Featured Speakers & Presenters

This event was held 9.25.20

FEATURED SPEAKERS & PRESENTERS:

Dr. Maurice Elias, Director, Rutgers University Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab

David A. Dik, National Executive Director, Young Audiences Arts for Learning

Margot Toppen, Founder & CEO, EduMotion

Steve Venz, Chief Program Officer / Chief Academic Officer, Little Kids Rock

Valerie Branch, National YA-credentialed Teaching Artist, Young Audiences of Maryland / Regional Director, Maryland Wolf Trap

Dr. Scott Edgar, Associate Professor of Music, Music Education Chair, & Director of Bands, Lake Forest College

Nadine Levitt, Co-Founder & CEO, Wurrly

Bob Morrison, CEO, Quadrant Research / Director, Arts Ed NJ

Bethany Hall-Long, Arts & Mental Health Advocate, Lieutenant Governor of Delaware

FEATURED SEADAE PANELISTS & PRESENTERS:
Dustin Loehr (Facilitator), Arizona Department of Education
Dr. Julie Palkowski, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Lacey Bohlen, Indiana Department of Education
Alysia Lee, Maryland State Department of Education
Brandon Roeder, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
Dr. Dale Schmid, New Jersey Department of Education / SEADAE President
Allison Frenzel, California Department of Education

GUEST ARTISTS & PRACTITIONERS:
Joshua Streeter, Associate School Director, School of Dance and Theatre / Assistant Professor of Theatre: Theatre Education, James Madison University
Kerri Sullivan, District Supervisor of the Arts, K-12, Bridgeton Public Schools
Jim Jack, Director of Education and Community Artistic Programming, George Street Playhouse
Catherine Del Castillo, Manager of Tour and Academy Programs, George Street Playhouse
Annie Rutherford Lutz, Resident Teaching Artist and School-based Project Coordinator, George Street Playhouse
Jennifer Ridgeway, Theatre Artist / Co-Founder and Vice President, Teaching Artists of the Mid-Atlantic
Karen Bradley, Associate Professor Emerita, Dance Performance and Scholarship, University of Maryland
Tony Sauza, Senior Developer of Curricular Programs, Little Kids Rock
Scott Burstein, Director of Teaching and Learning, Little Kids Rock
Dustin Ballard, Theatre Teaching Artist, George Street Playhouse
Lorene Bouboushian, EduMotion Teaching Artist, Performance Artist, Somatic Educator

Keynote Speaker
Dr. Maurice J. Elias, Director of the Rutgers University Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab

Maurice Elias is a Professor in the Psychology Department at Rutgers University, Director of the Rutgers Social-Emotional Learning Lab, and Academic Director of The Collaborative, Rutgers’ Center for Community-Based Research and Service. He is Past President of the Society for Community Research and Action/Division of Community Psychology of APA, and has received the SCRA Distinguished Contribution to Practice and Ethnic Minority Mentoring Awards, as well as APA’s National Psychological Consultants to Management Award, the Joseph E. Zins Memorial Senior Scholar Award for Social-Emotional Learning from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the John P. McGovern Medal from the American School Health Association, and the Sanford McDonnell Award for Lifetime Achievement in Character Education.

David A. Dik, National Executive Director, Young Audiences Arts for Learning

David Dik was appointed National Executive Director of Young Audiences Arts for Learning, the nation’s largest arts in education network, in 2010. Prior to this position, he served as the Managing Director of the Metropolitan Opera Guild and Publisher of Opera News Magazine. He began his career with the Opera Guild as a teaching artist. David serves in leadership capacity for the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards, Music-in-Education National Consortium, Harvard Graduate School of Education AIE Advisory Council, and a Technical Working Group Advisor for the Statewide Infrastructure Project for Arts Education. David’s career began as a certified school music educator.

Margot Toppen, Founder & CEO, EduMotion

Margot Toppen is a visionary educator who works at the intersection of SEL, arts, and physical education. In 2006, Margot developed Dancing with Class, a highly sought-after program delivered through hundreds of schools each year. In 2014, Margot celebrated the publication of Jitterbugs!, a dance-along children’s book, and in 2018, she launched the pilot of EduMotion: SEL Journeys, a digital platform that delivers an SEL-themed movement curriculum inspired by world cultures.

Margot is a dynamic presenter who frequently appears at conferences related to SEL, arts, and physical education. A graduate of Northwestern University, she recently completed the Executive Education program at the Kellogg School Center for Nonprofit Management, with a focus on innovation and leadership. With a dedication to collective impact, Margot serves as a member of the SHAPE America Task Force on SEL in Health and Physical Education, and the Partnerships and Professional Learning Panel for Ingenuity, a leader in arts education advocacy and research.

Steve Venz, Chief Program Officer / Chief Academic Officer, Little Kids Rock

Dubbed by Quincy Jones as “a beloved brother who is inspiring children to fulfill their dreams,” Steve Venz has been transforming public education for over 20 years. As Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) music administrator, he led efforts to increase student access to music education in LA. Within 6 years, enrollment in secondary music classes increased from 31,636 to 50,966 students, staffing increased from 302 to 469 music teachers, and partnerships with corporate and nonprofit organizations tripled. Steve is the founding principal of Quincy Jones Elementary School, an LAUSD jazz/arts-focused school in Historic South Central LA, nationally recognized for increasing student achievement. Afterwards, Steve was VAPA Administrator for the Orange County Department of Education serving 500,000 students in 27 school districts in Orange County, California. With the launching of new initiatives, focusing on student inequity, arts education increased by 32% throughout the county. Since August 2019, Steve works on expanding and innovating music education at the national level as the Chief Program Officer/Chief Academic Officer for Little Kids Rock

Valerie Branch, Teaching Artist Fellow, Young Audiences of Maryland / Regional Director, Maryland Wolf Trap

Valerie Branch is a Teaching Artist Fellow with Young Audiences of Maryland, a Master Teaching Artist with Wolf Trap Early Learning Program, and is the Founder and Artistic Director of VB Dance Ensemble, a professional contemporary dance company focused on bringing social and cultural awareness into schools through the power of dance. She is a recipient of the Young Audiences National Residency Teaching Artist Credential.

In addition to her experience touring as a performing and teaching artist, Valerie has been a lecturer and a mentor both nationally and internationally. She has brought dance into local schools throughout the US, South Africa, India, France, and Grenada. Valerie has had the opportunity to dance with notable choreographers and dance companies such as: Daniel Burkholder/The Playground, alight dance theater, Dance Box Theater, Trajectory Dance Project and Lesole’s Dance Project.

As a current company member of DAKSHINA/Daniel Phoenix Singh (2016-present), a Bharatanatyam and Contemporary dance fusion company based in Washington, DC, Valerie has performed throughout the US, India, France, and Germany and serves as the Managing Director of the company.

Dr. Scott Edgar, Associate Professor of Music, Music Education Chair, & Director of Bands, Lake Forest College

Dr. Scott N. Edgar is Associate Professor of Music, Music Education Chair, and Director of Bands at Lake Forest College. He received his Doctorate of Philosophy in Music Education from the University of Michigan, his Masters degree in Education from the University of Dayton, and his Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree from Bowling Green State University.

His previous teaching experience in higher education includes work at Adrian College and Concordia College Ann Arbor. Prior to his work in higher education, he taught K-12 instrumental music in Ohio and Michigan. Dr. Edgar is the author of Music Education and Social Emotional Learning: The Heart of Teaching Music and is an internationally sought-after clinician on the topic. In addition to clinics, he also teaches graduate courses on Musical Social Emotional Learning at VanderCook College of Music. He is an active clinician and adjudicator for both concert band and marching band and regularly presents at professional development and research conferences. Dr. Edgar is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the American Educational Research Association, the College Music Society, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity and Kappa Kappa Psi Band fraternity. He lives in Lake Forest with his wife Steph, their son Nathan, and their cats Elsa and Wolfie.

Nadine Levitt, Founder & CEO, Wurrly

Nadine Levitt is a Swiss-born German, Kiwi, US transplant, and founder of music technology company Wurrly, LLC. She began her career as an international trade lawyer but after six years of practice she began to pursue a career in music as a professional opera singer and songwriter. Passionate about music in schools, she sits on the national board of Little Kids Rock, and in 2016 led the development of WURRLYedu - a leading music education solution being used in schools across 22 states.

Nadine is also the author of the children’s book My Mama Says Inside Me Lives A Village, which empowers children to identify, acknowledge and direct the many feelings that live inside them. Nadine has also presented watercooler sessions and podcasts for SEADAE on the topic of the Arts and SEL. She is also anticipated a key contributing partner to SEADAE’s September 2020 Virtual Summit highlighting the synergistic relationship between the arts and social emotional learning and the SEADAE 2021 face to face national conference on the same topic.

Bob Morrison, CEO, Quadrant Research / Director, Arts Ed NJ

Robert B. Morrison has a long history as a supporter of music education and is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading advocates for music and arts in education and in society. He is the founder of Quadrant Arts Education Research, the nation’s leading arts education research and intelligence organization. Mr. Morrison’s leadership in research, public policy and advocacy efforts has led to significant advancements in access to music and arts education programs across the nation.

Prior to founding Quadrant Arts Education Research Mr. Morrison was the founder of Music for All, one of the nation’s largest and most influential music education organizations where he remains Chairman Emeritus. Mr. Morrison helped develop and then served as the CEO of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation where he took a small promotional idea and created a major national brand donating more than $25 million of musical instruments to restore more than 1200 music programs. Previously, Mr. Morrison was a senior executive for the NAMM - International Music Products Association, where he served as Executive Director of the American Music Conference where he worked with the late Michael Kamen and Richard Dreyfus to create the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.

He was a founding member of the National Coalition for Music Education and is recognized for his work to add the arts to our nation’s education goals. Mr. Morrison continues work closely with leading national arts organizations to promote the development and implementation of the National Standards for Arts Education.

Bethany Hall-Long, Arts & Mental Health Advocate, Lieutenant Governor of Delaware

Bethany Hall-Long was sworn in as Delaware’s 26th Lt. Governor on January 17th, 2017. She has been a member of the University of Delaware (UD) Nursing Faculty now for nearly twenty years, and also holds a distinguished record at UD. Her research and community service record with at-risk groups such as pregnant teens, diabetics, homeless and the mentally ill, makes her a nationally recognized health scientist.

From 2002-2017, Bethany served as a member of Delaware’s legislature, first as a Representative and then as a Senator. She served as the chair of the Health and Social Services committee where her efforts were aimed at ensuring a stronger, healthier Delaware by combating addiction, focusing on a stronger mental health system, fighting cancer, and health inequities in our state. She also served as a member of the capital budget Bond Committee where Bethany focused on building Delaware’s infrastructure, modernizing our schools, repairing our highways, and protecting our environment and open space.

Featured SEADAE Panelists & Presenters

Dr. Dale Schmid, President, State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE)

Dr. Dale Schmid is the New Jersey Department of Education’s Visual & Performing Arts Coordinator and the current SEADAE President. He is also Co-facilitator of the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS); a steering committee member of Arts Ed NJ, and Past-President of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) (as well as the senior Advisor to NDEO’s DELTA project - a national teacher readiness exam developed jointly by NDEO and SEADAE, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts). Dr. Schmid was also the Program Officer for New Jersey’s Title I Arts Integration Pilot; a research project examining the efficacy of arts-integration as a lever for school climate change and means of bolstering academic achievement and is a regular consultant to the College Board.

Prior leadership experience includes the executive committees of the Arts Educational Partnership (AEP); the SCASS/Arts Consortium; and NJN Public Broadcasting Authority. He is also published writer and contributing author to National Core Arts Standards; NDEO’s Opportunities to Learn Standards; Professional Teaching Standards for Dance Arts; Standards for Learning & Teaching Dance: Ages 5-18; the 21st Century Skills Ma, among others.

Dr. Julie Palkowski, Fine Arts and Creativity Education Consultant, Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction / Past President, SEADAE

Dr. Palkowski is the WI Department of Public Instruction Arts and Creativity Education Consultant. She has served as an arts administrator with school districts in Rockford, IL and Madison, WI. Dr. Palkowski has worked as a Title I Instructional Supervisor, a K4-8th Grade Principal, and Music Teacher. She currently serves on various boards including the Wisconsin School Music Association, Wisconsin Art Education Association, Alliance for Wisconsin Theatre Education, and the Wisconsin Dance Council. Julie has facilitated arts education sessions focused on pedagogy, standards, disciplinary literacy, and technology. Her work has also supported the reviews and support of standards in arts areas for Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, and the city of Chicago.

Dr. Palkowski serves as the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education Past President and the Arts Education Data Project co-chair. She has worked with the dance leadership team, analyzing survey standards responses. Dr. Palkowski has been an advisor and panelist for Arts Education Partnership, Americans for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is the curator of the SEADAE Blog and Podcast.

Alysia Lee, Coordinator of Fine Arts, Maryland State Dept. of Education / Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow (2019-2020)

Alysia Lee is the education program supervisor of Fine Arts for the Maryland State Department of Education where she shares her vision of statewide equity and excellence across five arts disciplines: music, dance, visual arts, theatre, and media arts. She is a proud member of SEADAE, and is on the Board of Directors of Chorus America.

Alysia's full circle role as an artist, arts educator, teaching artist, and arts advocate gives her a broad perspective of the arts ecosystem. She received national recognition for advancing access, equity, visibility, representation, and power-sharing between artists, organizations, and communities. Key to her method is empowerment, partnership construction, and intersectional approaches to community exchange while centering anti-racism, creativity, and social justice. Alysia is also the Founder and Artistic Director of Sister Cities Girlchoir, the El Sistema-inspired girl empowerment choral academy.

Lacey Bohlen, Title IV Specialist, Indiana Dept. of Education

Lacey Bohlen, SEADAE's Indiana Representative, has served as the Title IV Specialist at the Indiana Department of Education since January 2019. Utilizing her background in arts education Lacey regularly promotes and advocates for the arts as well as building the natural connection between the arts and SEL within her state. Having worked as a visual art educator predominantly in an urban setting, Lacey has taught everything from developmental preschool arts to AP arts courses and worked within her district to create a linear and sequential approach to arts education.

Through the Title IV lens, Lacey works to advocate for well-rounded educational opportunities and utilizes the flexibility of Title IV to support local education agencies' innovative and creative dreams. Currently Lacey is beginning the awarding process for a first time Title IV Innovation Grant she has been working on and creating tangible resources for the conversation she began with local neuro-educators in regard to the arts and SEL.

Brandon Roeder, K-12 Music and Theatre Arts Consultant, North Carolina Dept. of Public Instruction

Now at NC DPI as the K-12 Music and Theatre Arts Consultant, Brandon came to North Carolina in 2009 to teach elementary music in Granville County. Across ten years in the field, he has taught PK-5 music and high school chorus, coached and written music for marching bands and drumlines, put on numerous musical productions, ran an after-school strings program, in addition to being the Arts Integration Coordinator for his county for 5 years. Brandon completed his Master’s in Curriculum Specialist in 2019 from Appalachian State University (Go, Mountaineers!). He is passionate about getting teachers the instructional support tools they need.

Dustin Loehr, Director of Arts Education & Title IV-A, Arizona Dept. of Education / Vice President, SEADAE

Dustin Loehr was appointed as the Director of Arts Education & Title IV-A for the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) in May 2018, having previously served as the department’s Arts Education Specialist. As the steward of enrichment activities, Loehr oversees all aspects of Well-Rounded Education, Safe & Healthy Students, and Digital Literacy, serving as the director for: ADE Arts Education, ADE Safe & Healthy Students, and ADE Digital Learning.

Leveraging an interdisciplinary team of content specialists, Loehr collaborates with educators, schools, community members, and policymakers to ensure every child receives a high quality, well-rounded education. Loehr is part of Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman’s Social Wellness Committee and has assisted with the creation of Arizona Social & Emotional Competencies aligned with the CASEL framework. Loehr serves as SEADAE’s Vice President for the 2019-2021 term.

Allison Frenzel, Education Program Consultant, California Dept. of Education

Allison currently works as an Education Programs Consultant with the California Department of Education in the High School Innovations and Initiatives office, supporting all Arts, Media, and Entertainment and Secondary Arts Programs in California. She attended the Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington in 1998 and graduated from Sonoma State University in 2004 with a degree in American Multicultural Studies. She holds four teaching credentials: Multiple Subject K-12, Single Subject (English), Supplemental Authorizations (Dance, Physical Education) and Designated Subjects for Career Technical Education in the Arts, Media, and Entertainment industry sector. She completed a Masters Degree in Educational Technology at CSUF in 2017 where she received the Elwin Carr Fellow award for excellence in educational leadership.

Allison began her career in education as a district intern with Windsor Unified School District where she worked as a classroom teacher and performing arts coordinator for 15 years. She founded and directed Windsor High School's Dance Program, and the Nueva School for the Arts. She is a member of the California Dance Education Association's greater board and was selected as the Region 1 Educator of the Year for 2017 by the California League of High School Educators.

Guest Artists & Practitioners

Joshua Streeter, Associate School Director, School of Dance and Theatre / Assistant Professor of Theatre: Theatre Education, James Madison University

Joshua Rashon Streeter is a drama / theatre educator and director. As a practice-based researcher, Joshua analyzes the pedagogies used in rehearsals and classrooms and explores the relationship between process and product in a creative learning experience. He was named the 2015 Winifred Ward Scholar from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE). Joshua was one of the twelve writers for the 2014 National Theatre Standards and has worked as a consultant for numerous state departments of education. At JMU, Joshua runs the Arts Integration Summer Institute, Secondary Theatre Summer Institute, and Theatre in Our Schools High School Conference. He also heads the Theatre Education Licensure Pre-Professional Program and the Teaching Artist Concentration. In addition, Joshua is a Teaching Associate for JMU’s Center for Faculty Innovation.

Kerri Sullivan, District Supervisor of the Arts, K-12, Bridgeton Public Schools

Kerri has twenty years of experience in a variety of PK-12, higher education, and nonprofit settings. She has demonstrated success with building strong partnerships and transforming teaching and learning through the development of meaningful and relevant curriculum, assessments, and creative instructional practices. Kerri has served on various committees and writing teams including the 2020 New Jersey Student Learning Standards in the Arts, NJ Social-Emotional Learning & Arts Framework, and the 2018 & 2020 editions of New Jersey's Arts Integration Think & Do Workbook. She has presented on a wide range of education and arts topics at regional and national conferences. Kerri holds teaching certificates for theatre in New Jersey and Delaware and a principal certificate in New Jersey. Kerri has a BFA from The University of the Arts, a MA from New York University, she completed the NJ EXCEL post-grad program, and she is currently working on her doctorate in Educational Leadership & Management with a concentration in Creativity at Drexel University.

Jim Jack, Director of Education and Community Artistic Programming, George Street Playhouse

Jim Jack is the Director of Education and Community Artistic Programming for George Street Playhouse. Jim joined the playhouse in 2010, and as Director leads GSP's Academy, Artist-in-Residence Programs, Educational Touring Theatre, and Community Artistic Programming Initiatives that annually serve over 30,000 students and patrons. Jim designed and developed GSP’s innovative Artist-in-Residence Programs, which each year provides arts integration professional development for teachers and hands-on theatre arts learning for over 3,000 students in 125 classrooms throughout New Jersey. As recognition for his leadership in the field of arts education, Jim received the 2017 New Jersey Governor’s Award for Distinguished Service in Theatre Arts Education.

As a professional director, recent credits include The Immigrant, Trying, My Name is Asher Lev (*The Star Ledger’s Best Production of 2016) and Terra Incognita for George Street Playhouse’s mainstage. Prior to George Street Playhouse, Jim worked for Roundabout Theatre Company. He co-founded Bronx Theatre High School and served as Roundabout Theatre Company’s Project Coordinator and Master Teaching Artist at the school for eight years. As a teaching artist, Jim has worked with the 92nd Street Y, ArtsConnection, Metropolitan Opera Guild, and Northern Stage.

Jim received his MFA from the Academy for Classical Acting at George Washington University and taught as an adjunct professor in Brooklyn College’s graduate acting program for seven years. He currently serves as the Education Chair on New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s state-wide Post-Covid Reopening Committee.

Catherine Del Castillo, Manager of Tour and Academy Programs, George Street Playhouse

Catherine Del Castillo is the Manager of Tour and Academy Programs at George Street Playhouse. Before coming to George Street, Catherine was a teaching artist for over eight years at various organizations in New York (New York City Children's Theatre, Educational Alliance,Creative Arts Team) where she specialized in literacy and SEL. Additionally, much of her work centers around devising and directing original works of theatre with youth.

As the Education Specialist for Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, Catherine trained a staff of over 40 educators and developed curriculum for all ages groups and learning styles. Catherine holds a Masters of Arts in Applied Theatre from the CUNY School of Professional Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Education from Ball State University

Annie Rutherford Lutz, Resident Teaching Artist and School-based Project Coordinator, George Street Playhouse

Annie Lutz is the Resident Teaching Artist and School-based Project Coordinator for George Street Playhouse. A director and performer with degrees in Theatre Arts and English from Douglass College at Rutgers University, Annie works with educators and students across the state of New Jersey, leading humanities-based programs that create original plays and musicals. A specialist in digital arts integration, Annie leads professional development for all residency programs and mentors Teaching Artists. She has worked for George Street Playhouse for the past ten years


Jennifer Ridgeway, Theatre Artist / Co-Founder and Vice President, Teaching Artists of the Mid-Atlantic

Jennifer Ridgway is a Theatre Artist, Teaching Artist and Consultant with a vibrant career working in the field with, for and about theatre for young people. She has worked with Wolf Trap’s Institute for Early Learning, Kennedy Center, Smithsonian’s Discovery Theatre, Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre Programs, and more. Recently she directed a dual-language "Chitty, Chitty Bang, Bang" in Beijing, China.

Her work the very young often focuses on social-emotional development through drama literacy. Having been a Drama Teacher at the Lucy School and Director of Community Engagement at Fulton Theatre, she is strongly convicted in theatre arts integration, and its potential to transform classrooms into communities and nurture happy engaged citizens. Tilting the artistic and educational paradigms on their sides, Jennifer marries theatre, storytelling, music, dance, and puppetry with traditional academic content as a multi-literate approach to activate artistry, develop openness and ambiguity, and expand perspective. She received her MFA in Directing/Theatre for Youth from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and BA in Acting from the University of Maryland, College Park. She holds a certificate from the University of Pennsylvania in Arts and Culture Strategy and is currently pursuing a certificate in Drama Therapy through the alternative track with the North American Drama Therapy Association. Jennifer is a Founding Member of Teaching Artists of the Mid-Atlantic (TAMA), a network that advocates for, supports and empowers TAs across the region.

Karen Bradley, Associate Professor Emerita, Dance Performance and Scholarship, University of Maryland

As a specialist in Movement Analysis, Dr. Bradley consults regularly to educators nationally on arts education, research, and policy. She has been a member of the State of Maryland Task Force on Arts and Higher Education Arts Task Force (HEAT) to Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS).

Her research includes “Your Brain on Dance”, a pilot study at the University of Houston on brain-wave patterns for particular expressive movement qualities. She is also a part of the leadership team on a grant from the Canadian government entitled “Moving Stories: Digital Tools for Movement, Meaning, and Interaction.” The project is a partnership among the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in NY, Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology in Vancouver, BC, and the University of Illinois’ eDream Center.

Bradley has been writing core standards for dance in the US, developing a book chapter on dance and arts integration, and overseeing a grant for the National Dance Education Organization from the National Endowment for the Arts entitled EVIDENCe: Evidence in the Value of Dance Education for Our Nation’s Children, in which current statistics, databases, research, and project reports are being mined for evidence of the power of dance to learning in children.

Tony Sauza, Senior Developer of Curricular Programs, Little Kids Rock

Tony taught music in Los Angeles for 8 years before joining the Little Kids Rock team. Tony has been working with Little Kids Rock since 2007 and is a firm believer in recreational music making and music therapy.

Tony received his bachelor’s degree from UCLA in Ethnomusicology with a minor in Chicana/o Studies. He received his master’s degree in Afro-Latin Music from California State University Los Angeles in 2012. He has been playing guitar for over 20 years and currently tours nationally as a singer-songwriter with his group, Cuicani. He is an avid supporter of music from around the world and has a deep passion for Afro-Caribbean music.

Scott Burstein, Director of Teaching and Learning, Little Kids Rock

Scott taught music in the Los Angeles public school system for twelve years before joining the Little Kids Rock team as full-time Los Angeles County Regional Program Director in 2012. His duties include managing all musical content of the organization, including training, professional development, and curriculum. He was introduced to Little Kids Rock in 2004 at one of their first trainings and has been involved ever since.

Scott completed his dissertation, “Transformation of Habitus and Social Trajectories: A study of a popular music program”, and received his DMA from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. He received his B.A. in Music from University of California, Santa Barbara,studied and taught music theory at the doctoral level at the Eastman School of Music, and completed his single subject music teaching certificate from California State University, Northridge.

While primarily a guitarist, Scott has played a variety of instruments as a performer in the fields of classical music, jazz, mariachi, and salsa music and has taught music theory, marching band, concert band, guitar, rock band, jazz band, mariachi ensemble, and keyboards. He misses working directly with his students but loves working with fellow educators and helping them reach their students through Little Kids Rock!

Dustin Ballard, Theatre Teaching Artist, George Street Playhouse

Dustin Ballard is an actor, director, writer, and teaching artist. As an actor, Dustin has been seen on stage at Lincoln Center, Two River Theatre, Premiere Stages, and Writer's Theatre of NJ. His play DAEMON was awarded the Bauer-Boucher New Play Award from Premiere Stages, and his play Bend in the River co-authored with T.S. Hays premiered at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from the Kean University Theatre Conservatory. He is a George Street Playhouse Teaching Artist and is a proud member of Actor's Equity. Dustin has significant experience using digital platforms for humanities instruction and is the co-creator and co-host of the outdoor podcast Gaze at the National Parks, found on Apple Podcasts.

Lorene Bouboushian, EduMotion Teaching Artist, Performance Artist, Somatic Educator

Lorene Bouboushian is a genderqueer teaching artist who facilitates liberated spaces for movement exploration, social/emotional growth, and creativity in public school settings. Their work as an arts educator has spanned creative movement and choreography, wellness/fitness, and theater improvisation from pre-K to high school. Most recently, they collaborated with EduMotion on an equity and SEL based curriculum of dances from many cultures for high school students. Their current focus is on culturally relevant, equitable, and anti-racist facilitation of non-Western dance forms as a white educator in urban settings.

They also maintain a robust practice as an interdisciplinary performance artist, working collaboratively across the fields of dance, music, and performance art in the US and abroad. They have developed a series of accessible workshops based in somatic vocal, movement, and writing explorations for university students and artists of all disciplines. www.lorenebouboushian.org/teaching