Dr. Susan Witten Becomes the New President of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education’s Board of Directors

The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education announced today that Dr. Susan Witten of Upper Arlington, Ohio, has been elected president of the organization for a term of two years.  Dr. Witten is a proven leader with an expansive background in education and arts education. Her service as a leader began early in her career and followed her through public education, the Ohio Department of Education, and now in her role as Director of the Department of Teaching and Learning in the Hamilton Local School District.

Dr. Witten brings a wealth of leadership and experience to her position as the new president of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education.  Active as a member and leader with the organization for more than twenty years, she has served in a variety of capacities:  Vice President, Treasurer, Membership and Development Committees, advocate, professional development provider, mentor, project leader, and representative to the Kennedy Center’s Annual Meeting.

Christy Farnbauch, outgoing President of OAAE said, “I feel very confident that Susan will lead the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education in ways that ensure its mission and strategic plan are carried out to the fullest extent possible to support arts education.”

In Dr. Witten’s opening remarks to the Board of Directors and membership at its September 29th meeting held at St. Stephens Community Center in Columbus, she shared her intense desire to bring arts education to as many Ohioans as possible – in schools, after-school, and in communities. Donna Collins, OAAE’s executive director, anticipates that with Dr. Witten’s knack for strategic planning and visioning that, “Our new President, Susan Witten has every intention of changing the world for the better … with arts education at the center of the universe!”

About the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education: The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education is a statewide service organization whose mission is to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Since 1974 the OAAE has provided services and resources that support high quality arts education in-school, out-of-school, and in communities statewide. As a leader in the areas of professional development, building collaborations, and advocacy the OAAE works at the local, state, and federal levels. The OAAE is supported with financial and human resources from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Ohio Arts Council, Ohio Department of Education, Ohio Music Education Association, Ohio Foundation for Music Education, Ohio Art Education Association, OhioDance, Ohio Educational Theatre Association, Greater Columbus Arts Council, Greater Cincinnati Alliance for Arts Education, and its members.  For more information contact OAAE at 614.224.1060.

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About OAAE

Since our founding in 1974, by Dr. Dick Shoup and Jerry Tollifson, our mission has always been to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Working at the local, state, and federal levels through the efforts of a highly qualified and elected Board of Directors, our members, and a professional staff we have four primary areas of focus: building collaborations, professional development, advocacy, and capacity building. The OAAE is funded in part for its day-to-day operation by the Ohio Arts Council. This support makes it possible for the OAAE to operate its office in Columbus and to work statewide to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Support for arts education projects comes from the Ohio Arts Council, The John F. Kennedy Center, Ohio Music Education Association, Ohio Art Education Association, Ohio Educational Theatre Association, VSA Ohio, and OhioDance. The Community Arts Education programs of Central Ohio are financially assisted by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners and the Greater Columbus Arts Council. We gratefully acknowledge and appreciate the financial support received from each of these outstanding agencies and organizations.
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