Ayanna N. Hudson
Arts Education Director
Ayanna N. Hudson is the director of Arts Education for the National Endowment for the Arts., where she presides over the grant portfolio devoted to arts education, works with national service organizations on policy initiatives, and serves as the spokesperson for arts education at the federal level.
The NEA's arts education program supports projects that provide children and youth with opportunities to gain knowledge and skills in the arts both in and outside the classroom. Funding also supports professional development for teachers, teaching artists, and other education providers.
Hudson was the director of arts education with the Los Angeles County Arts Commission for over 10 years. She developed and led the implementation of the Arts for All collaborative, ensuring equitable access to arts education for 1.6 million students in the county's 81 school districts, the largest educational system in the country. Arts for All was cited in 2008 by the RAND Corporation as among the top three collaborations nationwide in its study Revitalizing Arts Education through Community-wide Coordination. Last year, Arts for All received the 2011 Arts Education Award from the national service organization Americans for the Arts.
Hudson is a sought-after expert in arts education having testified before the U.S. House of Representative's Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee and the Aspen Institute's Blue Ribbon Committee on the impact of No Child Left Behind.
Prior to her work in Los Angeles, Hudson managed the School Arts Program at the Fulton County Department of Arts and Culture in Atlanta, Georgia. She has a BA in psychology from Spelman College and a specialized master's degree in education in risk and prevention from Harvard University.