Policy-Focused Technical Working Group

Our policy-focused technical working group consists of leading policy experts and arts advocates.Their expertise and public service devoted to the role of the arts in enriching education and civic engagement contributes valuable insights and expertise to our efforts to inform and guide public policy in arts, education, & civic engagement.

Gigi Antoni is the Director of Learning and Enrichment at the Wallace Foundation. She leads the strategy and implementation of the foundation’s work in areas including social and emotional learning, summer learning, and after-school system building. Prior, Antoni served for 21 years as president and CEO of Big Thought.

Barbara Schaffer Bacon co-directs Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts that inspires, informs, promotes, and connects arts and culture as potent contributors to community, civic, and social change.

Will Butler is an American multi-instrumentalist and composer and a former member of the indie rock band Arcade Fire. A 2017 graduate of Harvard Kennedy School's MPA program, he works to strengthen a culture of public engagement and participation in government and elections.

Bao-Long Chu is a Senior Program Officer at Houston Endowment where he oversees the grants strategy to support and grow Houston’s arts, culture, and parks ecosystem. He collaborates with artists and community leaders toward a shared vision of a vibrant city with abundant opportunities to create and connect.

Anita Contini is the Arts Program Lead at Bloomberg Philanthropies, which helps small and mid-size cultural organizations strengthen long-term organizational capacity, supports temporary public art projects that enrich the vibrancy of cities, and helps leading cultural institutions implement cutting-edge technology projects that transform visitor experiences.

John Q. Easton is Senior Advisor in the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. Prior to his work at Northwestern, he served as Senior Fellow at the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research. Earlier in his career he was Deputy Director and Executive Director at the UChicago Consortium. He was Director of the Institute for Education Sciences in the U.S. Department of Education and Vice President for Programs at the Spencer Foundation.

Bill Ivey is an American folklorist and author. He was the seventh chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, and is a past chairman of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Anne Kraybill is the Director/CEO at The Westmoreland Museum of American Art. Previously, she was Director of Education at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

Malissa Shriver is the executive director of Turnaround Arts California and the strategic philanthropy and arts education advocacy advisor for Frank Gehry. She has served as First Vice President of the board for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) and Chair of the NASAA Arts Learning Advisory Committee.

Lynn Tuttle is Executive Director for the American String Teachers Association and former Director of Public Policy, Research and Professional Development for the National Association for Music Education.

Research-Focused Technical Working Group

Our research-focused technical working group is composed of leading academics and researchers in the field of arts and cultural research, and advises the lab on issues of research design, measurement, and formulating our rigorous policy-focused research agenda.

Erin Baumgartner is the Director of the Kinder Institute's Houston Education Research Consortium, a research-practice partnership between Rice University and Houston area school districts that aims to improve educational equity. Her research interests include sociology of education, sociology of the family, social stratification, research methods, social demography, educational role of the family and quantitative methods.

Kenneth Elpus, Associate Professor & Coordinator of Music Education and Associate Director for Faculty Affairs and Graduate Studies at the University of Maryland School Music. His research analyzes music education and public policy, equity of access to music and arts education in the United States, and music education as a context for adolescent development.

Taylor Gara is a researcher in the Resilient and Healthy Schools and Communities area at WestEd, a national education research and development agency. She is an expert in dance education research and human development.

Sara Konrath is a social psychologist who directs the Interdisciplinary Program on Empathy and Altruism Research at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Her research explores changes over time in social/emotional traits and prosocial behaviors, why these traits and behaviors matter (implications), and how they can be developed (interventions).

Robert Morrison is Founder and CEO of Quadrant Research, the nation’s preeminent arts education data analytics and market research firm, whose efforts have led to significant advancements in access to music and arts education programs across the nation.

Doug Noonan is the Paul H. O’Neill Professor at the O’Neill School at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis where he is the Faculty Director at Indiana University’s Center for Cultural Affairs.His research focuses on policy and economic issues related to cultural affairs, urban environments, neighborhood dynamics, and quality-of-life.

Ruth López Turley, Professor of Sociology, directs the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University. She founded the Houston Education Research Consortium and the National Network of Education Research-Practice Partnerships, which connects and supports over 60 partnerships between research institutions and education agencies throughout the country.

Affiliated Researchers

Lee Ann Garrison is the director of the School of Visual Studies at the University of Missouri. Previously, she was the director of the School of Arts and Communication at Oregon State University and chair of the Department of Art and Design at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she taught for many years. Garrison is a painter and art and design professor with degrees in painting from the Southern Illinois University, California State University-Long Beach, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.