Sandra Bowie New Executive Director of Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy

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The renowned Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy has a new executive director, Sandra Bowie. In this file photo, First Lady Michelle Obama is shown with Ifetayo student Isoke Senghor, and founder Kwayera Archer-Cunningham accepting the 2013 National Arts and Humanities Award. Photo: Ralph Alswang


Ifetayo (ee-fay-tie-yo) Cultural Arts Academy's Board of Directors has named Sandra Bowie as its Executive Director, the second Executive Director in the history of the organization. Ms. Bowie comes to Ifetayo ready to inspire educational and artistic excellence, youth and community development as a visionary committed to closing gaps in access, opportunity, and achievement for under-resourced students and ensuring well-designed arts education for all.

Ms. Bowie comes to Ifetayo from The National Urban Alliance for Effective Education (NUA) where she served as Executive Director for Arts Education. She was a key contributor in the creation of arts education programming that combined arts learning designs from her Arts for Impact Strategy with principles of The Pedagogy of Confidence, NUA's innovative teaching and learning model. NUA's teaching models provide gifted and talented educational structures for students traditionally under-served in educational systems and for all children. Ms. Bowie also co-founded the National Urban Arts for Impact Network, a clearinghouse to create opportunities for sharing effective arts education strategies to close gaps in access to arts education and the achievement that it fosters.

Prior to NUA, Ms. Bowie served as Vice President for Arts Education at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) from 2008-2012. NJPAC is New Jersey's largest provider of Arts Education, a leader among Performing Arts Centers and Arts Education programs. In her leadership role, the Arts for Impact strategy was created with the vision to engage the artist in every child, a means to realize artistic excellence and equity in the provision of arts education.

In addition to her non-profit experience, Ms. Bowie has worked in administration and as a professor in higher education institutions including New York University (1996 to 2008), where she served as Managing and Administrative Director for the undergraduate Drama Program at Tisch School of the Arts. Sandra Bowie was an instructor of acting at Yale University for four years; she served as Director of the Acting Program and as a tenured Associate Professor of Theatre at Howard University for twelve years.

"As we celebrate this milestone of 25 years as an arts and cultural organization in Brooklyn, we understand the importance of a person with Sandra's expertise joining our team," said Naima Oyo, Board Chair. "We, the board fully support this appointment, and we look forward to sharing Sandra's vision for Ifetayo's next 25 years in the community."

Ms. Bowie is a member of the Black Theatre Network, where she serves on the Advisory Board, is a member of the Advisory Board for Newark Arts High School, and was a founding member of the Newark Arts Education Roundtable. Ms. Bowie is a member of The National Guild for Community Arts Education and has worked in association with Americans for the Arts and The Arts Education Partnership Forum, contributing to these organizations as a presenter and advocate.

"I am delighted to have the opportunity to serve as the Executive Director of Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy and to contribute to the continuation and expansion of the rich and vital work of this organization. Ifetayo serves students and their families and communities in ways that educate, empower, inspire,and promote artistic excellence and cultural understanding in a context that advances social justice and social change. I look forward to participating in this creative movement for youth development and artistic, educational and community enhancement," said Bowie.

Ms. Bowie was a professional actress for twenty years and has received the Helen Hayes Award for her Outstanding Performance in a musical. Sandra Bowie has also received the New Jersey Governor's Award for Arts Education and The Art Educators of New Jersey's John J. Pappas Recognition Award.

Ms. Bowie received her Bachelor of Arts degree from South Carolina State University and a Master of Arts degree from Illinois State University. She succeeds the Founder of Ifetayo, Kwayera Archer-Cunningham who served as Executive Director since its founding in 1989.

Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy welcomes Sandra Bowie as it celebrates its founder, Kwayera Archer-Cunningham at Ifetayo's 25th Anniversary Gala on Thursday, October 2, 2014.

The Gala will be held at its new home base located at the "Gateway to Flatbush" 507 Flatbush Ave, 3rd floor, Brooklyn, New York. Additional information about the gala can be found at

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