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Alysia Lee

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Alysia Lee
Class of 2021 BEQ Pride LGBTQ Leader Under 40
(She, Her) is 39

The year 2020 feels like a worldwide wake-up call in so many ways. As a leader, I realize the most important thing I have learned and will take forward is…

The power of collaboration. Every accomplishment this year — 250+ hours of professional development, new state education resources, virtual student exhibitions -— has all been the result of teamwork and generous collegiality.

Alysia Lee is the Fine Arts coordinator with the Maryland State Department of Education. Her comprehensive music leadership experience — as an artist, arts educator, teaching artist and arts advocate — gives her a broad, highly informed perspective of the arts ecosystem. A Baltimore native, Lee is an alumna of Maryland public schools. She earned her graduate degree from Peabody Conservatory where she is now a faculty member. Lee was selected from an international applicant pool to the Sistema Fellowship at New England Conservatory in partnership with TED and named a Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow. 

As the education program supervisor, Alysia Lee shares her vision of statewide equity and excellence across five arts disciplines: music, dance, visual arts, theatre and media arts. She is a proud member of the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE). Under her leadership, professional learning programs have expanded to cover supporting LGBTQ+ students and families, anti-racism, lifelong learning in the arts and connecting school and community through the arts. 

Lee has helped to create not only a safe space for people that identify within the LGBTQ+/SGL community but she has created avenues and developed learning structures for empowering voices that are welcomed, encouraged and highly respected.

Lee’s methods are empowerment, partnership construction and intersectional approaches to community exchange while centering social justice, anti-racism and creativity. Lee is also an incredible and tireless advocate for the LGBTQ+/SGL community. Her vision for the LGBTQ+ community is focused on making schools and classrooms safe and inclusive spaces for youth now.  

Lee is a 2019-2020 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow, a highly-selective national award for artists leading social change movements. She is a faculty member of the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. Additionally, she is a Board member of Chorus America. 

Lee is also the Founder and Artistic Director of Sister Cities Girlchoir (SCG), the El Sistema-inspired choral academy in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey. SCG has performed for audiences at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The Smithsonian Institute, The Kimmel Center and throughout their local communities. The girls cherish their recent performances with Sweet Honey in the Rock, The Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Vijay Gupta, Opera Philadelphia and a host of community artists. 

Her recent recognition includes awards from The Kennedy Center, The Knight Foundation, National Association of University Women, Stockton Bartol Foundation and Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Recent speaking/facilitation engagements include the U.S. Department of Education, The Kennedy Center, Americans for the Arts, Arts Education Partnership, Chorus America, Maryland Citizens for the Arts, Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, TEDX, Temple University, Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia and Baltimore Choral Arts.

Leader Interview with Alysia Lee

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