Briefing: Congressional Funding Asks for the NEA, Museums, and Arts Education | 2022
About This Session
A briefing session on congressional fundings asks relating to the National Endowment for the Arts, the Office of Museum Services (IMLS) and Education.
Laurie Baskin, Janet Starke, Ray Yang
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Director of Advocacy
Theatre Communications Group
Laurie Baskin, director of advocacy, TCG, (she/her/hers): joined Theatre Communications Group (TCG) in 1997 and is director of Advocacy. Ms. Baskin is TCG’s liaison to the Performing Arts Alliance. She directs advocacy efforts at the federal level on behalf of the professional, not-for-profit American theatre field. She regularly provides advocacy updates for TCG’s website, Action Alerts to the field, and provides witnesses and testimony for legislative hearings. Ms. Baskin created the Blue Star Theatres program, which connects theatres and military families. She has overseen TCG’s research, including the Fiscal, Salary & Education Surveys. She has administered TCG’s Education Programs, including teleconferences & Special Report series. Her endeavors in theatre education over the last twenty years include conceiving and spearheading an assessment project, Building a National TEAM: Theatre Education Assessment Models. Prior to joining TCG, Ms. Baskin served for 15 years as executive assistant to the Chairman and Special Projects Director of the NYS Council on the Arts, working for then-Chairman, Kitty Carlisle Hart. She attended Mount Holyoke College, earned her B.A. from Colgate University, and a degree in arts administration from Adelphi University.
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.
Virginia Commission for the Arts
Janet Starke serves as Executive Director for the Virginia Commission for the Arts, appointed by (then) Governor Ralph S. Northam in 2018. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Starke was the Executive Director for Richmond Performing Arts Alliance, a performing arts organization that oversees two performing arts venues in Richmond, VA, and supports nearly a dozen resident presenting and producing companies. Prior to her role as Executive Director, Janet was the organization’s founding Director of Education. For nearly 20 years, she administered education programs at performing arts centers, public television, and other arts organizations in Charlotte, Cincinnati, Memphis, and Nashville. She was previously elected to Americans for the Arts’ Education Advisory Council, serving for five years, including as Chair of the Council. Over the years, Janet has served as a grants panelist for the Montalvo Artist Fellowship, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, US Department of Education and Virginia Commission for the Arts. A native of Richmond, VA, she holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Arts Administration from Shenandoah University and University of Cincinnati, respectively.
Twitter: @VirginiaArts, BoldRed2013
Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and Special Initiatives
National Art Education Association
Ray Yang (They/Them) is an artist, educator, and advocate for the arts and social justice. With a BA from Brown University and an MA in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, during the last two decades Ray has spent time in a range of arts education fields. Ray has been a classroom art teacher and dean at an independent school in Seattle, designed assessments and curriculum for art educators at Seattle Public Schools, led summer arts programming for youth and family workshops at the Seattle Art Museum, taught graduate courses at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, worked as an arts administrator within the Department of Arts Education at Chicago Public Schools, and led outreach and teacher professional development programs at the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, IL.
They have facilitated Diversity and Equity workshops for their school and community, led affinity groups, trained with the National SEED project and led faculty and staff seminars on Diversity and Equity, and also served on the NAEA Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Task Force. Their current work is guided by the recommendations of NAEA’s ED&I Commission and encompasses professional development, teacher leadership and mentorship, resource management, and networking. They also oversee NAEA’s Advocacy and Policy work around arts education and serve as the co-chair of the Arts Education Partnerships (AEP) Equity Working Group.
Ray sees the arts as not just an opportunity to express creativity, but also a way to build and strengthen essential cognitive skills and understandings of the world for all learners. The arts are a means for communication, advocacy, and processing of challenging topics and emotions and can create entry points for discussions of equity and social justice as well as provide a powerful activist voice for marginalized and oppressed groups.