Arts Education Network Town Hall
Recorded On: 08/10/2020
About this Town Hall
The global pandemic upended arts education in the spring. Arts education leaders are working to adapt, innovate, and advocate for arts education in schools and communities as schools and organizations grapple with how to safely support students and educators while losing funding. As leaders seek to find answers for increasing complicated questions on how to move forward, the Arts Education Town Hall provides a space for arts education leaders to learn from one another about issues related to school reopening, funding challenges, and building equitable systems that support all students and community members.
Arts Education Network Members will identify national trends in arts education as it relates to current events, and find connections with other network members.
This town hall is open to members of Americans for the Arts. Interested in becoming a member? Click here to learn more about membership.
Kelly Fey Bolender
Arts Education Program Manager
Americans for the Arts
Kelly Fey Bolender currently serves as Arts Education Program Manager for Americans for the Arts. Formerly, she held the position of Associate Director of Education at the Boch Center in Boston, MA. While serving as Associate Director, she led the Boch Center’s flagship arts-based youth leadership and employment programs, including the nationally-recognized City Spotlights Summer Leadership Program and Teen Leadership Council. Additionally at the Boch Center, she developed and facilitated arts-based literacy curriculum for the Target Arts In-School Residency Program and the Dudley Library Arts Festival. She also worked extensively in college and career readiness training for high school students, developing innovative programming for the Boch Center and the Universities at Shady Grove.
Kelly centers her work on inclusivity and expanding access in the arts. Her original research exploring best practices for inclusivity and representation of marginalized populations in theatre for young audiences (TYA) in the United States is featured in the award-winning anthology of Latinx TYA, Palabras del Cielo: An Exploration of Latin@ Theatre for Young Audiences.
She served on the Board of Directors for the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE) and the New England Theatre Conference. She earned a Master’s in Theatre Education with a concentration in Theatre and Community from Emerson College, a Bachelor's degree in Media and Communication Studies from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a certification in the Advancing Youth Development curriculum for youth workers.
Vice President of Government Affairs and Arts Education
Americans for the Arts
Narric Rome serves as Vice President for Government Affairs and Arts Education at Americans for the Arts. In his role he manages federal, state, and local government advocacy, grassroots campaigns, policy development, and national coalition-building efforts with cultural, civic, and private sector organizations with the goal of influencing public policies that advance direct and indirect support for the arts and arts education.
Narric is responsible for promoting the Americans for the Arts’ message to Congress and the Biden Administration, and leading the policy development for the annual National Arts Action Summit, including Arts Advocacy Day, which involves coordinating over 85 arts organizations as partners. In 2019, the advocacy effort by Americans for the Arts and the Arts Action Fund to "#SaveTheNEA" was celebrated by the Public Affairs Council with their Lobbying Innovation Award.
Most recently, Narric has pursued a national campaign to boost the creative economy and workforce by building support for a trio of congressional bills including the Creative Economy Revitalization Act, the CREATE Act and PLACE Act in Congress.
Narric also oversees the Americans for the Arts education program that seeks equitable access to the arts through advocacy at the national, state and local levels. This work has included overseeing a $1.5 mil. three-year multi-state policy initiative, and successful passage of the National Arts In Education Week resolution through both bodies of Congress.
Prior to joining Americans for the Arts, Narric worked on the policy staff of Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign in Vermont and served as a legislative aide to Secretary Richard Riley at the U.S. Department of Education where he received the Peer Recognition Award in 1999. Earlier in his career, Narric worked on Capitol Hill, at the Podesta Group and on several state and national political campaigns. He is the immediate past-president of the Vermont State Society.
Narric holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Vermont and a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.