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Center for Arts-Inspired Learning & Marsha Dobrzynski

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Organization Bio

The Center for Arts-Inspired Learning ignites student learning, creativity, and success through the arts.

We effectively create innovative learning experiences–closing learning gaps, teaching creative thinking and problem solving, and helping students succeed in school, in their first jobs, and beyond. We work with more than 100 professional teaching artists, experts in their fields, to tie to curricular connections and socio-emotional themes, helping children in Grades PreK-12 learn through and with the arts.

Arts education is what we do, and it’s the one place where you can do it all—dance, theater, music, digital arts, visual arts, on-location performances, workshops, residencies, and professional development. Plus, our experienced Education Staff can help customize all of our arts-programming.

In more than 60 years, the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (formerly Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio) has served nearly 7 million students in 18 counties through arts education, and has reached even more through our advocacy efforts, professional development, and community programs.

Presenter Bio

Marsha Dobrzynski has spent the past 23 years making sure that as many children as possible throughout Northeast Ohio have equal access to a well-rounded education that includes the arts.

Fittingly, Dobrzynski has her own children to thank for connecting her to Center for Arts-Inspired Learning. The Rochester, New York, native had only recently moved to Cleveland with her husband and two daughters from Montreal, Canada. One Sunday afternoon for Valentine’s Day, her husband, whose management consulting business kept him busy during the week, took the two little girls to a Center for Arts-Inspired Learning program at the Natural History Museum, so she could enjoy some quiet time at home.

Several days later, recalling the sheer delight in her daughters’ faces as they excitedly recounted all of the dancing and drumming they had done during the program, she contacted Center for Arts-Inspired Learning to volunteer.

A few years later, inspired by her experience with the organization, Marsha decided to make a major career change to nonprofit management. (She had earned her bachelor’s and graduate degrees in nursing and worked as a nurse, prior to moving to Cleveland.) Then, while she was completing the certificate program at the Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organi­zations at Case Western Reserve University, Center for Arts-Inspired Learning asked her to serve as its interim executive director. Four months later, they made the appointment permanent.

She is the recipient of many awards: the 2004 Ohio Alliance for Arts Education Arts Education Administration Award; the 2007 Governor’s Award for the Arts in Arts Administration; the 2008 University Circle Inc.’s Joseph D. Piggott Leadership Award and the 2011 Cleveland Arts Prize Martha Joseph Prize for Distinguished Service to the Arts. She is a member of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2007.


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