The New Cleveland School of the Arts

MITCHELL KORN is one of our nation’s most important leaders in arts and arts education strategic planning, advocacy and interdisciplinary education. He is the Founder and President of MitchellKornArts and the Vanderbilt University, Blair School of Music Adjunct Professor for Music and Community, a Bard College Senior Fellow for arts policy and planning and a former Harvard University Graduate School of Education and Yale School of Music lecturer.

Korn currently advises, as mentor, the Artistic and Executive Director of the Nashville Ballet in artistic, communication, advocacy, education and fundraising issues. He continues in his 17th consecutive year as advisor to the Cleveland Orchestra Learning Through Music Program, a program he created: training musicians and teachers and advising staff. The Wall Street Journal has called him a “one man arts education industry.” Symphony magazine called him a “music education guru.” He is the former Vice President for Education and Community Engagement at the Nashville Symphony and Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

Korn is credited with creating, designing and implementing the nation’s most important and sustainable arts education initiatives including San Francisco Symphony’s Adventures in Music (celebrating its 25th anniversary), New York’s Annenberg Initiative (16th year), Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (18th year), The Cleveland Orchestra’s Learning Through Music (17th year), The Milwaukee Symphony’s Arts in Community Education (19th year), and many more.

Korn’s extensive philanthropic work includes projects for the Heinz Endowment, MacArthur Foundation, Annenberg Foundation, GE Fund, and Dayton Hudson Foundation. He also has developed the arts education and organizational strategic plans for dozens of arts, cultural and educational organizations including the San Francisco Ballet, Hart School of Music, Carnegie Hall, North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, The Baltimore Symphony, Orange County Performing Arts Center, San Francisco Jazz, and more.

Korn is the recipient of numerous awards and tributes including Parents magazine’s “As They Grow” award, honoring his efforts in “making the world a safer, healthier, and happier place for children.”


Dr. Robert Horowitz is Associate Director of the Center for Arts Education Research at Teachers College, Columbia University and consultant to arts organizations, schools, school districts, and foundations. As part of a group of researchers supported by The GE Fund and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Dr. Horowitz investigated the impact of arts learning on several cognitive and social dimensions, such as creativity, personal expression, and school climate. The collective research, Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning, was published by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and the Arts Education Partnership. He is a recipient of the NAEA 2001 Manuel Barkan Memorial Award for the article based on this work, “Learning In and Through the Arts: The Question of Transfer” in Studies in Art Education. Dr. Horowitz contributed to Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development, a compendium of 62 studies of arts learning and its connections to broader human development. As a consultant for Jazz at Lincoln Center, he authored the instructional content of Jazz in the Schools, a National Endowment for the Arts curriculum that “explores jazz as an indigenous American art form and a means to understand American history.”

Dr. Horowitz has helped develop numerous educational partnerships throughout the country. He has conducted over 100 program evaluations for organizations such as the Kennedy Center, National Endowment for the Arts, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio, and the Arts Education Partnership, and has served as researcher for numerous federal, state and private grants. He has written, lectured and conducted workshops on program evaluation, musical creativity, jazz improvisation, curriculum development, student assessment, partnership development and arts education policy issues.

After performing and recording widely as a guitarist, Rob Horowitz taught for five years at an alternative high school for at-risk students in New York City. Subsequently, he taught guitar at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he received his doctorate in 1994. Current projects include evaluation of arts partnerships, teacher professional development, program design, and research on the impact of arts learning on cognitive and social development.


Dr. Dan Serig is an Associate Professor of Art Education at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Research interests include curriculum design, metaphor, material culture, and artistic research. Since 2002, Serig has conducted dozens of arts program evaluations throughout the nation. Clients have included the National Endowment for the Arts (Education Leaders Institute), COCA St. Louis, the Woodruff Arts Center and Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio. In collaboration with Rob Horowitz, Dan Serig has conducted professional development and assessment workshops, designed curriculum, and consulted on strategic planning with arts and cultural organizations. Published works are in several art and design education journals. He served as the Research Review section editor of Teaching Artist Journal for three years and is a current editorial board member of the new journal, Visual Inquiry: Teaching and Learning in Art. Serig presents nationally and internationally.

Serig received his doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2005. He has also taught Pre-K – adults visual arts in public and private schools in the U.S. and China. At MassArt he created a Master of Arts in Teaching program and redesigned the Masters of Science in Art Education program. Each summer Serig takes a group of teaching artists to Ecuador to experience the cultural diversity and biodiversity through a hybrid studio and pedagogical course. He is now involved in developing art education degree programs in Ecuador.


Dr. Rekha S. Rajan is visiting assistant professor in education at Columbia College Chicago, where she develops and teaches courses related to arts integration and education. She holds a doctorate in music education from Teachers College, Columbia University, where she also received an EdM in music education. She also holds an MA in early childhood professions from Roosevelt University.

Dr. Rajan is a senior research associate with the Center for Arts Education Research at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she is part of ArtsResearch, a team of consultants led by Dr. Robert Horowitz, who evaluate arts-based partnerships around the United States. Through these partnerships, she has interviewed and observed hundreds of public school teachers regarding the strengths and challenges they face with integrating the arts, and has co-authored over 30 assessment reports.

Dr. Rajan is the author of Integrating the Performing Arts in Grades K-5 (SAGE/Corwin Press), a comprehensive analysis of over 60 lessons that demonstrate how to connect music, theater, dance, and musical theater with math, science, social studies and language arts in the elementary curriculum. Her research interests focus on the impact of the performing arts in the lives of young children and on teachers’ use of the performing arts in the classroom. She has published articles in General Music Today, Focus on Pre-K and Focus on Elementary of the Association of Childhood Education International, and is also the author of the forthcoming book, Children’s Experiences in Musical Theater (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2014).

She is the principal investigator on two grant proposals that include the development of a music curriculum. They are titled Basic BEAT: Exploring the impact of brain-based activities on teacher and student learning through the implementation of a music education curriculum and Soul Sisters: Exploring Audience Response and Community Involvement through Musical Theater Performance. Dr. Rajan also recently applied for a Fulbright-Nehru Teaching/Research Scholarship Award with a project entitled: Defining and Designing Teacher Education in India. The aim of the project is to examine the coursework of teacher preparation programs in India, through the impact of a project-based, arts-enriched curriculum.

Dr. Rajan has held faculty positions at National-Louis University, where she coordinated the graduate programs in early childhood teacher education and led curriculum development in all of the teacher education programs, and Roosevelt University, where she taught courses in elementary education and supervised student teachers. She has been working with teachers and teacher candidates for more than 10 years, and sits on various Illinois state councils and advisory committees for early childhood assessment.

Dr. Rajan is also the president and founder of the Greater Chicago Area Chapter of the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association, which was recently awarded a chapter grant for recognition and support of annual workshops. Prior to teaching in higher education, Dr. Rajan taught music, theater, and dance in studio and classroom settings. Rekha has performed professionally in numerous operas, operettas, and musicals including lead roles in “The Magic Flute” (Papagena), “Pirates of Penzance” (Mabel), and the Chicago premiere of “CARNIVAL!” (Lili), for which she was nominated for a Chicago Stage Talk Equity Theatre Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical. She has also performed as a guest vocalist performing “The Marv’lous Work” from Haydn’s The Creation, and “Rejoice Greatly” from Handel’s The Messiah, and has appeared as a concert soloist at Carnegie Hall and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.


Yolande Spears is Vice President of Education and Community Relations at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, Connecticut’s premiere venue for Broadway, theatre, music, dance, children’s theatre, and special events.

Alongside her administrative leadership, which includes 20 years in corporate human organization and strategy, Yolande regularly speaks and teaches at organizations throughout the United States, Canada, and in China, advocating the importance of arts education. For over 20 years, she has led the PARTNERS program, an award winning arts education initiative serving hundreds of schools, teachers and communities. Spears provides expertise in arts organizational programming for schools, partnership development, program implementation and replication. Her latest publication “The Gift” chronicles her childhood in urban St. Louis and the role the arts played in her life’s path.


Susan Stauter, Arts educator and advocate Susan Stauter is currently the Artistic Director for the San Francisco Unified School District. She served on the Steering Committee and was instrumental in the creation and ongoing work of SFUSD’s internationally acclaimed Arts Education Master Plan, promising equity and access in arts education to all students in every SFUSD school during the curricular day.

An award winning credentialed teacher in Theatre and English, she taught and directed at Esperanza High School in Placentia, California, and was founding Chair of the Department of Theatre of the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts. Susan went on to serve as Conservatory Director of the Tony Award winning American Conservatory Theater of San Francisco, where she oversaw all education programs including the M.F.A. in Acting.  She has worked as a writer/director for Disney, Anaheim and was one of the readers for the audio version of Richard Florida’s best selling Rise of the Creative Class. She currently works as a master trainer with the Leonard Bernstein Artful Learning program, presenting workshops and creating new arts based curriculum with teachers and principals in schools across the nation.

Continuing her work as a teacher, workshop leader, keynote speaker and writer on all areas of arts education, Ms.Stauter has consulted with and presented for numerous organizations, including the Grammy Foundation, the Milwaukee Idea, the Ten Chimneys Foundation, the U.C. Berkeley Principal’s Institute, the Great River Shakespeare Festival, the St. Louis Symphony, the New World Symphony and the Vienna Concerthaus. She has presented keynotes for the Small Schools of New Zealand, (where she was named Visiting Scholar in Creativity), The National League of Symphony Orchestras Education, Youth and Outreach Managers, the Theatre Educators of America and the International Thespian Organization and she has worked in colleges and universities across the nation, most recently with U.C. Berkeley’s Bravo Project that she was instrumental in creating and implementing for the Principal’s Leadership Institute. In 2009 Susan Stauter was public reader for the K-12 Drama Standards for the State of Colorado, and in April of 2011 she presented a TEDxSF talk on the importance of the arts in education before returning for the sixth consecutive year to speak on the importance of the arts and culture to communities at the Eugene O’Neill Tao House in Danville, California as part of Leadership; San Ramon.

She sits on numerous boards and committees, including the Engineers Alliance for the Arts and the San Francisco Symphony Education Committee, and is the recipient of numerous awards for her ongoing work as a passionate leader in arts education, including the  International Network of Arts Schools Founder’s Award, the LEAP Imagination in Learning Award ,the San Francisco Ballet’s Choose to Move Award, the Ruth Asawa Arts Advocacy Award and the San Francisco PTA Continuing Service Award.

Susan Stauter lives in San Francisco with her husband, Don Bellmer, their dog Luke the Wheaten terrier and two African grey parrots named Arlo and Alex Guthrie. She is the mother of designer Jeanine Payer, and the very proud grandmother of William Campbell.


Pre-College Pedagogy Team: A group of leading professors and instructors from Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University Pre-Collegiate Division, Nashville Ballet and Nashville Ballet School will assist in the analysis of CMSD arts curriculum and the development of curriculum innovations and guidelines.


Melanie Gober Grand, MitchellKornArts Program Coordinator, will assist the program team in all aspects of initiative scheduling and communications. Melanie has over thirty years of experience as a paralegal, has managed several non-profit professional organizations, and is currently the Executive Director the Lawyers’ Association for Women.  She provides a variety of services in a virtual capacity to law firms and small businesses, including development and implementation of office organizational systems and procedures.