Building Next Generation Leadership in Arts Education

Saturday, June 17, 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm
The intergenerational hand-off is happening in school- and community-based arts education programs across the United States and there are many challenges to be tackled. This session brings together emerging and veteran leaders to explore smooth transitions in policy, fundraising, programming, evaluation, partnerships and more. Bring your toughest questions and best ideas to collaborate with peers of all ages in this solutions oriented session.

This session addresses issues of advocacy, arts education, capacity, community development, equity/diversity/inclusion, engagement, leadership, public value, and research.

This session is part of the Celebrating Optimism sessions.


Tamara Alvarado
Executive Director
School of Arts and Culture at MHP
San Jose, California
Prior to serving as the Executive Director for the School of Arts & Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza, Tamara was the Director of Multicultural Leadership for 1stACT Silicon Valley. From 2003 to 2008 she served as Executive Director of MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana in San Jose, California. From 1999 – 2003 she served as Program Director for the newly opened Washington United Youth Center, a partnership between Catholic Charities and the City of San Jose. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Western State Arts Federation. Tamara is also co-founder of the Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute, a leadership development program for people of color working in arts, culture and entertainment. A traditional Aztec dancer for the past 14 years, she is a member of Calpulli Tonalehqueh Danza Azteca of San Jose. Tamara holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish Literature from Stanford University.
Nicole Amri
Program Director
San Antonio, Texas

Nicole Amri is a 2006 alumna of SAY Sí (a national-award-winning creative youth development program in San Antonio, TX) and a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio where she studied Painting and Public Relations. She is also a certified nonprofit professional through the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. Nicole’s great passions are education and the arts. Her artwork predominantly explores human rights issues with a focus on interpersonal relationships and societal conditions. In addition to her position as Program Director for SAY Sí, Nicole currently serves on local and national committees such as city-wide collective impact initiatives: SA2020 and Excel Beyond the Bell SA and national groups: the ALAANA Network and National Advisory Committee to the Creative Youth Development National Partnership. When she’s not working or creating, Nicole loves to dance, cook and listen to music (often at the same time).
Indi McCasey
Director of Creative Learning
Destiny Arts Center
Oakland, California
Indi McCasey believes in the transformative power of community-based arts education and creative youth development. Indi is an educational consultant, teaching artist, non-profit program administrator, and event producer with over 20 years of experience in experiential and informal learning environments and 10 years of non-profit program management experience. Indi founded two nationally performing physical theater ensembles in addition to being an artistic member of Wise Fool New Mexico, an award-winning, social justice circus and theater company. As the co-producer of Topsy-Turvy Queer Circus, Indi brings circus artists from across the country to perform as part of the National Queer Arts Festival in San Francisco. Indi recently completed a masters degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and was a Project Zero Artist in Residence and Teaching Fellow as well as a former recipient of the Endeavor Foundation for the Arts award.
Kathi Levin
Independent Consultant and Policy/Legislative Liaison
National Art Education Association
Fairfax, Virginia
Kathi R. Levin, a national leader in arts education for over 20 years, is an ongoing consultant with the National Art Education Association, managing a portfolio which supports the association’s policy, advocacy, research, national standards and leadership development efforts. She is the Program/Development Officer for NAEA's grant-making National Art Education Foundation. Her clients have included the NJ Performing Arts Center, LA County Arts Commission, and AFTA. As Director of the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network for over a decade, she conceived of and wrote A Community Audit for Arts Education, the foundation of the Center’s Any Given Child Initiative and managed partnership and leadership development initiatives. The book “Arts Integration in Education: Teachers and Teaching Artists as Agents of Change” (Intellect 2016) includes Levin’s chapter, based on 32 interviews with national thought leaders, entitled “Arts Education: Systemic Change and Sustainability ,” the foundation of the convention session.