine Arts Deans, and the Florida Higher Education Arts Network. Prior to his current position, Jones served as the chair of the West Virginia Arts Council; was a founding member of the Mid-Atlantic Arts Consortium; served on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts: and, was elected to the National Council for Policy Study in Art.
Executive Director, Center of Creative Arts
St. Louis, MO
Stephanie Riven is the executive director of COCA, the Center of Creative Arts, in St. Louis, MO. COCA is a multi-disciplinary arts center offering 500 classes, camps, workshops, performances and exhibitions that serve 50,000 people each year. COCA’s pre-professional dance program has led students to some of the most prestigious dance companies in the world including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and Ballet Hispanico, among others. With an annual budget of $5 million, COCA is one of the leading community arts centers in the country and a recipient of major grants from the Wallace Foundation and the Ford Foundation. Stephanie has championed equitable access to high quality arts education through after-school and arts integration partnerships in 50 local schools. COCA’s school-based programs have been recognized with a Coming Up Taller Award presented at The White House and recently a Best Arts Organization award for Interchange, COCA’s arts integration initiative.
Victoria J. Saunders
Victoria J. Saunders Consulting
San Diego, CA
Victoria Saunders, an arts consultant, has a M.A. from the University of Oregon's Art Education Department. Since 1989, arts education and the role of community partnerships in arts education have infused her work. She has co-developed an Arts Education Strategic Plan for the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs as well as conducted other arts education and community arts assessments. She is currently working with the California Alliance for Arts Education to build Local Advocacy Networks in five San Diego County school districts. When on staff at the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, she co-led an effort to build San Diego’s first arts education partnership. She has led and managed arts education organizations. Victoria is particularly interested in the role of local arts agencies in the arts education delivery system. In 2009, she successfully led an advocacy effort to keep the Visual and Performing Arts Department at the San Diego Unified School District.
Donna Collins (re-elected)
Executive Director, Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Donna Collins serves as executive director for both the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (OAAE) and Ohio Citizens for the Arts (OCA). Under Collins’s direction, OAAE has secured more than $1 million in state, federal, and foundation grants to support arts education in the areas of assessment, gifted identification, professional development, and mentoring. As a leader in the field of arts education and arts advocacy, Collins has had the opportunity to work with the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network (KCAAEN) and co-authored the its Leadership Kit. Collins also serves as an Americans for the Arts State Captain and is a State Arts Advocacy Network member. Her leadership continues as a board member for Ohio Music Education Association, Ohio Art Education Association, as well as the VSA arts of Ohio board, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra’s Education Committee, and BalletMet’s Advocacy Committee. Prior to working with OAAE and OCA, Collins served as the marketing director for the Ohio PTA.
Steven Tennen (re-elected)
Executive Director, Arts Connection
New York, NY
Steven Tennen has been executive director of ArtsConnection, one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive arts-in-education organizations, since November 1985. Under his leadership, ArtsConnection has grown from a service provider to a full educational partner with more than 120 New York City public schools annually. During the past six years, ArtsConnection received three U.S. Department of Education (ED) Model Development and Dissemination grants; hosted the national symposium Beyond Arts Integration to share the research results of its 2001 Model Development and Dissemination grant; and has been the subject of the Dana Press publication Partnering Arts Education: A Working Model from ArtsConnection. He has served on numerous panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Fund for NYC Public Schools, among many others. Tennen holds an M.A. in theater from Brooklyn College.
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With offices in Washington, DC, and New York City, it has a record of 49 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.
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