What ESSA Will Mean to Your Community's Arts Education

Saturday, June 17, 4:45 pm - 6:00 pm

The new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has strong implications for every community in the country through its design and provisions for local education agencies. Whether you are an arts educator, work in partnership with schools, or are generally interested in arts education policy, come here more about what to expect at the local level and how you can ensure the arts are provided to make every student succeed.

Presentation Slides:
Jane Best
Matthew Stensrud

This session addresses issues of advocacy, arts education, community development and research.

This session is part of the Embracing Reinvention sessions.


Jane Best
Arts Education Partnership
Denver, Colorado

Jane R. Best is the Director of the Arts Education Partnership (AEP) at Education Commission of the States in Denver, CO. AEP is a national coalition of more than 100 education, arts, business, cultural, government, and philanthropic organizations with the goal of the arts being included in a well-rounded education. Dr. Best has extensive experience working among practitioners, policymakers and researchers. She previously held leadership positions at McREL International and Learning Point Associates (now American Institutes for Research) and worked at the National Conference of State Legislatures. She started her career as a high school French and ESL teacher in Columbus, Ohio. Jane has served on the board of directors of Knowledge Alliance, the STEM Education Coalition, and the College of Education at The Ohio State University. She teaches graduate courses at the University of Colorado School of Public Affairs. Jane holds a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University.
Nancy Ng
Director of Community Engagement
Luna Dance Institute
Berkeley, California

Nancy Ng is the Director of Community Engagement, and a professional learning faculty member with Luna Dance Institute in Berkeley, California. She facilitates workshops, and coaches teaching artists and teachers. As a former co-director and choreographer of San Francisco’s Asian American Dance Performances she presented the work of artists; directed outreach programs; and choreographed dances which delved into Asian female stereotypes, immigration and racism. Ng is co-founder of MPACT (Moving Parents and Children Together), Luna’s nationally-recognized program for families in the child welfare system. Ng helped author California’s VAPA Early Learning Foundation’s, and was a reviewer for the National Core Arts Standards. Ng’s leadership service includes California Dance Education Associations past president, California Alliance for Arts Education board member, and editorial review board member for National Dance Education Organization’s journal, Dance Education in Practice. She is a 2017 Milestone leadership award recipient from the National Guild of Community Arts Education.
Matthew Stensrud
Chair, Alexandria Commission for the Arts
Elementary Music Teacher, Fairfax County Public Schools
Alexandria, Virginia

Matthew Stensrud is currently in his seventh year teaching kindergarten through fifth grade general music at Annandale Terrace Elementary School in Fairfax County, Virginia. He received his Master of Music Education from George Mason University and Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Matthew also serves as Chair of the City of Alexandria's Commission for the Arts, and serves on advocacy committees for the Association for the Supervision and Curriculum Development and the National Association for Music Education and is an Orff Schulwerk approved Teacher Educator of Movement. Matthew frequently writes about and presents workshops on elementary music, classroom management and local arts advocacy and was a key content contributor to the book Responsive Classroom for Music, Art, PE and Other Special Areas. This past summer, he served on the communications team of The Education Trust. He lives with his husband in Alexandria, VA.
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.