Cassandra Quillen

As a project manager, Cassandra contributes to reports and publications for the Arts Education Partnership and provides support for AEP convenings. Prior to this position, she worked as a communications specialist at Education Commission of the States and AEP. With an educational background in art history and a strong belief in the transformational qualities of learning, Cassandra is passionate about her work and dedicated to sharing research and resources on the arts in education with stakeholders across the country.
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All blog posts

Connecting, Decoding and Experiencing Arts Education and Literacies
Cassandra Quillen
09 December 2021

Background In late 2020, the Arts Education Partnership began exploring intersections of arts education and literacy. While connections between the two topics have been researched and discussed, they often focus narrowly on the impacts of arts learning on reading and writing. From the beginning of our work, we wanted this project to expand the narrative […]

A By-The-Numbers Approach to Exploring the Arts in Charters
Cassandra Quillen
04 May 2021

In the 2018-19 school year, nearly 175,000 pre-K-12 students attended a charter school with a curricular focus in the arts. These charter schools offer a variety of course tracks across arts disciplines (dance, media arts, music, theatre and visual arts), as well as integrated approaches, including STEAM education. Of the more than 7,500 charter schools […]

ArtsEdSearch: 300 Studies and Counting
Cassandra Quillen
09 December 2020

In 2012, the Arts Education Partnership curated an extensive collection of research on arts education in one place: ArtsEdSearch. Eight years later, this online clearinghouse of research continues to support practitioners, researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders in their work through topical and trusted research. In 2020, AEP added even more research to ArtsEdSearch — exceeding […]

A Look at the Role of the Arts in Juvenile Justice
Cassandra Quillen
18 December 2019

On a given day 43,580 youths are held in residential placement facilities ― including any public or private out-of-home youth placement facility. Of the youths in residential placement, 1 in 3 do not attend school, and 1 in 2 participate in less than six hours of educational instruction a day. In addition, studies show that […]

Partnering to Bring the Arts to Students in Rural Communities
Cassandra Quillen
06 November 2019

A trip to a museum provides opportunities to experience the world at different points in time — to look back at the past to see a world that may seem unimaginable now, to engage with current events and culture, and to think far into the future and about things that remain unexplored. Participation in the […]

Title: 2280 Pasos Bajo un Cielo Nublado | Artist: Hernán Jourdan | Medium: Film

When I was asked to create a work of art exploring literacy, I wanted to create a dance but I had no dancers or a studio, so I chose to use my own body in the space I had, my yard. Fluent Nature is video of micro-choreography that explores what cannot be expressed with words, how nature has its own language, and how placing the human body in nature changes the story.

Title: What Is Me and What Is Not Me | Artist: Alex Chadwell | Medium: Music

My thinking on arts and literacy centers around the concept of literacies and artmaking as both sense-making and meaning-making processes that organically and inevitably overlap, intersect, and reciprocate. Compositionally, What is me and what is not me is a sound collage of sorts (there is no notation for the piece, and I'd be hard pressed to recreate it accurately) that abstractly and aurally represents the relationships between literacies and artmaking.

Title: A Curious Honeybee | Artist: Gideon Young | Medium: Film

Offering welcome through traditional and digital elements of literacy, A Curious Honeybee provides an experiential learning environment by activating visual, musical, natural, and emotional literacies.

Title: Tercera Llamada | Artist: Karilú Forshee | Medium: Audio

La Carpa Theatre is a project that I am currently directing in the Detroit Latinx community. The project aims to strengthen and uplift youth voices through devised theatre, in the style of the Mexican Carpas. This audio was created in the theatrical environment envisioned for our project. The ways in which literacies are re-defined are at the heart of La Carpa Theatre's mission.

Title: Literaseas | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite and ink on paper with digital edits

Title: A Riddle | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite on paper with digital edits

Title: False Binaries | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite on paper with digital edits