Presented by Kristen Brayson
Director of Visual & Performing Arts at Portland Public Schools (Portland, OR)
Kristen Brayson is the Director of Visual & Performing Arts for Portland Public Schools (PPS) in Portland, Oregon. She has held numerous roles in arts education including a certified dance educator, guest artist and choreographer, lead teacher on special assignments, and arts education leader. Most recently, Kristen led the effort to build a vision for arts education in PPS to promote access to an equitable, comprehensive, high-quality arts education for every student. The Master Arts Education Plan was launched in the spring of 2023 and has yielded a nearly 80% increase in K-5 student access to pathways in visual and performing arts. As a fervent equity-focused educator, Kristen believes that arts education provides unique tools to unlock a student’s personal voice, physical expressions, and abstract, critical and creative thinking — all crucial cornerstones to healthy human development. She is a spirited advocate for arts education as a vehicle that supports and drives student purpose and fosters deep learning around concepts of culture, identity, and place.