The Arts Education division at the LA County Arts Commission staffs the regional efforts of the LA County Arts Education Collective.
Denise Grande, Director of Arts Education
Ms. Grande oversees the Los Angeles County Arts Education Collective, developing strategies for bringing about systemic change in school districts in LA County to implement quality K-12 arts education. She represents the Arts Ed Collective locally, statewide and nationally, and spearheads regional efforts to advance arts education for LA County’s 1.5 million students. Prior to the Arts Commission, Ms. Grande was director of programs and strategic partnership for the Metropolitan Opera Guild at Lincoln Center in New York. During her 20 years at The Music Center - Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County, she played a leadership role in program design, implementation, research and evaluation. Ms. Grande received her BA from UCLA in dance and was a Coro Fellow through the California Arts Council’s Arts Leadership Fellow Program.
Megan Kirkpatrick, Senior Manager
Ms. Kirkpatrick guides the work of the program team and supports school district engagement, advocacy and research initiatives. She also serves as a school district liaison, connecting educators to resources for achieving their strategic goals for arts education. Previously, Ms. Kirkpatrick was education director at Broadway’s Roundabout Theatre Company where she directed in-school arts education residency and partnership programs, launched a new school partnership model to open three New York City high schools and created professional development for artists and teachers.
Gregg Johnson, Program Manager
Mr. Johnson guides the Arts Ed Collective’s participation in the Juvenile Justice and Creative Workforce Pathways initiatives, the Arts + STEM Collaborative and the teacher professional development program, Technology Enhanced Arts Learning (TEAL). He also serves as a school district liaison, connecting educators to resources for achieving their strategic goals for arts education. Previously, he served as artistic director for Big Thought in Dallas, Young Audiences Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta and was the managing producer for the Arts4Learning project of Young Audiences, Inc.
Gillian McCarthy, Program Manager
Ms. McCarthy guides stakeholder convenings for the arts provider and school district networks, as well school district enrollment in the Arts Ed Collective. She also serves as a school district liaison, connecting educators to resources for achieving their strategic goals for arts education. Previously, she was associate director of professional development at Inner-City Arts where she implemented creativity and arts programs for teachers, teaching artists and graduate students. Ms. McCarthy served as the national manager for WebPlay, an internet-integrated theatre program, and wrote a comprehensive theater curriculum for 24th Street Theatre, distributed to over 30,000 teachers in 28 states.
Keelia Postlethwaite, Program Associate
Ms. Postlethwaite guides the school district grants program, online directories of arts providers and supports programming for the Juvenile Justice and Creative Workforce Pathways initiatives. She also serves as a school district liaison, connecting educators to resources for achieving their strategic goals for arts education. Previously, Ms. Postlethwaite worked in marketing and graphic design at JRB Art at the Elms, Oklahoma City and at the University of Oklahoma, Norman.
Development and Communications
Tom McKenzie, Development Manager
Mr. McKenzie is responsible for the management, research and writing of grants. He serves as the liaison to the LA County Arts Education Funders Council and supports school districts’ fundraising efforts for arts education. Prior to joining the Arts Ed Collective, he cultivated foundation and community relationships for The Broad Stage and managed their Arts Insights Education and Outreach Program.
Marta Martinez, Communications Associate
Ms. Martinez is responsible for marketing, communications, branding and outreach to the Arts Ed Collective’s stakeholders. She offers direction for increasing visibility of the initiative and engaging current and potential partners across the region. She previously served on the marketing and communications team at The San Francisco Foundation and has worked with arts organizations in the Bay Area for over a decade.
Research and Evaluation
Matt Agustin, Research Associate
Mr. Agustin supports the collection, analysis and evaluation of arts education data. His research informs school districts, community arts partners and other arts education stakeholders. Previously, Matt was a research analyst for Advancement Project California. He studied applied mathematics at the University of California, Riverside and holds a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California, Irvine.
Rachel Mendoza, Program Assistant
Ms. Mendoza provides administrative support for the Arts Ed Collective. She has also worked as a receptionist for the Los Angeles County Arts Commission where she supported the commission’s many programs. Previously, Rachel was the receptionist and phlebotomist at Clínica Médica Alvarado.