Mary Dell’Erba

As assistant director for the Arts Education Partnership, Mary oversees the development of AEP research, reports and convenings. Prior to joining Education Commission of the States, she worked in state arts education advocacy, leadership development and state government. Mary graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a Master’s in Public Policy and she participated in the 2021-2022 cohort of the D.C. Education Policy Fellowship Program. Her work at the intersection of the arts and education policy is grounded in her lifelong love of dance, music and theatre.​
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The ESSER III Deadline Explained
Mary Dell’Erba
12 February 2024
AEP and ECS Are Bringing the STEAM This Summer!
Mary Dell’Erba
04 July 2023
What’s New to ArtScan in 2023?
Mary Dell’Erba
30 March 2023

Spring has officially sprung, bringing warmer weather, fresh blooms and a new round of updates to the ArtScan database! AEP collaborates with the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education […]

What the NAEP Results Mean for Arts Education
Mary Dell’Erba
23 November 2022

Since the release of the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) results, countless articles and analyses have revealed the same troubling trend: reading and math scores declined at an alarming […]

What do personalized, competency-based learning and arts education have in common?
Mary Dell’Erba
02 March 2022

A powerful arts education, as defined by the Hewlett Foundation, inspires students to bring their full selves and their communities to the learning space and invites students to make choices […]

AEP is Celebrating National STEM/STEAM Day!
Mary Dell’Erba
02 November 2021

Happy National STEM/STEAM Day from your friends at the Arts Education Partnership and Education Commission of the States! For those who may not be familiar, when science, technology, engineering and […]

A Look Behind the Scenes of the 2021 AEP Virtual Gathering
Mary Dell’Erba
26 July 2021

The Arts Education Partnership team is hard at work preparing for the second ever Virtual Gathering on September 14-15, 2021. Our team of 22+ AEP and ECS staff, advisory council […]

Advancing Governors’ 2021 Priorities Through the Arts
Mary Dell’Erba
22 April 2021

Each year, Education Commission of the States tracks and analyzes trends in education priorities from governors’ State of the State addresses. In 2021, the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic were […]

Arts Education Policy Trends to Look for in 2021
Mary Dell’Erba
18 December 2020

The 2020 AEP Virtual Gathering may feel like it happened years ago, but it’s only been three months! At this year’s gathering we reflected on the past 25 years and […]

Dance Counts: How Policymakers Can Support Access to Quality Arts Education
Mary Dell’Erba
04 December 2020

Schools across the country have made great strides to offer opportunities for dance education. Educators have pivoted from prioritizing dance as a purely physical activity to an art form that […]

Engaging the Arts in 2020’s Top Education Policy Priorities
Mary Dell’Erba
19 February 2020

Last month, Education Commission of the States President Jeremy Anderson shared six trending education policy topics we will likely see in 2020. Arts education stakeholders and advocates may not be […]

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