FYI, the information is from the NAEA president about the new
Executive Director. Creatively, Linda in Oregon
Special Message from NAEA President Susan Gabbard
New Executive Director, Dr. Deborah Reeve,to Lead an Exciting Future
Greetings, NAEA members!
Our association has been through many changes in recent months, and I
am pleased to report to you that we are now on the cusp of a bold new
First, our search for a new executive director has culminated in the
hiring of an extraordinary new leader, Dr. Deborah Reeve, who is an
association management professional, a former art educator, and a
Second, our new strategic plan is complete and ready for action – it
is a blueprint for a future where the predominantly visual culture in
our society is a powerful force in shaping the abilities of our
Third, we are poised to celebrate our 60-year NAEA heritage at our
upcoming convention in New York City, which I see as a critical pivot
point as we cross over into this bold new future.
Let me tell you about Deborah. She is the perfect fit for NAEA because
of her experience in associations and the world of art education. She
is the current deputy executive director of the National Association
of Elementary School Principals, a position she will hold until her
official start date with us of June 1, 2007.
But Deborah is already making a difference, bringing her enthusiasm
and passion for art education to our preparations for the upcoming
convention and the strategy that will shape our future. There’s a
reason she has this passion: Deborah has a degree in art education,
has taught art at the preK-12 levels, and has held an adjunct faculty
position in the graduate school at Lesley College in Cambridge,
Massachusetts. She is also a visual artist with extensive experience
as a presenter and consultant to state, national and international
education organizations. Her paintings are exhibited at Gallery West
in Alexandria, VA, where she is a member artist, and at Cranbury
Gallery in Princeton, NJ.
My thanks go out to Mac Arthur Goodwin, the chair of our search
committee, who spearheaded the process that led to selecting Deborah.
Here’s what Mac had to say:
“Our committee identified several outstanding candidates that we
presented to the NAEA Board of Directors for consideration. Deborah
brings us very strong credentials, and her experience in working at
the national level with the White House, U.S. Department of Education,
and other agencies in the federal government was very important,
because we want to proactively inform policymakers about the
importance of art education. We are convinced she will lead NAEA to
Deborah’s experience will help us meet the challenges of the future.
We are easily misunderstood as art teachers. Every day, dedicated art
teachers like you are working hard and making a difference in the
lives of students. Your teaching helps bring meaning to their lives
and prepares them for a world where visual imagery dominates every
aspect of our society. This is not always seen and recognized by the
public and particularly education policymakers who need to understand
why the visual arts are important and deserve strong support and
Deborah has already demonstrated a keen understanding of our
profession and the future that lies ahead for us. She explained, “This
is a time of extraordinary opportunity for the visual arts, and I am
thrilled to have this opportunity. Think about this moment in time. On
one hand, you have our innate character: Humans are profoundly visual
beings. On the other hand, you have the digital revolution with the
ubiquity of portable digital imagery. Taken together, this creates an
extremely promising environment for increasing the influence of the
visual arts on society, culture and the individual.”
During the past few months, valuable input from you, our members, has
fueled our strategic planning process. We’ve distilled your collective
wisdom into a plan that we believe will enhance the value of NAEA to
each of you and bring positive change to our profession. The pillars
of this plan include:
Learning: NAEA will plan, coordinate and implement exemplary
professional development initiatives that build member capacity to be
effective educators, leaders and advocates for art education.
Community Building: NAEA will build a more cohesive professional
community among art educators and museum art educators through
enhanced communication strategies.
Advocacy: NAEA will effectively communicate the importance of student
learning and lifelong learning in the visual arts to art educators,
policy makers, parents and the community.
Research and Knowledge: NAEA will increase its value to members by
assessing programs and services and by expanding access to information
on current and emerging policy issues that affect art education.
This platform is possible because of the commitment and leadership
from past NAEA volunteer leaders and our beloved former executive
director, Dr. Thomas Hatfield, who passed away unexpectedly in
January. Dr. Hatfield was a legend in our field, spending the last 22
years building NAEA into a well-respected association and raising the
bar for professionalism among art educators. I especially admired how
he worked with all the NAEA presidents to make the most of their
special talents. He will be missed, but we are all grateful that he
brought us to this point where we are poised for even greater growth
Our journey into a future framed by new ideas and new leadership
begins at the NAEA Annual Convention, March 14-18, 2007, at the Hilton
New York & Towers Hotel in New York City. The event marks our 60th
anniversary, and it’s a fitting occasion for us to gather, recharge,
and analyze the new social environment in which we operate as we
celebrate our past and create our future.
Daniel Pink, author of the best-selling book, “A Whole New Mind,” will
explain how the rise of right-brain thinking and creativity are the
key to success in today’s world. We’ll also see the role of the visual
arts in society as we hear from the famous Guerrilla Girls, a group of
women artists who wear gorilla masks and use art and other strategies
to make feminism funny and fashionable. Jack Lew, who emigrated from
China to the United States at age 8, will tell the remarkable story of
how he built a robust talent pipeline into Electronic Arts, the
world’s leading developer of interactive entertainment software.
Contemporary artist Audrey Flack will walk us through her journey from
abstract expressionism to realism that now conveys stirring messages
about the human condition, love, and suffering.
I believe we will all come away from this convention with a deeper
understanding of what makes us special as art educators and of the
opportunity and responsibility before us for shaping the lives of our
youngest generation. Young people today must be creative thinkers and
problem-solvers, and we must be catalysts to help them develop these
In closing, I urge you to come to New York as we forge our new path
into the future. It’s a future filled with excitement and new
possibilities, fueled by our collective passion for the good work that
we do. We need your enthusiasm, ideas, and knowledge. Deborah will
also be there – she will speak to the Delegates Assembly and to the
membership during the First General Session and attend receptions,
business meetings, and other convention activities. I know she wants
to meet as many of you as possible and hear what you have to say.
Please join us, and I look forward to seeing you there!