Ohio Arts Council Awarded Art Education Honors

OAC Executive Director Donna S. Collins and OAC Board Member Susan Allan Block Accepted the Distinguished Organization for Art Education Award at the Ohio Art Education Association Professional Development Conference 


TOLEDO, Ohio – November 3, 2017

The Ohio Arts Council (OAC) has been named the recipient of a statewide award honoring art education efforts throughout the state.

As part of the Ohio Art Education Association’s (OAEA) annual award program, the OAC was selected as the state award winner through a juried vote of all regional winners of the 2017 Distinguished Organization for Art Education Award.

OAC Executive Director Donna S. Collins and OAC Board Member Susan Allan Block accepted the award on behalf of the OAC at the 2017 OAEA Conference at a Nov. 2 ceremony in Toledo.

“Every child in Ohio, from pre-k to grade 12, deserves an education that includes the arts. At the Ohio Arts Council, we believe our investment in arts education is a priority,” Collins said.

A statewide service organization, the OAEA aims to build a community for visual art educators by promoting professional growth and leadership. The Distinguished Organization for Art Education Award is given to business organizations in each region of Ohio that demonstrate a high level of support for arts education throughout the state of Ohio. A statewide recipient is selected from this pool of regional winners.

“The Ohio Arts Council is a steadfast champion for arts education,” said Jarrod Hartzler, immediate past president of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education. “Their work positively impacts what is good for students and provides resources for teachers and principals to supplement the good work arts educators are already doing in schools. The OAC is second to none across the nation.” 

In FY 2016 and FY 2017, the OAC awarded $4 million in arts learning grants through its TeachArtsOhio, Arts Partnership, Poetry Out Loud, and Big Yellow School Bus programs.

The OAC was nominated for the OAEA award by Dr. Janet Fedorenko, retired principal of Hanby Arts Magnet School in Westerville.

In her nomination support letter, written on behalf of the Tri-County Educational Service Center in Wooster, Dr. Michelle Muro, a fine arts consultant, described arts education programming that was funded by the OAC.

“We are indebted to the Ohio Arts Council for hearing our requests, working with us to promote arts education to serve a broader range of students, and providing students and teachers with resources that make the arts important in the realm of a complete education,” she said.

Sara Danner Hebdo, an art teacher at Rosemore Middle School, also described the impact the TeachArtsOhio program had on her students through her letter of support.

“The experience of having a teaching artist in my classroom one day a week has had a profound impact on my students and myself as an educator,” she said.

Collins expressed gratitude for the award, and praised work done throughout the state to support arts education initiatives.

“The Ohio Arts Council is so appreciative of the nomination and award from OAEA. To us, the award is a signal that our Board and staff are doing a good job by investing in arts education, students, and teachers through our state and federal budget appropriations,” she said. “The Ohio Art Education Association is an example of a statewide organization that focuses on students, lifelong learning, and enhancing education at all levels.”

For more information about the OAC’s Arts Learning programs, visit

The OAEA is a statewide service organization operated by an executive committee and board of directors, consisting of elected representatives from nine regions and eight divisions. These volunteers serve in a variety of capacities on the local, regional, and state levels. Other members represent the Distinguished Fellows, Ohio Art Education Foundation, and Committee Chairs. 

The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. Connect with the OAC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or visit our website at


Photo credit: Photo courtesy of Donna S. Collins
Article by Kayla Draper, 2017-18  Social Media and Events Fellow


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