The statewide voice for arts education, Arts Ed NJ, announced that its co-founder, former board chair and current executive director, Robert Morrison, will be stepping down effective June 30, following nearly two decades at the helm.
Morrison, an acclaimed music and arts education advocate, social entrepreneur and businessman, participated in the launch of Arts Ed NJ as the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership in 2006 following years of planning and input by arts and education leaders statewide to create the proper conditions for arts learning to take place for the 1.4 million students attending more than 2,400 schools in the state.
Through his leadership, and with the help of strategic partnerships throughout the arts community, New Jersey has emerged as a leading state for arts education in the country. In 2019, Gov. Phil Murphy announced that New Jersey became the first state to provide universal access to arts education for all public-school students.
Morrison previously served as managing partner for the groundbreaking 2006 NJ Arts Education Census Project, completing the first statewide census for arts education in every school building in the nation. As a leader of Arts Ed NJ, Morrison implemented the report’s recommendations to improve the status of arts education in New Jersey, now hailed as a model for statewide arts education research.
“Bob is a visionary leader in arts education in our state and throughout the nation,” said Mary Reece, Arts Ed NJ board chair. “Together with key stakeholders, Bob initiated the design and implementation of the NJ Arts Education Partnership — now Arts Ed NJ. Our field is much stronger as a result of Bob’s stewardship of important initiatives in arts education over the past two decades. On behalf of the members of the Arts Ed NJ Board, I express our gratitude and appreciation for Bob’s many years of service and dedication on behalf of arts educators and education.”