2013 Senator Pell Lecture On Arts & Humanities Recap

2013 Senator Pell Lecture On Arts & Humanities Recap

PROVIDENCE - City of Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism presented the 2013 Senator Pell Lecture on Arts & Humanities on Thursday, April 25th at 6pm at the Vets (Veterans Memorial Auditorium). The fifth annual lecture honored the late Claiborne Pell, who represented Rhode Island in the United States Senate from 1961-1997 and is best remembered for being a champion of education, the arts and humanities.

The 2013 event, Now Is The Time!: Expanding Access to Arts Education in the Creative Capital, was a conversation about the role of arts education as a tool for developing a creative, 21st century ready workforce and fostering meaningful connections between people and places. The panel was comprised of noted national and local experts: Jacqueline Coleman (Hartford), Tim Lord (Bronx), and Laura Perille (Boston).

The discussion was moderated by Tyler Denmead and addressed many aspects of arts education in contemporary America, including the following topics:
  • The importance of a sustained arts education
  • The correlation between creativity and readiness for 21st century jobs
  • Best practices for linking together Providence's arts education resources to increase access to arts education
  • How we can build on our cultural plan to increase access to arts education
Co-sponsored by the Brown Center for Public Humanities, the City of Providence and the RI Foundation with support from the Providence Athenaeum and The Vets.

About the Pell Lecture
The annual lecture, produced by the City of Providence, honors the late Claiborne Pell (1918-2009), who represented Rhode Island in the United States Senate from 1961-1997. Senator Pell is best remembered for being a champion of education, the arts and the humanities. He was the main sponsor of the Pell Grant, a financial aid program for U.S. college students, and he played a major role in the establishment of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment of the Humanities.

Panelist Bios

Tim Lord co-founded DreamYard in 1994 with Jason Duchin. He graduated Phi Betta Kappa from Brown University with a B.A. in Political Science. Tim also received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) in San Francisco, California. He was a member of the acting company at A.C.T. before moving to New York City. Since co-founding DreamYard in 1994, Mr. Lord has taught in public schools, in after school programs and in social service organizations. Tim was a 1993 echoing green fellow with his Co-Director, Jason Duchin. Tim has spoken on education reform panels at the Harvard Business School, serves on New York City Chancellor Joel Klein's Task Force on Quality Arts Education and has served on funding panels for the New York State Council on the Arts and the Center for Arts Education.

Laura Perille is the Executive Director of EdVestors, a Boston-based school change organization that partners with philanthropic donors and education leaders, combining strategic private investment, education expertise, and engaged implementation support to accelerate change in urban schools. Laura was hired by the founding Governing Board to launch EdVestors in 2002. Since then, EdVestors has raised and helped investors over $16 million in funds for urban school improvement efforts in Boston and Lowell, Massachusetts. She is currently Co-Chair of the BPS Arts Expansion Initiative Working Committee. Prior to EdVestors, Laura led Perille Consulting Group, whose clients included private and public schools and systems, foundations, and a variety of nonprofit organizations serving children and families. Previously, she served as Director of Education for Crittenton Hastings House, Policy Analyst for Community Catalyst/Families USA, and Director of Programs for the Greater Boston Food Bank. Laura and her family live in Boston, where her children attend the Boston Public Schools. She is a graduate of Brown University.

Jackie Coleman is Senior Executive Advisor for the Arts for Hartford Public Schools. As such she works toward bringing dance, music, theatre and visual art to the students of Hartford in as many ways as possible. Prior to Hartford Schools, Jackie left Hartford Stage as Director of Education. During her 6 years there she expanded the reach of Connections - a theatre literacy program, created Innovations -a science/theatre residency, formed the Hartford Stage Young Company, designed a multitude of interdistrict and after school programs, increased professional development opportunities and started their adult acting series. Jackie is a Master Teaching Artist on the roster for the Connecticut Office of the Arts. She has 15 years of acting credits in and around New York City and Connecticut. She holds an MFA from the University of South Carolina and a BFA from the University of Connecticut.

Tyler Denmead, PhD, moderator, is a post-doctoral research associate at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities. He teaches courses in community arts pedagogy with young people and digital storytelling. He is engaged in a collaborative ethnographic research project with New Urban Arts, a studio for artists and high school students in Providence that he founded and led from 1997-2007. First Lady Michelle Obama awarded New Urban Arts a Coming Up Taller Award in 2008 at a White House ceremony. Today, his scholarly interests concern creating the pedagogic conditions for marginalized secondary students to develop the agency they need to redress the inequities they face and choose lives they have reason to value. He is animated by how arts collectives and non-schooling environments inform understanding of what those conditions might entail. He holds a doctorate from the University of Cambridge and earned a BA in painting from Brown University. He will begin work as an assistant professor at University of Illinois- Urbana-Champaign, this fall.

Other Team Members


Ruth Mercado-Zizzo
joined EdVestors in March 2012 as Boston Public Schools Arts Expansion Initiative Director, where she is responsible for managing all aspects of implementing the Phase II Plan for the BPS Arts Expansion Initiative. She previously worked at Citi Performing Arts Center in Boston for eight years, where, as Director of Education, she oversaw the long-term planning and evaluation of all education programs and managed partnerships with cultural institutions and community organizations across the city. Ruth also worked with People's Light and Theatre Company in Malvern, PA in both education and administration. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Theatre from Arizona State University, where she was honored with the Herberger College of Fine Arts Research and Creative Activity Award, and is a graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She was the recipient of an Ann Shaw Fellowship, a program to fund career development opportunities for theatre artists and administrators committed to Theatre for Young Audiences and has served as Treasurer and board member of TYA/USA. Ruth has also served as a Theater Grants panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Myran Parker-Brass, a professional musician, music educator, and arts administrator, joined the Boston Public Schools in June 2011 in the then newly created role of Executive Director for the Arts. She holds a double Masters Degree in Music Performance and Music Education and has been working for the past thirty years providing access to quality arts education for students, teachers, families, and the broader community. Myran has many years of experience partnering with the Boston Public Schools through her role as Director of Education and Community Programs at the Boston Symphony Orchestra where she developed and grew programs to serve 40,000 children and families annually through direct training in the arts, access to the BSO concerts in Symphony Hall and in the community, customized school-based partnerships, teacher training and curriculum development, and a wide range of online educational resources. In addition, Myran serves on the Board of Overseers for the Museum of Fine Arts and has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Boston Children's Chorus, Young Audiences of Massachusetts, and Project STEP.

Marinell Rousmaniere brings 15 years of experience working in youth development and education in both the public and nonprofit sectors to the role of Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at EdVestors, where she previously served as Project Director for the BPS Arts Expansion Initiative. Most recently, as a consultant, she has helped lead cross-sector partnerships to sustain systems that support out-of-school time programming and to increase college completion rates in Boston. She previously served as Executive Director of mytown, inc., a nonprofit focused on connecting Boston teenagers to local history. She was also a senior staff member in Mayor Thomas M. Menino's first-in-the-nation mayoral initiative aimed at increasing the number and quality of after-school activities for youth. A graduate of Connecticut College, Marinell also holds an MBA in public and nonprofit management from Boston University.


Robert Warren is the newly appointed executive director of Hartford Performs!. He comes to Hartford by way of Sarasota, Florida where served as the Director of Education and Community Engagement at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and as the Executive Director for the Kennedy Center's Any Given Child Initiative for Sarasota, County. His career highlights include directing over 30 regional theatre productions and performing on Broadway in several productions. He also served in the U.S. Army as a Communications Specialist for White House Communications. In 2011, Mr. Warren proudly accepted the Arts Leadership Award from the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County for securing the Any Given Child selection for Sarasota County Schools and for helping to secure an additional $1.2 million dollars in Tourism Development Tax which was used to increase the operational grants awarded to more than 50 non-profit Arts Organizations in the region.


Since joining DreamYard in 2006, Maile Ogasawara has helped to design, coordinate and facilitate programs and professional development for DreamYard and the Bronx Arts Learning Community. As the Director of School Programs with DreamYard, Maile works with her team to oversee over 40 school partnerships throughout the Bronx. Previous to DreamYard, Maile was a New York City Teaching Fellow, teaching math, Japanese and after school photography at Washington Irving High School. Maile received a B.A. in Studio Arts with a minor in Photography from the University of California, San Diego and a M.S. Ed. in Secondary Mathematics from Pace University. While as UCSD, Maile was first introduced to teaching art as a Visual Arts Scholar with ArtsBridge America. She continues to work with middle and high school students teaching math.

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