Welcoming New Executive Leadership Across the National Young Audiences Arts for Learning Network

May 20, 2024 | lauren@ya.org

Young Audiences Arts for Learning, the nation’s largest arts in education network, is proud to introduce three new executive leaders who have recently been appointed to head YA affiliates across the country: Emma Parker (Center for Arts-Inspired Learning), Jennifer Montgomery (Kansas City Young Audiences), and Karen Bryan (Arkansas Learning Through The Arts).


Emma Parker, Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (Cleveland, OH)

The Cleveland affiliate of Young Audiences, Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (CAL), is pleased to announce the appointment of Emma Parker as its new Chief Executive Officer. Parker joined CAL back in 2012 as a teaching artist and later led the organization's first full-time staff of artists in her role as Resident Teaching Artist. In 2021, she became CAL's Senior Director of Arts Education. During her tenure, Parker spearheaded the creation of CAL's multi-artistic kindergarten-readiness program, CAL Sprouts, which enriches the cognitive, physical, and social-emotional development of pre-school and kindergarten students. She has also worked to cultivate relationships with artists and educators across Northeast Ohio through training in arts integration, curriculum development, inclusive programming, and behavior/classroom management. Parker, who has also worked as a professional dancer, holds an M.A. in special education and a B.A. in dance and psychology from Ball State University. Additionally, she is one of Young Audiences Arts for Learning's Nationally Credentialed Teaching Artists!


Jennifer Montgomery, Kansas City Young Audiences (Kansas City, MO)

Jennifer Montgomery joined Kansas City Young Audiences (KCYA) as Executive Director on May 1. Montgomery, a Kansas City native, most recently served as Administrative Director of the Kansas Children’s Service League Foundation. Prior to that, she served for nearly 10 years as Director of Human Trafficking Outreach and Education and as Public Affairs Director for the Kansas Attorney General’s Office. In 2021, she was selected for a Rotary Peace Fellowship at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Montgomery earned her B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Kansas, an M.A. in Arts Education from the University of Florida, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation from Makerere University in Uganda. As KCYA's Executive Director, Montgomery will be responsible for creating partnerships and relationships with the community. Her duties include staff and operational management, strategic planning, and development, in addition to executing the overall mission and vision of the organization.


Karen Bryan, Arkansas Learning Through The Arts (Hot Springs Village, AR)

Arkansas Learning Through The Arts (ALTTA), Young Audiences' Hot Springs Village-based affiliate, has welcomed Karen Bryan as its new Executive Director. Bryan, who holds a Ph.D. In Musicology from Indiana University, has extensive experience in inclusive arts programming and academic administration. Prior to joining ALTTA, she coordinated the Denyce Graves Foundation's Hidden Voices Program, which focuses on spotlighting the profiles and stories of underrepresented performers from pre-1960s classical vocal arts. In her role as ALTTA's Executive Director, Bryan's leadership responsibilities include teaching artists, curriculum development and writing, fundraising, partnerships, and budget.