Mapping the Local/State/Federal Arts Education Policy Pathway

Saturday, June 16, 1:15 pm - 2:30 pm

Moving from theoretical to the practical to advance our understanding of the federal, state, and local policy pipeline in arts education is an essential skill of any arts, cultural, or education leader. Connecting the tiers of policy to ensure equitable access to arts learning opportunities is the work of Americans for the Arts and can be implemented using a new series of tools and resources in your states and communities. Join this session to discuss the framework and learn through a practical example of STEAM education policy to explore the latest trends in policymaking to advance arts education in America.

Learning objectives:

  • Garner a theoretical understanding of the federal-state-local policy pipeline related to educational policy in America;
  • Illuminate the practical application through the example of STEAM education policy in Georgia; and
  • Interrogate this framework through the lens of attendee’s individual local contexts.


Jeff M. Poulin
Arts Education Program Manager
Americans for the Arts
Washington, District of Columbia

Jeff M. Poulin joined the arts education team at Americans for the Arts in 2013. He works to empower local, state and federal advocates to advance policies supportive of arts education through communications, field education, and strategic partnerships. Before arriving in D.C., Jeff worked for several nonprofit and commercial organizations in the US and abroad focused primarily in production and programming, audience development, research and policy. Notably, he was a chief advisor on the implementation of the first national Arts in Education Charter under the directions of the Ministers of Arts and Education in the Republic of Ireland. Jeff frequently speaks at a number of nonprofit organizations and universities. Jeff hails from Portland, Maine and holds a Master of Arts degree in Arts Management and Cultural Policy from University College Dublin and a Bachelor of Science degree in Entertainment Business from Oklahoma City University.

Meghan McFerrin
STEAM Program Specialist
Georgia Department of Education
Atlanta, Georgia

Meghan McFerrin is the STEAM Program Specialist at the Georgia Department of Education. In this role, she supports schools throughout the state of Georgia that seek to implement a STEAM-based culture driven by interdisciplinary arts teaching and learning. Prior to entering this role, Meghan served as the Coordinator of School and Teacher Services at the High Museum of Art. Meghan received a BFA and MAEd in Art Education from the University of Georgia along with teaching certification.

Kate McLeod
Head of School and Teacher Services
High Museum of Art
Atlanta, Georgia

Kate McLeod is the Head of School and Teacher Services at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. She manages all school and teacher programming, which serves 60,000 students and 8,000 teachers annually through tours, workshops, and teacher seminars. In 2014, Kate oversaw the launch of the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) program at the High, placing the museum in the national dialogue around 21st century learning. Kate oversees the Art Access endowment, which serves 35,000 students who attend schools that receive Title 1 funding. The program allows access to the museum through free admission and bus transportation.

Kate McLeod serves on the Arts Education Council for Americans for the Arts and is the Museum Education Division Leader for the Georgia Art Education Association. In 2012, she was named Georgia Museum Educator of the Year. Kate received her BFA in Art Education from the University of Georgia and her MA in Art Ed from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.