Registration Opens Fall 2023!

SC Arts in Education Forum

The SC Arts in Education Forum is a one-day event that invites leaders who influence and impact arts education in SC PK-12 education to:

  • Explore research connecting arts learning to student development, featuring Susan Magsamen, co-author of “Your Brain on Art.”
  • Discover and learn about innovative initiatives, opportunities, policies, and practices
  • Engage and connect with one another to improve the educational experience for all SC students. 

When: January 19, 2024, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Where: Embassy Suites, 200 Stonebridge Dr., Columbia, SC

To reserve a suite for the evening before:

  • Call 800-EMBASSY or follow this link
  • Request the Winthrop University room block; room rates: $139 plus tax.
  • Registration opens December 1st. Click here or the button below to make a reservation.

Reserve by December 28

For more information on Susan Magsamen, please visit

We look forward to the conversation!

Register Here

Did You Know?

The SC Arts in Education Forum is supported by Arts Grow SC, which is funded by the South Carolina Arts Commission and the South Carolina Department of Education through American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds. 

2024 Session Information

Featuring Susan Magsamen

Founder and Executive Director of International Arts + Mind Lab (IAM Lab)

Susan Magsamen is the founder and executive director of the International Arts + Mind Lab (IAM Lab), Center for Applied Neuroaesthetics, a pioneering neuroaesthetics initiative from the Pedersen Brain Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In addition to her role at IAM Lab, she is the co-director of the NeuroArts Blueprint project in partnership with the Aspen Institute. She is also the author of the Impact Thinking, an interdisciplinary translational research model, and co-author of the New York Times Bestseller, Your Brain on Art: How the Arts Transform Us written for the general public. to enhance human potential through the use of arts and aesthetics.  Susan’s work focuses on how the arts and aesthetic experiences measurably change the brain, body and behavior and how this knowledge can be translated to inform health, wellbeing and learning programs in medicine, public health and education.

For more information on Susan Magsamen, please visit

Additional Breakout Sessions

Harnessing Arts Education to Meet a District’s Vision of a Graduate

Why is arts education an important and necessary component of a district’s success? What distinct goals does its delivery meet, and how can it be capitalized to meet the greater needs of a district? In 2018, Portland Public Schools began the strategic planning process to launch a major academic initiative called the Master Arts Education Plan (MAEP). The central goal of the MAEP is to increase equitable access to high-quality arts education in dance, music, theatre, and visual arts for all students. Across the nation, arts experience may differ greatly for students based on zip code. As an equity initiative, the MAEP lays the groundwork for an early arts education that includes fully-formed K-12 pathways through which students can continue to receive a coherent, thoughtfully planned, and equitable arts education. Participants will learn important steps and strategies that support districts in incorporating the arts to attain comprehensive goals around student engagement and achievement. District leaders and arts organization partners can utilize this approach to ensure alignment and cohesion linked to a district’s vision, mission, values, and resources.

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.

MUSC Arts in Healing’s Clinical Art Therapy Initiative: A Creative Approach to Group Therapy for South Carolina Students

In the fall of 2021, experts in pediatric medicine and psychiatry declared a national emergency in children’s mental health, urging organizations to put in place community-based systems of care, connecting families to school-based care. The US Surgeon General issued a similar statement in December 2021 and gave action points on how corporations, healthcare organizations, and the community can support the school as a critical hub for mental health resiliency through promotion of prevention and treatment interventions. This is where MUSC Arts in Healing stepped in, creating the Clinical Art Therapy Initiative (CATI) alongside district leads, principals, teachers, and MTSS teams to creatively care for the needs of our students in schools across South Carolina. Over the last year, CATI’s team of board-certified art therapists have served more than 680 students across the state, proving that when words are hard to find, artmaking can be a tool for healing a resiliency.


Katie Hinson Sullivan

Art Therapist at Arts in Healing Department at MUSC Health

Katie Hinson Sullivan, MPS, LCAT, ATR-BC is an art therapist and founder of the Arts in Healing Department at the MUSC Health. She holds an undergraduate degree from the College of Charleston and her master’s from the School of Visuals Arts’ MPS Art Therapy Program in New York. Katie has worked with a variety of populations in diverse settings including schools, outpatient clinics, hospitals and various non-profits serving adults and children who have experienced trauma. Before returning to her hometown in Charleston, Katie spent three years working at Rikers Island utilizing art as a healing tool with the incarcerated. She is enlivened by her passion for the field of art therapy and is dedicated to supporting future clinicians and community members through policymaking and education.

Michelle Robinson

Program Coordinator at Arts in Healing Department at MUSC health

Michelle Robinson is a former educator and the current Program Coordinator for the outpatient division of the Arts in Healing Department at MUSC Health. She earned her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from the College of Charleston and has additional experience in business administration, having served as the director of a multidisciplinary psychoeducational evaluation practice. Michelle has a decade of experience as an educator in public schools and another eight years of experience in various areas of the mental health field. She has played an integral role in the growth and development of the MUSC Clinical Art Therapy Initiative, a school-based program that facilitates small-group art therapy in South Carolina’s public schools. Michelle is passionate about finding innovative ways to integrate mental health initiatives into our schools and local communities.

Coming Soon!

We will be adding additional sessions as presenters confirm.