President Obama believes that the arts and humanities should be part of the education of every child in America. The power of the arts and humanities to foster creativity in developing minds, to engage and motivate students in school and to prepare all children for productive futures is essential for the future of nation’s cultural and economic life. This is an extraordinary group of actors, teachers, principals, superintendents and organizations who are creating innovative programs across the country that are benefitting their local communities.
Giselle “Gigi” Antoni is president and CEO of Big Thought, one of the nation’s leading nonprofits devoted to closing the opportunity gap in education through creative learning.
For her role as Allison Dubois on the critically-acclaimed series “Medium,” Patricia Arquette has received numerous accolades, including the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, and many subsequent Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG nominations.
Rachael Leigh Cook’s beauty and versatility combine to establish her as one of the most talented young actresses in Hollywood.
Tim Daly’s acting resume spans a long list of diverse projects including Against the Ropes with Meg Ryan, Return to Sender, Basic opposite John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson, and The Object of My Affection opposite Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd.
Scott Dawson, the Community Outreach and Education Director for the Clark State Community College Performing Arts Center in Springfield, OH, manages five Arts Outreach and Education programs.
Minnie Driver first came to attention in 1995 in Circle of Friends. She went on to earn Oscar and Screen Actors Guild nominations in Good Will Hunting, directed by Gus Van Sant. In 1998 she was honored with ShoWest’s prestigious Female Star of Tomorrow for her work.
Aaron P. Dworkin is the Founder and President of the Sphinx Organization, the leading national arts organization that focuses on youth development and diversity in classical music.
Omar Epps currently co-stars in the Emmy Award winning Fox medical drama, “House,” for which he received an NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series” in 2007 and 2008.
Ramon Gonzalez is the founding principal of MS 223-The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology, a middle school in the South Bronx.
Christine Harrison is the principal of Millwood Arts Academy and Freshman Academy in Oklahoma City, OK.
Dr. Kevin Maxwell has been Superintendent of Anne Arundel County Public Schools in Maryland since June 2006. He has worked with the Board of Education to create a rigorous and relevant arts-oriented curriculum.
Joan Katz Napoli has served for sixteen years as Director of Education and Community Engagement for The Cleveland Orchestra whose education and outreach programs serve more than 70,000 annually.
Robbie Owen has been an elementary school principal for the past twenty-two years and has been principal of Rockwell Elementary School in Spanish Fort, Alabama since 1997.
Amy Rasmussen serves as the Executive Director of Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education – whose mission is to increase students’ academic success, critical thinking and creativity through research-based, arts driven education.