An outdoor portrait of Yael Silk wearing a striped shirt and necklaceAEC Announces New Executive Director

Arts Education Collaborative is thrilled to announce the appointment of Yael Silk as Executive Director. She succeeds Dr. Sarah Tambucci, who retired in February after leading AEC for 17 years.

Yael brings over 15 years’ experience as a researcher and evaluator working with schools, nonprofits, and foundations to improve arts education and inspire lifelong learning. “It is my deeply held belief that making meaning by engaging in the arts is a basic human right,” she says. “It is an honor to accept this leadership role for an organization committed to making the arts central to teaching and learning.”

For nearly 20 years, AEC has operated under the auspices of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh (CMP) to strengthen arts education in Southwestern Pennsylvania. AEC engages with educators to assess arts programs, develop standards-based curriculum, lead professional learning for teachers and administrators, and foster connections between schools, cultural organizations, and community leaders. In 2017, AEC worked with educators from 38 school districts, awarded nearly 6,000 continuing education hours, and assisted with curricula impacting over 43,000 students.

Dr. Bille Rondinelli, chair of AEC’s Steering Committee, comments that Yael’s “prestigious academic credentials, research experience, and work with schools, foundations, artists, and cultural organizations will enable the AEC to build on the strong foundation established by her predecessor, Sarah Tambucci.” Yael holds an Ed.M. from Harvard University and a B.A. from Barnard College. She previously lived in Los Angeles, where she worked as a Research Associate at UCLA’s Center for Research on Evaluation Standards and Student Testing (CRESST) and an Education Program Manager at the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Yael moved to Pittsburgh in 2011. As founder of Silk Strategic Arts, she has consulted for regional clients such as the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, The Heinz Endowments, the RAND Corporation, as well as working with national organizations such as Americans for the Arts and the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. Yael is also a member of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council’s Pittsburgh Arts Research Committee and served on the Research and Evaluation Task Force for the Allegheny County My Brother’s Keeper initiative.

AEC looks forward to further strengthening education through collaboration, research, and advocacy for the arts under Yael’s leadership. She begins her new role in April 2018. You can learn more about Yael on our About page or read CMP’s press release for more information. Please join us in welcoming Yael Silk to AEC.