Arts Education Funders Coalition: Update on Federal Advocacy

Tuesday, June 25, 2:00 EDT/ 11:00 PDT

  • Alex Nock, Penn Hill Group
  • Janet Brown, Grantmakers in the Arts

A recording of this presentation is available here.

Web Conferences are free to the staff and board of GIA member organizations. The fee for nonmembers is $35.


Grantmakers in the Arts formed the Arts Education Funders Coalition (AEFC) in the spring of 2012 for funders concerned with arts education. We engaged Penn Hill Group, a Washington, D.C. education policy firm, to help our Advisory Committee develop strategies to enhance the arts in current federal education policy, creating more opportunities for arts at the local district level. Alex Nock, executive vice president at Penn Hill Group, and Janet Brown, president & CEO of GIA, will give a progress report on the agenda and answer your questions. Webconference participants can access the agenda here.

Presenter Bios:

Alex Nock is executive vice president at Penn Hill Group. During his seventeen years in Washington, D.C., he has been a part of every major piece of federal education and disability policy legislation. Prior to his position with Penn Hill Group, from 2007-10, Nock served as the Democratic deputy staff director for the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor. He has led numerous reauthorizations while working on Capitol Hill, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Workforce Investment Act, the Higher Education Act, and the Head Start Act. He was one of the lead staff members responsible for the No Child Left Behind Act. Nock has also played key roles in the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.

Nock previously served as the director of the Commission on No Child Left Behind, a bipartisan, independent effort to improve the No Child Left Behind Act. Prior to the commission, he developed education and social policy on Capitol Hill. He held several positions, including education coordinator for the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, where he spearheaded all Democratic policy and politics on higher education, elementary and secondary education, workforce and job training, disability policy and other social service issues. Nock also worked for Rep. Matthew G. Martinez (D-CA), the Human Resources Subcommittee, the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor, and Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD).

Janet Brown, president & CEO at GIA, is a nationally known consultant, speaker and teacher. Until recently, she was an adjunct faculty member at Goucher College, Baltimore, MD teaching Public Policy and the Arts. Prior to GIA, she was Chair of Performing and Visual Arts at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD and Executive Director of South Dakotans for the Arts and the SD Alliance for Arts Education. She began her arts management career in theatre where her work included Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival, the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, and national and European tours. She began her theatre career as an actress at the Black Hills Playhouse and was co-owner of the Deadwood Production Company for ten years. A registered lobbyist for 15 years, Janet received numerous awards for arts advocacy including the Selena Roberts Ottum Award from Americans for the Arts, Washington, D.C., and the Robert Gard Award from the University of Massachusetts Arts Extension Service (AES), Amherst. She's served on many local and national boards of directors including Americans for the Arts and the American Folklife Center and has been a panelist and site evaluator for the National Endowment for the Arts and several state arts agencies. She has an undergraduate degree in Theatre and a Masters of Public Administration.