Fifth Annual Arts and Education Symposium

The Fifth Annual Arts and Education Symposium was held on Thursday, October 29, 2015 at the Radisson Hotel Harrisburg Convention Center.

The Program (PDF) included the following highlights:

Student Performances by Hill Dance Academy Theatre (HDAT), based in Pittsburgh.
HDAT’s mission is to develop and train dancers in Black Dance traditions, expand knowledge and contributions of Black Dance traditions and create emerging dance artists who will sustain Black Dance in the Black community. To watch the symposium welcome message and the Student Performances, click here.

The Keynote Speaker – Scott C. Shuler, Ph.D., Past-President, National Association for Music Education
To watch Dr. Shuler’s keynote address, click here.

Remarks – Mairi Cooper, 2015 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year and Orchestra Director, Fox Chapel Area School District
To watch video of Ms. Cooper’s remarks, click here.

Concurrent Sessions including:

Finding Your Personal Doorway to Applying the National Core Arts Standards
Speakers: O. David Deitz, Consultant, PA Department of Education and Cory Wilkerson, Communications Co-Chair, National Coalition for Core Arts Standards

Booster Clubs and School District Foundations Support for Arts Education
Speakers: Jennifer Weidman Schoener, Executive Director, Upper Darby Arts & Education Foundation and Tonya Renee Gilmore, Program Director, West Shore Music Boosters

Private Funders and Arts Education: What Are They Thinking!?
Mac Howison
, Senior Program Officer for Catalytic Funding, The Sprout Fund; Hillary Murray, Program Associate, The William Penn Foundation; and Janet Sarbaugh, Senior Program Director, The Heinz Endowments

Art Along the North West Lancaster County River Trail
Speakers: Jamie D. Dunlap, Director of Arts in Education Division, PA Council on the Arts; Kevin Lehman, Founder and Director, Lancaster Creative Factory; and Lori K. Yeich, Recreation and Conservation Manager, Central Pennsylvania Regional Office. Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Presentation of Awards including the 2015 Arts Education Policy Leader Award to Clyde McGeary

Presentation of Awards including the 2015 Arts Education School Board Leadership Award to Bristol Township School Board

Presentation of Awards including recognition to Featured Student Artist Jane Gallagher,
2015 graduate of Academy of Notre Dame de Namur (pictured: 1) EPLC President Ron Cowell and Jane Gallagher and 2) Former Academy of Notre Dame Art Teacher Evan Thomas; Jane Gallagher; Jane Gallagher’s father, Neil Gallagher; and Jane’s mother, Marni Gallagher)

Policy Leader Panel – Moderated by Jenny Hershour, Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania and including David Volkman, Executive Deputy Secretary, PA Department of Education and Philip Horn, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
To watch the Policy Leader Panel, click here.

Concurrent Sessions including:

Connecting Brain Based Research to Teaching and Learning in the Arts
Speaker: Catherine Richmond-Cullen, Ed.D., Assistant Professor of Education, University of Scranton

PA Data: Why, What and How?
Speakers: Beth Cornell, Retired Fine Arts Advisor, PA Department of Education; O. David Deitz, Consultant, PA Department of Education; Jamie Kasper, Associate Director; Arts Education Collaborative; Yael Z. Silk, Founder & Arts Education Specialist, Silk Strategic Arts LLC

National Arts Education Update
Speaker: Scott D. Jones, Senior Associate, Research and Policy, Arts Education Partnership

Early Education and the Arts
Speakers: Michelle Figlar, Deputy Secretary, Office of Child Development and Early Learning, PA Departments of Education and Human Services and Jennifer Ridgway, Process Drama Artist & Teaching Assistant, Lucy School and Former Director of Community Engagement, Fulton Theatre

Inside Out
Speaker: Thomas K. Flagg, Director- Terpsichore Management and Co-Founder- Positive Energy Arts Foundation

Effective Arts Education Advocacy: What’s Your Role?
Speakers: Jenny L. Hershour
, Managing Director, Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania; Arden Kass, Playwright and Screenwriter; Maud Lyon, President, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance; Michael Norris, Vice President of External Relations, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance; and David B. Pankratz, Research & Policy Director, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council

Afterschool/Out-of-School Programs and Arts Education
Caroline Allen, Coordinator, PA Statewide Afterschool Youth Development Network; Robert E. Hughes, Executive Director, Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation; and Maureen McGuigan, Deputy Director of Arts and Culture at County of Lackawanna, PA
Planning to Re-Start Governor’s School for the Arts
Speakers: Kate Plows
, Teacher of Ceramics, Graphic Design, and Journalism, Malvern Preparatory School and Ryan Socrates, Musician, Producer, Technology Life Coach and App Developer

PA Theatre and Dance Endorsements: Coming to a College Near You
Gene R. Frank, Ph.D., Artistic Director, Norristown Educational Theatre and PA Representative, American Alliance for Theatre Education; Linda Woods-Huber, Executive Director, Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, Inc.; and Cory Wilkerson, Communications Co-Chair, National Coalition for Core Arts Standards


  • Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania
  • Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance
  • Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council
  • Pennsylvania Arts Education Network
  • Pennsylvania Humanities Council
  • Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, Inc.
  • Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania
  • The Education Policy and Leadership Center


  • NAMM Foundation
  • Ronald Cowell
  • Pennsylvania Music Educators Association
  • Pennsylvania Thespians, an affiliate of the Educational Theatre Association
  • Progressive Music
  • Clyde and Barbara McGeary

The Pennsylvania Arts Education Network and its Annual Symposium are supported by a generous grant from The Heinz Endowments.

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