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Three Maryland Principals Named Outstanding Leaders in Arts Education

Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS) Alliance announced the 2015 Alvin and Louise Myerberg Arts Leadership Recognition Awards on October 28, 2015 at a breakfast and forum held at The Baltimore Museum of Art. The winning principals were Judy Brubaker, principal of Spark Matsunaga Elementary School in Montgomery County, Paul DeRoo, principal of Wiley H. Bates Middle School in Anne Arundel County, and Patricia Hosfelt, principal of Spring Ridge Elementary School in Frederick County.

AEMS honored twelve outstanding principals from schools in eight counties around the state. All of the nominees received Certificates of Acknowledgement for establishing arts-rich environments in their schools. The three winners received a trophy and a monetary gift to support their arts programs. School system leaders and teachers attended the event to show support for their principals. Lyn Frankel, Chair of the AEMS Board of Trustees, Lori Snyder, Executive Director of AEMS, and Ken Skrzesz, Coordinator of Fine Arts at the Maryland State Department of Education, gave remarks and congratulated all of the principals. Ken also led a group discussion on best practices in arts leadership. The Baltimore Museum of Art's education staff presented information on the new Patricia and Mark Joseph Education Center and attendees got to explore the space.

For more information about the winners and nominees, click here.

AEMS Seeks a Full-Time Director of Development


  1. 1. Use eTapestry database software to track prospective donors and donor data, including notes regarding the source and any other pertinent information related to the donation source – individuals, foundations, and corporations.
  2. 2. Write and submit funding request letters and any follow-up actions, such as interim and final reports to granting institutions. Use the donation spreadsheets to monitor the timing for request letters and follow-up actions.
  3. 3. Identify grants and other funding opportunities and, once they are identified, work with other AEMS staff to write and submit funding applications.
  4. 4. Work directly with AEMS Board members to identify potential donors and other funding sources.
  5. 5. Assist with AEMS fundraising events and attend fundraisers and other high profile events on behalf of AEMS.
  6. 6. Work with Trustees and AEMS staff to implement the AEMS Development Plan.


  1. • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  2. • Experience in fundraising
  3. • Experience or knowledge of grant writing
  4. • Management skills
  5. • Self-Motivated
  6. • Skill with Microsoft Office (primarily Word and Excel), and eTapestry

Interviews will begin the week of November 2.

Download the complete job description here.

Lori Snyder Named New Executive Director at AEMS

Dear AEMS Colleagues, Partners, Supporters, and Friends:

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to announce the appointment of AEMS' new Executive Director, Ms. Lori Snyder. Recognized with national and local awards, including the Maryland Art Educator of the Year in 2011 by the National Art Education Association, Lori was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Performing & Visual Arts Magnet Programs in Anne Arundel County Public Schools. She most recently served as Senior Manager of the PVA Magnet Programs.

Lori Snyder has been a key partner with AEMS for many years. In her words, "I am thrilled to serve as the new Executive Director and look forward to continuing the great work of AEMS supporting arts educators, artists, school administrators, and organizations as we advocate for high quality arts education for all students in the state of Maryland!"

During the past three years, AEMS has spearheaded work to establish a statewide approach to increasing students' access to quality arts education. Through the Governor's P-20 Leadership Council Task Force on Arts Education in Maryland Schools, which AEMS co-chaired, staffed, and published the final report, the entire state now has a guide for coherent and consistent action to bring equity, quality, and access in arts education to all Maryland students. With Lori Snyder's leadership, AEMS will continue the momentum around implementation of the 10 recommendations in the task force report.

Lori will begin at AEMS on November 2nd.


Lyn Frankel, Chair

Lori Snyder's Bio

Lori received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Maryland, followed by furthering her graduate studies at Loyola University. Lori began her career in 1982 as an Elementary School Art Teacher; where she clearly distinguished herself as a maverick in the Arts Integration field long before it was in vogue. As Lori's career evolved, she became immersed in the Gifted and Talented Programs for Students, identifying opportunities for elementary and secondary students in art, music, drama, and dance. Perhaps her most pivotal role was when Lori collaborated with colleagues at Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) to write a grant for nearly $700,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Education to increase Mathematics achievement at the Wiley H. Bates Performing and Visual Arts Middle School. She co-authored the article "Transforming Teaching through Arts Integration" that was published in the Journal for Learning through the Arts in January of 2014 that highlights the model and findings from the grant. Largely due to Lori's leadership, Bates Middle School has been recognized by the College Board and the George Lucas Educational Foundation for its excellence in teaching all children with and through the arts and was received an award for Arts Integration from the Arts Schools Network.

Simultaneously, Lori worked with arts partners, leaders in AACPS, representatives from higher education and arts partners across the state to develop and implement AACPS' first Performing & Visual Arts Magnet Programs. During her tenure as Senior Manager of the Performing & Visual Arts Magnet Programs, the magnificent arts addition was added to the Annapolis High School building and she facilitated the transformation of a former school in Annapolis into Studio 39, the creative studios and performance space for AACPS' Performing and Visual Arts Magnet Programs.

Due to Lori's leadership, advocacy, and dedication, she has raised the bar in Anne Arundel County Public Schools for integration of arts across the curriculum, elevating the school system as a role model regionally and nationally for the PVA model that she helped to develop. In conjunction with these accomplishments, Lori was recognized in 2011 as the Maryland Art Educator of the Year by the National Art Education Association and was chosen by the Anne Arundel County Arts Council as the 2014 Arts Educator Annie Award Winner. Lori's influence has been instrumental in the lives of many and has highlighted the talents of students as well as her colleagues.

Farewell and Thank You From Mary Cary

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

I have recently made the decision to leave AEMS and try retirement. Retirement is scary, so I am thinking of this as an attempt to slow down and catch up on some missed fun. My final day at AEMS is Thursday, September 24.

Attached is the announcement for my position, Executive Director of AEMS. As you know, AEMS is a robust organization with both policy and program agendas. I hope you will think about who would be the best person to continue our important work in this present environment of increased attention to the arts.

I have loved joining you in a collective advocacy for the arts for all children in our state. Thank you, each one of you, for being a supporter of the AEMS mission. I will miss you, but in my own way, I will continue to advocate for arts education, artists, arts organizations, and all who teach our young people.


Mary Cary

Cultural Arts for Education (CAFE) - May 28, 2015

CAFE 2015 was a terrific success. The three remarkable thinkers, Dr. Solomon Snyder, Dr. Martha Bridge Denckla, and Ms. Susan Magsamen, filled the opening session with thought-provoking ideas on interconnections between and among aspects of brain research, the arts, and the sciences. The breakout session presenters were excellent, and the student performances reminded us all why we care about access to the arts for all Maryland students. AEMS thanks all of the participants and the presenters for a learning, networking, and fun day.

Honoring the memory of Jay Tucker, retired Coordinator of Fine Arts at the Maryland State Department of Education, who passed away in January, the annual AEMS award was renamed The Jay Tucker Award for Outstanding Leadership in Arts Education in Maryland. As part of the award presentation, remarks were given in memory of his work. During the morning session, the 2015 award went to Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick, former Maryland State Superintendent and current Presidential Scholar at Towson University.

Click here to learn more about CAFE.


Governor Martin O’Malley’s P-20 Leadership Council Unanimously Approves Task Force Report on Arts Education

Tuesday, September 16, Governor O’Malley’s Leadership Council voted unanimously to accept the recommendations from his task force on arts education. These ten recommendations are based on the principles of equity and quality of arts education. The Governor, winner of both state and national awards in leadership in the arts, has expressed his strong support of students having access to the arts in their PK-12 education by stating, “The arts give our children the skills and diverse knowledge they need to become the leaders and innovators of tomorrow.”

The recommendations are on policy, curriculum and instruction, resource allocation, and professional development. Mary Ann Mears, co chair of the task force and founder of Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS), stated in her remarks to the council that the arts “connect our whole being because they speak to our emotions, our reasoning, and our creativity.” Her co chair, Dr. Jack Smith, Chief Academic Officer at MSDE, stated that “students need a complete education.” All council members expressed their support by voting yes; there were no abstentions.

The full tast force report can be downloaded here: Task Force Final Report

An executive summary of the task force report can be downloaded here: Task Force Executive Summary of Final Report

The Review of the Literature and Bibliography can be downloaded here: Task Force Appendix C: Review of the Literature and Bibliography

STEM + Art: A Brilliant Combination by John Ceschini

John Ceschini, former AEMS Executive Director, wrote STEM + Art: A Brilliant Combination which was published in the December 3rd Edition of Education Week. His article investigates the power of integrating the arts into other subject areas, especially STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects. As an educational leader, John is able to see firsthand the value of arts-integrated learning..

The full article can be found here.

Introducing the New National Core Arts Standards

On Wednesday, June 4, 2014, the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) launched the new National Core Art Standards and interactive website. The new preK-12 standards for dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts are now available. The standards were written by and for arts educators to support quality teaching and learning. They were shaped with the input of more than 6,000 educators, teaching artists, parents, students, and focus groups. The standards integrate the four artistic processes — creating, performing, responding, and connecting — with the skills and knowledge, sample assessments, and criteria necessary for successful arts learning. The new, interactive NCAS website can be found here.

Governor Martin O'Malley's P-20 Leadership Council Creates a Task Force on Arts Education in Maryland

On Monday, September 16, 2013, Governor Martin O’Malley’s P-20 Leadership Council voted unanimously to have a statewide task force on arts education in Maryland schools. Dr. William E. (Brit) Kirwan, Chancellor of the University System of Maryland, made the initial motion to endorse and commented on the power of the arts in his life and the importance of the arts for all students. Co chairing the task force will be nationally known sculptor and founder of Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS) Alliance, Mary Ann Mears, and Dr. Jack Smith, Deputy Superintendent at the Maryland State Department of Education. Governor O’Malley’s commitment to arts education is longstanding, and he has been recognized nationally with the prestigious Public Leadership in Arts Award. To continue Maryland’s standing as a national leader in education, the Governor wants to ensure that all students have access to a quality education which includes the arts. Council members commented on the critical importance of creativity and innovation in the workforce and the need for students to have a creative edge in order to be globally competitive. The P-20 Task Force on Arts Education will present the final report to the Governor and the Council in September 2014.

Task Force Press Release

Task Force Charge

ArtsEdSearch – new resource from Arts Education Partnership (AEP)

"ArtsEdSearch is the nation's first online research and policy clearinghouse focused entirely on student and educator outcomes associated with arts learning in and out of school. Featuring user-friendly summaries of high-quality research, and overviews of current research examined through different lenses, ArtsEdSearch provides reliable and objective information about the academic, cognitive, personal, social and professional outcomes of an arts education. ArtsEdSearch also identifies gaps in research and serves as a valuable roadmap for researchers and funders looking to tackle the most pressing education issues of our time." – from Arts Education Partnership website

Bates Middle School featured on Edutopia's "Schools that Work"

Edutopia's Schools That Work series profiles K-12 schools, districts, and programs that are dramatically improving the way students learn. Wiley H. Bates Middle School, in Annapolis, MD, was chosen as a School that Works because of their strong arts integrated classrooms.

To see the video and find out more...

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