Revolutionizing Arts Education Policy through Data and Mapping

Friday, June 14, 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

The hardest question to answer in arts education is: How many students are receiving arts education? Historically, few states were able to offer information on students’ access to and participation in arts education, leaving decision makers in the dark about critical gaps and how to address them. Fortunately, there are major efforts at the state and local levels to address this challenge and thereby improve transparency and strengthen opportunities to address inequities in arts education.

Arts leaders who support arts education case-making locally will learn about three separate projects and how they each uniquely approach the shared goal of strengthening arts education policy. The session discussion will focus on how data can close the gap between policy and practice to ensure increased student participation in the arts.

This session will include presentations on the Statewide Data Infrastructure Project for Arts Education, a cooperative agreement between the National Endowment for the Arts and Education Commission of the States, the Arts Education Data Project, a consortium of states working with Quadrant Research and the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education, and Ingenuity’s ArtLook Map of city-level arts education.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn how these new digital asset mapping resources work and how you can use them.
  2. Explore how such resources create an understanding of equitable access to the arts across regions.
  3. Discuss how these mapping efforts resonate with public and private sector policy pursuits for arts education.


Paul Sznewajs
Executive Director
Chicago, Illinois

Paul Sznewajs is founding Executive Director of Ingenuity, which has driven the most arts education progress in Chicago schools in nearly four decades. Ingenuity received the 2013 Chicago Innovation Award as one of the city’s ten most innovative companies. Paul also received Boeing’s 2013 Game Changer Award, cited as the city’s arts and cultural leader who effected greatest change in the sector that year.

He is currently leading the implementation of a groundbreaking arts data and mapping platform with growing national implications. Paul has a track record of building, launching, and evaluating complex cultural social sector initiatives.

His professional experience spans executive leadership; public-sector planning and capacity building; grant-making and impact investment program design; designing and implementing large-scale public-private initiatives: program development; and metric-based outcomes and program analysis.

As a chief fundraiser, strategist, creative director, and arts advocate, he has been honored by the White House and the President’s Committee for the Arts and Humanities for his work, and is a long-standing leader in Chicago’s arts and culture sector.

Kymberly Cruz
Senior Program Officer, Arts Education
Pittsburgh Public Schools
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Kymberly Cruz is a native of Atlanta, Georgia.  She earned a BFA in Graphic Design before deciding to teach.  She taught high school visual arts in DeKalb County, Georgia for 16 years.  She earned her Master’s Degree in Art Education from University of West Georgia completing a thesis titled, “Art Education Law:  A Review and Analysis of Legal Issues for Art Teachers. She earned her doctorate from Georgia State University and as a part of her studies she taught the Secondary Methods course for art teachers.  Her research interests are Arts Education Policy Studies, Legal Issues in Art Education, and Partnering Solutions to Sustain Art Education.  From 2013-2015, she worked as the Senior Coordinator for Visual Arts in Polk County, Florida.  During her tenure, she spearheaded the redesign of the K-12 curriculum maps and established FIRST3, a program for art teachers with less than 3 years of experience.  In March 2015, she began her tenure as Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Senior Program Officer for Arts Education.  Since, she has initiated the revitalization of the Instrumental Music Program, implemented district-wide Arts Performance Assessments, and is currently leading the work to adopt the National Core Arts Standards for the district.

Julie Palkowski
Fine Arts and Creativity Education Consultant
WI Department of Public Instruction
Bob Morrison
Founder and CEO
Quadrant Research
Claus Von Zastrow
Education Commission on the States