The “Sue Hess Maryland Arts Advocate of the Year Award,” is named in honor of Maryland Citizens For the Arts’ first Chair of the Board of Trustees and the longest serving member of the organization. The award recognizes an individual whose advocacy efforts have significantly increased support for and public recognition of the Arts in Maryland.
Beginning in 2009, the Sue Hess Award has been presented during Maryland Arts Day to individuals whose advocacy efforts have significantly benefited the entire Maryland arts community.
As executive director of Arts Every Day and as a Baltimore City parent, Julia serves as a leading voice of arts education advocacy. Arts Every Day strengthens learning by making the arts an integral part of classroom instruction for all students in Baltimore City Public Schools. The organization provides over $300,000 in support and annual funding for student art experiences, staff development, and program support. As a leader, she seeks out strategic partnerships and organizes several annual events to celebrate and elevate Baltimore City students as artists, musicians and performers.
Working in conjunction with the city school district, Julia successfully secured a $50,000 Collective Impact grant from the National Endowment of the Arts in 2017. Under her leadership, inspiration, and direction, the grant funded the launch of the Baltimore Education Arts Initiative; a community/district partnership to develop and implement a strategic plan to ensure every student in Baltimore City receives arts education. With Julia’s leadership and guidance, over 100 educators, advocates, arts partners, parents, students, district, and city leaders, helped to create a comprehensive Arts Education Strategic Plan and measurable implementation goals. The plan has been incorporated into the district’s Blueprint for Success and a five-year implementation plan is underway. Powered by the efforts of district partners, educators, community members, artists, and organizations, the initiative seeks to shift budget and operating policy to ensure all Baltimore City students have access to art, music, dance, theatre, and media arts education every year.
Julia will be honored at Maryland Arts Day held on February 14th in Annapolis, MD.