National Art Education Association (NAEA) has selected Mario Rossero as Executive Director, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). He will begin his tenure on January 21, 2020.
Bringing education experience from both the classroom and administrative roles, Mr. Rossero is a visual artist, arts educator, and advocate of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Most recently he served as the Senior Vice President of Education at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In this role, he oversaw the entire Education Division, including 60 team members, an arts education portfolio of more than 26 countries, and a budget of $15 million. He also managed the VSA, Accessibility, & Special Education and Digital Learning teams. Prior to his time at the Kennedy Center, Mr. Rossero held various roles for Chicago Public Schools, including Chief of Core Curriculum; Director, Arts Education; Director of the Office of Academic Enhancement Magnet Schools and Programs; and Interim Director of the Office of Arts Education. During his tenure, he designed and implemented the first-ever arts education program for the school system and raised in more than $13 million to increase access to and quality of arts education. Mr. Rossero’s additional leadership positions include Senior Program Officer for the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
Mr. Rossero’s background in education has spanned a variety of teaching positions, including Adjunct Arts Education Instructor at Columbia College, Visual Art Teacher for Chicago Public Schools, and Artist Educator for The Andy Warhol Museum. His visual art has been displayed in several exhibits across the United States. Mr. Rossero has served on the boards of Arts Education Partnerships, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Arts Education Collaborative, and the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in art/education from Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania and a master of science degree in education from the Bank Street College of Education and Parsons School of Design in New York.
In making the announcement, NAEA President Thomas Knab said, “It can be said that Mr. Rossero is one of us. His foundation is strongly rooted in the classroom, previously serving as an elementary and middle school visual arts educator in Pittsburgh and Chicago. Mr. Rossero has participated in the NAEA community and credits NAEA as playing an important role in his personal growth and development as a leader.”
“Every student, regardless of zip code or certain markers of identity, deserves access to a robust and well-rounded educational experience that is inclusive of the arts, especially visual art and design, during every year of their educational journey, PreK-16,” said Mr. Rossero. “Across the country we see an uneven landscape in arts education with pockets of high arts investments, areas that are struggling to include the arts, as well as everything in between. Equitable access to arts education is necessary for every child to achieve their full potential. An education rich in the visual arts and in design provides a means to understand ourselves and the broader world around us, to unpack history and culture, and to express complex ideas, innovations, and solutions. I will be building from a very strong foundation. [Retiring Executive Director] Deborah Reeve is leaving the organization in very good shape.”
“ACG congratulates National Art Education Association on the appointment of Mario Rossero as Executive Director,” said ACG President Dr. Bruce D. Thibodeau. “Mr. Rossero brings a wealth of arts education and strategic leadership experience to the role. His experience in and dedication to visual art and design education will continue to advance NAEA’s goals in community, advocacy, learning, research & knowledge, and organizational vibrancy.”