Category: Awards

2019 Art Educators of the Year

Join the Awards Committee!

Our interim Awards Committee Chair, Melissa Mastrolia is looking to meet later this month and in November to discuss plans for the 2024 MAEA awards ceremony.

If you are interested in joining this committee, please complete this Doodle Poll to note your availability by October 12, 2023.  You an also email her directly at with any questions or comments.

Details about the 2024 award winners will be shared out very soon! Our apologies for the delay.

Looking for other ways to support the work of MAEA. Learn more here.

Call for Art – 2022 MAEA Awards

The MAEA Awards Committee is currently accepting art submissions from artists for the 2023 MAEA awards. These will be awarded to our 2023 MAEA award winners this fall. The selected image will be printed on glass via Fracture for the awards ceremony. The deadline for submission has been extended through October 1, 2022. Learn more here.

Arts Learning 34th Annual Champions of Arts Education Advocacy Awards

The 34th Annual Arts Learning Champions of Arts Education Advocacy Awards are a little more than 3 weeks away. This year’s event will be live AND Live-streamed!

Arts educators and advocates being celebrated are Diana Adams Woodruff, Senator Harriette L. Chandler, Lisa Donovan, Representative Carole Fiola, Alexandra Gelles Etscovitz, Julie Jaron, and Emily Ruddock.

Champions of Arts Education Advocacy Awards Ceremony will take place November 17 at Old Sturbridge Village Visitors Center Theatre.


Proof of vaccinations required.
Masks must be worn indoors.

6:30 p.m. – Reception for guests and honorees
7:30 p.m. – Ceremony

For 34 years we have recognized arts educators, administrators and policy makers who advocate for and support arts education in our Commonwealth.

Congratulations Emily Ruddock

The Arts|Learning Good Neighbor Award is awarded to organizations or individuals who have gone out of their way to offer logistical, technical, moral, or financial support for arts education to thrive in their community.

As Executive director of MASSCreative, Emily Ruddock brings 15 years of experience in strategic and management positions for non-profit arts organizations. Before joining MASSCreative in 2017, Ms. Ruddock was the first director of the City of Lynn’s Downtown Cultural District, and the artistic producer at Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT)
As director of Lynn’s Downtown Cultural District, Ms. Ruddock was highly regarded by city officials and local arts leaders for her leadership in coordinating arts and cultural organizations for neighborhood revitalization and economic development. Ms.Ruddock worked with elected city and state officials on a range of projects to promote downtown Lynn and the arts community, including drafting legislation establishing the city’s first Public Art Commission. She also organized and executed free public events featuring local arts and community groups.
Ms. Ruddock is a proud member of the Mass Nonprofit Network’s Board of Directors. She is a potter who loves making original ceramic art and functional ware for her home, her family and her friends. She holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Critical Social Thought from Mount Holyoke College.
We honor Emily Ruddock for her work advocating for a “Commonwealth of Massachusetts where arts, culture, and creativity are an expected, well-funded and valued part of everyday life, recognized for their significant impact on building civic engagement and economically vibrant, equitable communities.”

The 34th Annual Champions of Arts Education Advocacy Awards Celebration will be held on November 17th at Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA 01566

This year’s event will be live AND livestreamed! Stay tuned for more information about this event.

Congratulations Julie Jaron

The Arts|Learning  Excellence in School Administration award honors a school administrator for exemplary support for, and commitment to high-quality arts education programs, leadership in promoting arts education and building community support. The recipient is an active advocate for the arts and shows outstanding leadership and rapport with students, teachers, parents, and the community.

Julie Jaron is the Director of Visual and Performing Arts for the Springfield Public Schools. For over thirty-five years Ms. Jaron has dedicated herself to a full spectrum of music and arts programming that supports and promotes the academic achievements of students Pre-K – 12.
Ms. Jaron provides professional support to arts teachers, advocates for and manages budgets and resources for arts programming, serves as an arts-focused liaison between the school district, the Springfield community and beyond, fosters the design and implementation of high-quality curricula benefiting students’ arts education, and facilitates professional development that enhances or develops arts instruction, curricula and assessment.
One of the greatest successes during Ms. Jaron’s tenure as Director of Visual & Performing Arts has been the institution of visual art and music programs at all Springfield Public Schools, K-12. With this resounding achievement, SPS arts curricula continues to evolve so that all students can artistically express who they are, where they come from, and what’s important to them in a supportive academic environment.
At the core of all Julie Jaron’s work is the desire to inspire and create equitable arts education opportunities, provide culturally responsive, relevant, and meaningful arts experiences, and to empower all educators to instill in children the love of learning both in and through the arts.

The 34th Annual Champions of Arts Education Advocacy Awards Celebration will be held on November 17th at Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA 01566

This year’s event will be live AND livestreamed! Stay tuned for more information about this event.

Congratulations to Diana Adams Woodruff

The Arts|Learning Distinguished Arts Educator Advocate Award recognizes arts educators in music, dance, theater, and the visual arts who demonstrate leadership and excellence in teaching and the development of model arts programs and partnerships. These outstanding educators use the arts and cultural resources to support opportunities for multicultural learning and interdisciplinary planning, and to further the role of the arts in education.


The Feldman Award is being given to two educators this year. The first we are celebrating is Diana Adams Woodruff.

Diana was the K-12 Visual Arts Director for the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District for 22 years. She is presently a Program Supervisor for Teacher Candidates at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Diana was a member of the NAEA Visual Arts Standards Committee that developed the Model Cornerstone Assessments and was a reviewer for the recently revised Massachusetts Visual Arts Standards. She serves on the board of the Massachusetts Art Education Association, presently as Chair of the Recognitions Committee, developing and piloting that juried exhibit for high school students. Diana also serves on the Art All-State Steering Committee and served on the Massachusetts Scholastics Advisory Board.

Diana was a member of the NAEA Research Delegations to India, Myanmar, Finland, Cuba, and Poland. Her artwork has been included in faculty shows at the Worcester Art Museum, exhibits of work by Massachusetts Art Educators at the State Transportation Building in Boston, as well as the Davis Gallery in Worcester, the NAEA Members’ Annual Exhibit in Virginia, the Greek Institute, Cambridge, and Island Center for the Arts, Skopelos, Greece.

Diana won several NASA Teacher Grants to work with other educators to make connections among science and math as well as the arts. A painting with a space fight theme, gifted to Diana by a student in Moscow, was included in the artifacts flown on Atlantis STS-71, the first docking mission with the Russian space station Mir.


The 34th Annual Champions of Arts Education Advocacy Awards Celebration will be held on November 17th at Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA 01566

This year’s event will be live AND livestreamed! Stay tuned for more information about this event.

Congratulations to Laura Marotta

“For the last 27 years, recipients of the Erskine award have proven, time and time again, just what women leaders are capable of,” stated Executive Director, Deborah Hall. “They’ve blazed trails, shattered glass ceilings, and laid the foundation for future generations of women and people of color to succeed.”

Laura is currently Executive Director and oversees all programming for Creative Hub Worcester, a non-profit focused on using art as a vehicle for healing and social change. Ms. Marotta was an art educator in several different school systems for over seven years. She previously worked at both Diamond Newman Fine Arts as well as Newbury Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts as a fine arts sales consultant. She is currently the Past-President of the Massachusetts Art Education Association, and is a practicing artist working mainly in watercolor and pen and ink. Currently Ms. Marotta oversees all programming for Creative Hub, including childcare, youth arts classes, adult workshops, gallery exhibitions, events, and more. She currently serves on the board for Love Your Labels, an LGBTQ+ youth focused advocacy organization.

Image credits: YWCA Central Massachusetts and Laura Marotta.

Congratulations to Lisa Donovan

The Arts Learning Irene Buck Service to Arts Education award honors an individual for distinguished and prolonged service as an advocate for arts education. The recipient exemplifies commitment and service to, and support of the arts, and arts-education communities. It was named to honor Irene Buck, President of the Massachusetts Alliance for Arts Education for many years, who was the first recipient in 1998.

This year’s recipient is Lisa Donovan. Lisa is a professor in the Fine and Performing Arts Department at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) in North Adams, Massachusetts. Previously she was an associate professor of Education and the director of the Creative Arts in Learning Division at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Lisa has been a passionate advocate for arts education her entire career. As Director of the Creative Compact for Collective Impact (C4) project to create a blueprint for arts education for Berkshire County, and co-director of the Berkshire Regional Arts Integration Network (BRAINworks), funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement, she has worked to increase access to the arts for Berkshire students making a positive impact across the County.

Lisa has broad experience working as an arts educator and administrator in a variety of organizations including Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Berkshire Opera Company, Barrington Stage Company, University of Massachusetts’ Department of Theater, Boston University’s Theater, Visual Arts and Tanglewood Institutes.

In addition, Lisa served as executive director of the Massachusetts Alliance for Arts Education and is the coeditor and author of a five-book series on arts integration published by Shell Education, Strategies to Integrate the Arts Series, and has published widely on arts integration and rural arts education.

Her research Leveraging Change: Increasing Access to Arts Education in Rural Areas (Donovan & Brown, 2017) was featured by the National Endowment for the Arts. Lisa was voted Best Professor in 2017 as part of the Berkshire Eagle’s Best of the Berkshires competition and was a finalist in the 2018 Berkshire Trendsetters Award for Creative Economy Standout.


The 34th Annual Champions of Arts Education Advocacy Awards Celebration will be held on November 17th at Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA 01566

This year’s event will be live AND livestreamed! Stay tuned for more information about this event.

Call for Award Nominations – Deadline Extended to June 6

Here is your chance to celebrate your outstanding colleagues and nominate them for the 2022 MAEA Art Educator Awards. MAEA will honor the award recipients in conjunction with the 2021 MAEA Conference – exact event details to be determined. The submission deadline has been extended to June 6, 2021.

Don’t forget you can also toot your own horn and ask your administration to nominate you for an award or self nominate!

There are over 15 different MAEA Awards – Click here for more information and to submit a nomination.