Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE)

Arts Education Advisory Council

The Arts Education Advisory Council advises the Commissioner and Board of Education on matters pertinent to the development of arts education in the Commonwealth. This includes examining statewide trends and needs, seeking public and professional input, identifying model programs, and making recommendations on policies and programs for the dance, music, theatre, and visual arts components of the Massachusetts Arts Curriculum Framework. It is expected that media arts will be a fifth arts domain added to the upcoming revisions of the National Arts Standards. The AEAC is examining ways of making recommendations of including this new area into the Massachusetts Arts Curriculum Framework.

Council Statement

The Arts Education Advisory Council (AEAC) will work to address the issues innate in revising the Arts Curriculum Framework as well as research, review, and document valid recommendations in response to the Commissioner's working goals and priorities for fiscal year. The charge for this year is to work on revisions to the Arts Curriculum Framework, and include a focus on college and career readiness.

Some issues that will be considered are:

  • Relevant supports that impact and/or facilitate learning in the arts.
  • Review documents of National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) releases guiding framework development.
  • Identify the characteristics of a High School Graduate who is career and college ready in the Arts.
  • Ways to develop/implement effective and meaningful curriculum integration in arts education.
  • Modifications to the current Arts Curriculum Framework

Council Members

Council members reflect a wide range of perspectives and activities in arts education. They include arts teachers and directors, practicing artists, professors of arts education, and staff members from arts organizations. All of the arts disciplines are represented.

Dawn BenskiVisual Art Content SpecialistBoston Public Schools
Elizabeth ByronVisual Art and Special EducationBillerica Public Schools
Charles Combs Ph. DTheatre and Drama EducatorHigher Education Consultant
Diane DailyEducation Programs ManagerMA Cultural Council
Christopher P. DearbeckFine Arts CoordinatorBillerica Public Schools
Beth DelforgeArts Curriculum DirectorAndover Public Schools
Jodi P. FalkDance Teacher and ConsultantNationally /Internationally
Jennifer FidlerVisual Arts Liaison Wilmington Public Schools
Alice Matthews GentiliVisual Art EducatorMendon Upton Regional School District
Hannah HammondTheatre TeacherUP Academy Holland Elementary School
Priscilla Kane Hellweg Executive Artistic Dir.Enchanted Circle Theatre Holyoke
Julie JaronDirector of Visual and Performing Arts Springfield Public Schools
Richard P. KingMusic, Theatre, Visual Art CoordinatorNewton Public Schools
Simone KivettVisual Art TeacherLynn Public Schools
Timmary Leary Visual Arts LiaisonWorcester Public Schools
Arlene Black Mollo Ed. D Professor of Art EducationUMass Dartmouth
Sandra Nicolucci Ed. D.Music Education ConsultingFor any or All School Districts
Joan A. Ortu Visual Art TeacherMalden Public Schools
William Thomas Pappazisis Director of Performing ArtsArlington Public Schools
Myran Parker-BrassExecutive Director for the ArtsBoston Public Schools
Kim PikePrincipal Provincetown SchoolsProvincetown District, Provincetown
Luci Prawdzik Ed. D.Supervisor of Art K-12Somerville Public Schools
Sabrina Quintana DMADirector of Music Education Lynn Public Schools
Jonathan RappaportArt Administrator and ProfessorAnna Maria College, Paxton
Lynn SouzaDirector of Fine Arts K-12New Bedford Public Schools
Matthew WilsonAdvocacy for Arts and CultureExecutive Director for MASSCREATIVE

Contact Information

Advisory Council Co-Chairs:

Mr. Jonathan Rappaport
Faculty, Anna Maria College, Paxton
Executive Director
PO Box 483
Medfield, MA 02052
Phone: 508-335-1670

Dr. Charles Combs
Theatre & Drama Educator
Higher Education Consultant
12 Covey Road
Walpole, MA 02081
Phone: 508-660-9053

Ms. Jennifer Fidler
Media & Visual Arts Educator
Wilmington High School


Councils' Meeting Minutes

Download Word Document
Arts Education Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes April 2, 2018
Download Word Document
Arts Education Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes January 18, 2018

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


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