Founder, Laurie Schell Associates
Laurie Schell is founding principal of Laurie Schell Associates | ElevateArtsEd, providing consulting services and issue expertise in coalition building, public policy and advocacy, planning, and program development with a focus on arts education.
With more than 40 years as a leader in the nonprofit and education sectors, Laurie Schell has worked to foster arts and music education through strategic alliances and partnerships, policy and advocacy campaigns, innovative programs, directed research, and mobilizing constituencies for action.
Ms. Schell served as the inaugural director of Music Makes Us (2012-2017), the public/private music education initiative in Metro Nashville Public Schools, jointly supported by the mayor’s office, music industry, and the school district. During her tenure, participation in music increased to over 60% of the K-12 student population. Forty-five classes were added in 18 schools, with over $5 million raised in private and government funds to augment district funding.
Previously, Ms. Schell was the executive director of the California Alliance for Arts Education (2001 – 2011), where she led a successful campaign to secure a historic $605 million investment in K-12 arts education, co-edited numerous policy papers, and co-created the Insider’s Guide to Arts Education Planning, now in its 3rd edition.
Her work has been recognized by the NAMM Foundation, California State PTA, Durfee Foundation, James Irvine Foundation, Tennessee Arts Academy, National Music Council, and Music for All. Ms. Schell holds a B.A. from Stanford University, an M.A. in Liberal Studies/Dance from Wesleyan University in Connecticut and pursued further studies at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She currently serves on the board of Save the Music Foundation and Nashville Youth Jazz Ensemble. She is a founding member and advisor to ArtsEd Tennessee, a statewide advocacy coalition.