Board of Directors
It is this passion for arts and arts integration and the desire to reach all children that drive each one of us at Arts for Learning (formerly Young Audiences of Maryland), but we wouldn't be able to do the work we do, and we wouldn't be able to reach the children we reach without the unwavering support of our board members.
-Stacie Sanders Evans, President + CEO
Managing Partner, Sellman Hoff, LLC
Committees: Executive, Development, Risk Management, Strategic Planning
"I am excited to join the Arts for Learning board because it attracts passionate people who want to make a difference and who want to bring artistic, emotional, and intellectual growth to the children of our community."
SHEELAGH M. ALLSTON
Senior Real Estate Counsel, Wexford Science + Technology
Committees: Executive, Risk Management, Strategic Planning, COVID Health and Safety Advisory
"I am excited about the work of Arts for Learning. I believe in the importance of the arts in education and think every child should have opportunities to experience the arts. Arts for Learning is working hard to make this a reality. I can appreciate that much has been accomplished by Arts for Learning, yet much remains to be done. I want to help with the work so that the organization can continue to grow and serve as many children as possible. Being a part of this organization is important to me because music, visual, and performing arts played a prominent role in my childhood and education and I enjoy working with people who are full of creative energy and recognize the importance of arts programming in education."
Retired Speech-Language Pathologist
Committees: Executive, Development
"I am interested in the education of children. Arts for Learning facilitates the enhancement of the school experience through the arts which is key to any long-term learning experience. Arts for Learning's focus on giving teachers the tools to continue using the arts in the curriculum is essential for the success of both Arts for Learning and the school programs. I am excited that Arts for Learning is now bringing this experience to children in preschool."
ERIC M. PRIPSTEIN
Partner, Hertzbach & Company, P.A.
Committees: Executive, Finance, Board Development
"I believe education is the solution to our problems in society. We all learn differently, so each child should have the opportunity to experience the arts. It may be what works for them. I choose to dedicate time to Arts for Learning to support these beliefs and to help create an education system that challenges each child's mind and feeds their soul. Also, I enjoy being part of the Arts for Learning community of board, staff, and artists. They are my friends."
Director, Learning and Capacity Building, The Annie E. Casey Foundation
Committees: Executive, Board Development, Strategic Planning
"I have recently relocated to the Maryland area and have finally settled down. This is now becoming home. As such, I have an interest in investing some of my time and resources towards making this a better place to live and work. Serving through Arts for Learning enables me to blends three of my interests; (1) helping children, (2) the arts, and (3) improving education. I have actively served children in several capacities dating back to college and this is central to my professional life at the Casey Foundation. Although I do not perform, I am a lover of the arts and have supported and been members of both large and small art companies and supported mainstream and lesser known local artists. Finally, improving life outcomes through education is my passion."
Ideation and Marketing Research Consultant, Brain Pot Pie
Committees: Executive, Name Change, Should We Expand Into D.C.
"I know the arts have the power to make kids smarter, less stressed, and more self-aware and self-confident (for example, my childhood efforts in music built confidence from performing, "brain wiring" from memorizing a piece, and math/logic skills from learning complex rhythms). I hate that our culture today strictly chases test scores, stats, and the 3 Rs, yet marginalizes multisensory/arts experiences that are proven to impact those very goals. Arts for Learning is doing yeoman's work. We have enormous potential to become more known, used, and valued across the state. I'm eager to help."
Senior Manager, Operations & Account Management Strategy for Oscar Health
"I feel that Arts for Learning is a worthy cause because the organization provides a service that I wish I had when I was a child. Since learning is so critical to the development of our youth, I believe it tends to get lost on people that not every person learns the same way. Our current education system has such a one-size-fits-all model that does not always work, and Arts for Learning provides an alternative. I was very encouraged and impressed with the idea of bringing the arts into the learning environment, and I hope as many people as possible can take advantage of it."
THOMAS M. BROWN
Committee: Development, Finance
"In our ever fractious country with structural impediments to upward mobility it is essential, in my view, to provide vision and skills to allow less advantaged children to believe they can have a future of productive self-actualization. I believe Arts for Learning is one exciting organization that can help make it happen. Arts integration into the learning system has been gradually phased out of too many curricula and downplayed as important, but all the arts (visual, music, dance, literature) are languages to be learned, and like law, mathematics, physics, and other languages, all provide different ways of seeing and perceiving. By doing so, it allows us to view problems from different angles and encourage more creative solutions. We NEED this!"
Committee: Benevon 2.0
"I have, over the last 19 years, devoted myself to many different projects and programs which touch children's lives. I am particularly interested in programs that introduce less fortunate children to new ideas that may serve as a spark for a brighter future for them. I was very excited to learn about Arts for Learning because I could relate to the arts programs, because it was through the arts that I found my path from engineering to interior design. I want to help strengthen the work of Arts for Learning - exposing more children to the arts, helping them to gain both a greater appreciation for the arts and find their true passion and calling."
Partner, Hogan Lovells US, LLP
Committee: Benevon 2.0
"I have been impressed by the work that Arts for Learning does and support the organization's mission. I particularly like the fact that the programs have a positive impact on everyone involved (students, parents, teachers, school administrators, and artists)."
EMILY DE LA REGUERA
Director, Assistant Market Head, UBS Financial Services
Committee: Benevon 2.0
"I was fortunate as a child to have a father who was fiercely committed to my education and in making sure I was well rounded-even in the arts. As a child, I often took this for granted, and it wasn't until I got to college that I truly began to realize how fortunate I was and specifically realized that I had three things that gave me an advantage: I realized that the unlimited access I had to learning, the attention I had to ensure I excelled, and the accountability I had to ensure I remained motivated and focused was uncommon.
As I continued to take more education classes and economics classes, it became painfully apparent that there was a very narrow mold that exists for students to learn and that the creativity to help children learn is fairly restricted. As these two subjects intersected, the economics of education were in favor of people like me: people with unlimited access, attention, and accountability. It was at that point that I knew I wanted to get involved with an organization that would help deliver that access and attention to children in a way that was transformative. Arts for Learning was a perfect fit, which is why I chose to intern for them for a few summers in college.
Today, despite working in a completely different industry, Arts for Learning is still a special organization to me. I still believe that education can be a great equalizer. I believe that regardless of our political or religious views, the power of education for children and the possibilities a good education can provide create unlimited opportunities that should be available to every student. And I believe that Arts for Learning is the organization that can bridge the education gap that many students face. The arts-integrated model that Arts for Learning is committed to can help narrow the education gap that takes place for many students and also help children to thrive in a way that traditional curriculums and testing methods do not support."
Senior Program Administrator, Johns Hopkins Hospital
Committee: Benevon 2.0
"I am committed to providing opportunities for kids to experience and participate in the arts. I am also excited by the efforts Arts for Learning is making to expand into summer school programs."
Senior VP of Customer Operations and Chief Customer Service Officer, BGE
Committees: Risk Management, COVID Health and Safety Advisory
"I love the mission and the cause!"
SENATOR ED KASEMEYER
Former Maryland State Senator
"I find it exciting to realize that the arts can provide an alternative means for children to learn."
DR. NANCY KASS
Vice-Provost for Graduate Education, JHU Phoebe R. Berman Professor of Bioethics and Public Health & Deputy Director, Berman Institute of Bioethics
Committee: COVID Health and Safety Advisory
"I love Arts for Learning and have been involved peripherally for years. I cannot begin to express the importance of connecting young people to the arts. I think art is a way to communicate gently. It's not only what art brings to learning or development, it's a way to communicate gently in classrooms. Many classrooms are not what one might describe as gentle. I think art forces more gentleness…"
"Having watched the impact of the arts during many years as a classroom teacher, I have seen the enthusiasm, connection, and discovery brought about by various creative and cultural art forms. It is imperative to reach every child, while employing multiple modalities of learning. Arts for Learning brings a lively, inclusive education into schools in order to reach children who might not have yet found their passion. To be a part of this process brings a feeling of pride and empowerment to my life and helps me feel connected to improving the education of our future."
Vice President - Portfolio Manager, First National Bank
"I believe that the best, if not only, answer to bring social justice for those living in underserved areas and on very limited means is through education. Integrating arts into that education - as Arts for Learning demonstrates - is necessary to meet these needs, educate our youth, and prepare them for advanced education beyond high school. It's a cause that needs to expand."
Partner, McGuire Woods, LLP
Committee: Name Change
"Having experienced the benefit of arts integration in my own education, I know first-hand how programs, like what Arts for Learning provides, can enrich the lives of students and open new worlds by connecting with them in ways that rote learning simply cannot. As a father of three children, I recognize that there is a lot of competition for their time and attention. I am excited to be a part of an organization that works to make learning both more interesting and effective."
Contract Administrator, Leidos
Committee: Benevon 2.0
"I was an art student when I was younger. It helped me express myself in a way words could not. I still have love and admiration for art and would love to help other youth discover the gift of the arts."
Committees: Board Development, Development, Strategic Planning
"I believe that a good education is the pathway to opportunity for all. In Baltimore, attaining a good education is still not the reality for many of the city's children. Engaging kids (and teachers) through the arts appears to be one way to make strides in academic achievement. In the arena, Arts for Learning is the best organization doing meaningful work."
General Counsel, PCOM, Hull Street Energy, LLC
Committees: Executive, Risk Management, Board Development, Strategic Planning
"I have had a passion for the arts my entire life and I am a firm believer that every child should have the opportunity to experience the arts throughout their education. My daughter is a young student and I have witnessed firsthand just how important having exposure to the arts can be to a young child. I am looking forward to helping Arts for Learning continue to work toward achieving our mission of bringing the arts to as many children as possible. I continue to be amazed by the vitality and energy that management and other board members bring to their work with Arts for Learning and I hope to be able to contribute to such a wonderful organization."
GERREN G. PRICE
Director of Public Space Operations, DowntownDC Business Improvement District
Committees: COVID Health and Safety Advisory, Should We Expand Into D.C.
"I have always been passionate about the arts and benefitted from effective art and music programs as a child. I believe that all children should have access to platforms to express their creativity and enhance their skills."
Vice-President, Human Resources and Compliance Services, Pearson Online and Blended Learning
"I believe every child has a right to education and, after 15 years working in the industry, I know each child learns in their own unique ways. I love that A4L embraces the needs of our local students and is dedicated to helping them learn and grow through the arts."
THOMAS J. SESSA
Attorney, HERMAN, SESSA & DORSEY, LLC
Committees: Board Development, Benevon 2.0, Should We Expand Into D.C.
"I was fortunate to be introduced to the arts at a young age and it has resulted in a lifelong appreciations for the arts. I believe that similar opportunities should be offered and in the age of shrinking school budgets for non-core courses, Arts for Learning fills a truly valuable need."
LOIS MARK, Emeritus
Retired Consultant, Baltimore Development Corp.
"I believe that the variety of arts-in-education experiences provided by Arts for Learning enhance the lives of Maryland students in many important ways. These experiences serve to delight and expand minds, increase self-confidence, and stimulate creativity and self-knowledge."
Join our Board
We welcome you to become involved with Arts for Learning by volunteering your time to one of our Board committees; you do not have to be a Board member to serve. Working together, we can ensure that the arts play an essential role in the education and development of Maryland's youth. Learn how you can get involved by contacting us.