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Arts Inspiration

We’re occasionally sharing inspiring stories in the field of community arts education happening across the country.  This month, we’re highlighting some of the cutting edge work of the National Guild for Community Arts Education, including announcement of their new Executive Director Quanice Floyd.

New Leadership on the National Front for Community Arts Education

Pakachoag Music School is an active member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education.  Founded in 1937, the Guild was originally oriented around music schools but has expanded to now include every art discipline and every form of community arts engagement from independent schools to community centers with arts programming to arts based youth programming in all forms.

Why Community Arts Education Matters

From the National Guild:  “Community arts education only exists for a few in this country. There are inequitable opportunities for those most at the margins to realize and embrace their full creativity, feel liberated and whole, and exercise that creativity and sense of wholeness for community change. This is a problem, because we believe that community arts education is essential to human development and healthy communities.

People thrive when they participate in community arts education programs that are sustained and responsive to community needs. Arts learning can fuel people’s imaginations, build critical learning and life skills, promote better health, and generate a sense of shared culture and community belonging.

As people of color and marginalized communities are disproportionately impacted by the multiple crises of this time, community arts education is more crucial than ever as a vehicle for activism, individual and collective self-expression, and healing.”

For these reasons, the guild is fully engaged in advocacy on behalf of the field of community arts education.

New Director at the Helm starting 2022: Quanice G. Floyd

New York, NY—The National Guild for Community Arts Education (“Guild”) announced in December that Quanice G. Floyd (she/her) will become its new Executive Director effective January 10, 2022. The Guild is the sole national service organization for providers of community arts education, with over 400 members spanning a wide range of art forms, organization types, and geographic locations across the U.S. A longtime member of the Guild family, Ms. Floyd is a passionate advocate with a deep understanding of the community arts education field, as well as a demonstrated commitment to racial equity. Her visionary leadership will be invaluable in this critical time of transformation for the organization. Ms. Floyd was selected as part of a national open call for applications that took place in spring 2021. The search was led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG).

Ms. Floyd has worked previously at Levine Music and Washington Performing Arts, both based in Washington, DC. She first became involved with the Guild as a volunteer supporting the annual Conference for Community Arts Education in 2015 and 2016.  Ms. Floyd served as the Guild’s Director of Learning and Leadership Development in 2019, and as staff liaison to the board’s Racial Equity Committee.

Ms. Floyd has also served as Executive Director of Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS), and is the founder and former director of the Arts Administrators of Color Network, and has played an integral role in campaigns for racial equity across the field, most recently as part of the Progressive Arts Education Coalition (PAEC).

In her journey from Guild member, to volunteer, to program participant, to staff member, now culminating in a return as Executive Director, Ms. Floyd exemplifies the power of investment in leadership pathways. This investment in the field is an integral part of the Guild’s strategy to ensure that all people have opportunities to maximize their creative potential.

“We are very excited to welcome Ms. Floyd, and eagerly anticipate her arrival as our next leader at this pivotal moment in the Guild’s history,” said Chair of the Guild’s Board of Trustees, Duffie Adelson. “Ms. Floyd is passionate about community arts education and its power to transform lives. Her voice is highly respected and sought after across the nation. She is a visionary leader and an “outside the box” thinker with a proven ability to build organizations around equity. We look forward to supporting and working alongside her as she leads us forward in our service to our members and the field.”

“It is an honor to be able to guide the National Guild into its next chapter,” said Ms. Floyd. “It is a critical time for our sector. Artists and organizations are just beginning to understand the two pandemics we have been reckoning with (white supremacy and COVID-19). We need a space and a place to heal and reimagine—not only to move beyond the moment, but also to make sure these things are not perpetuated for future generations. The field needs leadership that is collective, collaborative, and community-centered, and the Guild will be a place that embodies, supports, and grows that type of leadership. Community arts education plays a significant role in strengthening relationships with our communities, and I am looking forward to helping the Guild and the sector be the change we want and deserve to be.”

The National Guild for Community Arts Education ensures all people have opportunities to maximize their creative potential by developing leaders, strengthening organizations, and advocating for community arts education. The Guild’s work supports all arts disciplines and facets of leadership—from creative youth development, to emerging leaders, to creative aging.  Through these strategies, the Guild aims to address our country’s widening opportunity gap, which leaves millions of individuals with little or no access to the creative resources they need to reach their full potential. www.nationalguild.org

We’re occasionally sharing inspiring stories in the field of community arts education happening across the country.  This month, we’d like to share the story of this year’s recipient of the National Guild for Community Arts Education (NGCAE) National Leadership Award.

Meet William Estrada.

William Estrada (he/him/él) is an arts educator and multidisciplinary artist. His art and teaching are a collaborative discourse that critically re-examines public and private spaces with people to engage in radical imagination. He has presented in various panels regarding community programming, arts integration, and social justice curricula. He is currently faculty at UIC School of Art and Art History and a Teaching Artist at Telpochcalli Elementary School located in the Chicago neighborhood Little Village. William is engaging in collaborative work with the Mobilize Creative Collaborative, Chicago ACT Collective, and Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative.

Mr. Estrada’s current research is focused on developing community based and culturally relevant projects that center power structures of race, economy, and cultural access in contested spaces that provide a space to collectively imagine just futures.

This Guild’s National Leadership Award is given annually to an individual or institution whose work is nationally recognized as exemplifying and promoting the ideals to which the National Guild and its membership are dedicated. The 2021 National Leadership Award is being presented to William Estrada, in recognition of his commitment to promoting healing and transforming communities through teaching artistry.

Learn more about the National Guild’s work here.

Look further at William Estrada’s work by visiting: