Champions of Change
Scott Dawson, the Community Outreach and Education Director for the Clark State Community College Performing Arts Center in Springfield, OH, manages five Arts Outreach and Education programs that include a performance series for students called the Exploration Series; an organization of 43 cultural and arts providers called the Clark Community Cultural Consortium; a Kennedy Center Partners in Education Team with Wittenberg University, the Clark County Educational Service Center, and Springfield City School District called Arts ALIVE; a free series on Wednesdays in June called Children’s Hour; and a national award-winning program called Project Jericho. His leadership of Project Jericho, an innovative partnership between Clark State Community College and Job and Family Services of Clark County, has stimulated greater investment from the community in the arts as a catalyst of change and a source of pride. Project Jericho thrives on collaboration and maximizes community impact through positive, in-depth arts experiences that give at-risk youth and families opportunity. The program breaks the status quo by facilitating arts programming across the Clark County community and in the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center, reducing recidivism and saving the state millions of dollars. In 2008, Project Jericho was honored at the White House with one of just 15 national Coming Up Taller Awards from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Over 350 youth organizations from 47 states were nominated for Coming Up Taller Awards. The award recognizes Project Jericho as one of the best after-school/out-of-school arts programs in the United States. Project Jericho is not the only program that has made an impact under Scott’s leadership. Arts Alive has annually given hundreds of teachers’ professional development from Kennedy Center Artists on integrating the arts in the classroom, and is one of the few Kennedy Center Partners in Education Teams in the nation that offers arts integration training to pre-service teachers. Each year, The Exploration Series four-show season serves over 6000 students and over 500 teachers through performances that address Ohio Academic Content Standards, and the youth providers of the Clark Community Cultural Consortium serve over 20,000 students.