Cleveland ARTS Education Consortium (CAEC)

Projects & Committees


The Cleveland Arts Education Consortium members are working together and through its Executive Committee to support rebuilding and strengthening the arts in schools, notably in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District schools. Members participated in an extensive survey to understand the extent of their program-work in Cleveland Schools and are in full support of the District’s plan with commitment by Cleveland funders to employ two arts administrators, beginning in Fall 2015. While CEO Eric Gordon regularly presents CMSD updates, we will also invite the new administrators to present and participate with CAEC and its members.

Click here to find the CAEC 2014 member Survey Report online.


With dedicated commitment and work to rebuild the curricular and community partner arts in the Cleveland Schools this project is designed to guide member organizations to more effectively include and involve parents and families in arts education projects and programs. Following discussions of best practices, developing a guide for members, and presenting information at the February 2013 CAEC member meeting at MOCA Cleveland, the committee has begun to meet and work with Tracy Hill, Executive Director of CMSD’s Family and Community Connections to ensure that the arts are part of family-school connections. We will create prose for a “Families Love the Arts” magnet for libraries that will also be available for CMSD Schools. A special info-share session around parent/family inclusion in the arts with ODE Fine Arts Consultant Nancy Pistone, Columbus and Cincinnati arts education colleagues will take place this summer.

CAEC Committee Chair

Beth Rutkowski | Managing Director, GroundWorks DanceTheater

Committee Members

Cynthia Larsen | Director of Programs, Lake Eric Ink
Erik Mann | Executive Director, Cleveland Classical Guitar Society
David Schiopota | Associate Director of Programs, Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio
Nicole Ledinek | Curator of Education, Museum of Contemporary Art ( MOCA Cleveland )
Judith Ryder | Manager, Cleveland Arts Education Consortium


A project to research and understand why advocacy is important, when and where it’s most needed, and ways to be efficient and effective in delivering advocacy messages. After discussion best practices and presenting information at the April 2013 CAEC member meeting at Cleveland Public Theatre with Jeff Rusnick, the committee is working with the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC) staff to develop frameworks for ongoing advocacy work and to create a CAEC Advocacy Starter Kit for members and affiliates.

CAEC Committee Chair

Marsha Dobrzynski | Executive Director, Center for Arts-Inspired Learning

Committee Members (other Executive Committee members participate, when available)

Ed Gallagher | Director of Education and Creative Arts Therapies | Beck Center for the Arts
Sarah Gyorki | CIS+Enrichment Programs, Campus International School PCO
Daniel Hahn | Vice President, Community Engagement and Education, Playhouse Square
Judith Ryder | Manager, Cleveland Arts Education Consortium


The arts foster social engagement and independence, develop creativity and bridge the gap between young and old. Arts for Elders is a project to discover the range of benefits found in senior adults’ arts experiences — and to encourage members to develop intergenerational programs that bring students and seniors together and engaging, interactive programs in senior centers, residences, and nursing homes. While it is clear that the arts have the power to engage, little data is recorded about the impact of the arts on senior adults from the point of view of health and well-being. CAEC is partnering with others to guide and support a new Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging project, “Encore Artists,” to train artists over the age of 50 to work with senior adults in selected sites in Cleveland. Following several CAEC sessions concerning the arts and elders including a special session about arts, elders, and wellness presented by Benjamin Rose’s Linda Noelker, a committee is being formed to gather data and evidence of successful programs and initiatives and to learn how CAEC members are reaching and including senior adults in their own programs.

CAEC Committee Chair (TBD)

Committee Members
Dale Hilton | Director, Teaching and Learning, Cleveland Museum of Art
Gordon Pettit | Director of Development, Cleveland Pops Orchestra
Heather Meeker | Executive Director, The Musical Theater Project
Kevin Richards | Executive Director, Roots of American Music
Judith Ryder | Manager, Cleveland Arts Education Consortium


A project to research and understand the issues of diverse inclusion in all circumstances of today’s world, including the broad world of the arts. Diversity meaning people from diverse races and ethnicities, of different genders, sexual orientation and from different socio-economic backgrounds, with varying physical abilities, and so forth. After thoughtful, probing committee discussions, data collection and research, and dialogues at a series of CAEC member meetings in 2013 and 2014, a document with thoughts and critical questions has been shared with CAEC members. Professional development sessions in June 2013 and September 2014 were highlights. The committee will meet with community leaders to explore potential solutions, especially through the lens of the arts and arts education.

​CAEC Committee Co-Chairs

Barbara Bachtel | Executive Director, Broadway School of Music & the Art
Oluremi Ann Oliver | President Emeritus, Cleveland Association of Black Storytellers

Committee Members

Jeffrey Allen | Director, Education and Public Programs, Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage
Pamela DiPasquale | Education Director, Cleveland Play House
Tony Sias | Executive Director, Karamu House
Vet Nixon | OST Program Specialist, Starting Point
Judith Ryder | Manager, Cleveland Arts Education Consortium