VCUarts Executive Director of Research, Sarah Cunningham, has been named one of the country’s up and coming “Most Powerful and Influential Leaders in the Nonprofit Arts”.
Prior to her new position at VCUarts, Dr. Sarah Cunningham worked as the Director of Arts Education for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and was appointed Literature & the Arts Education Division Team Leader. Dr. Cunningham has administered arts education initiatives conducted in partnership with a range of public and private partner organizations. She led the NEA’s partnership with the U.S. Department of Education, to support the valuable work of the Arts Education Partnership. In collaboration with the Illinois Arts Council (IAC), she founded the Education Leaders Institute, which convenes key decision makers to enhance the quality and quantity of arts education at the state level. Since 2008, the NEA gathered arts education policy teams from 28 states and the District of Columbia. Cunningham also oversaw the development of educational resources and materials produced for national NEA Big Read, Jazz in the Schools, and Poetry Out Loud. Other key partnerships include her work with the 56 state and territorial arts agencies, the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education network, and NEA’s Shakespeare in American Communities.
Before her NEA appointment, Sarah led education and academic programs, and held several teaching positions at University of Maine at Orono, Vanderbilt University and Belmont University. She was founding Dean of the Oxbow School, a visual arts high school in Napa, California. She has published essays and articles in the fields of education, arts and philosophy. Sarah received her Bachelor’s degree in philosophy at Kenyon College and her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.
We are extremely proud to have Sarah as part of the VCUarts team.