Ken Skrzesz has served as the Executive Director of the Maryland State Arts Council since 2017, emphasizing procedural equity as the path toward quality arts experiences for all Maryland residents. From 2014-2017, Ken was the Coordinator of Fine Arts for the Maryland State Department of Education, where he shared his vision of creativity and collaboration as the driving forces of success for all students. Ken has designed and implemented arts education and professional development programs in numerous locations through standards development, curriculum writing, and assessment. His knowledge of all art forms, with a special emphasis of developing the creative and collaborative processes, has allowed him to build successful community partnerships, donor development campaigns, and student recruitment programs with a special emphasis on serving economically challenged and culturally underserved populations. Ken is an active master teacher of acting and dance throughout the United States. He has served as the Performing and Visual Arts Magnet Teacher Specialist for Anne Arundel County Public Schools, the Executive Director of the Clear Space Theatre Company and Kinetics Dance Theatre, and the Director of Student Life for the School of American Ballet. Long-term teaching posts include the Carver Center for Arts and Technology, Goucher College, Southwest Missouri State University, and the University of North Carolina. Ken’s former students have appeared on television (MAD MEN, SCANDAL, WILL AND GRACE), Broadway (MAMMA, MIA!, CHICAGO, THE WILD PARTY, SOUTH PACIFIC, THE LION KING, HAIRSPRAY, THE BOOK OF MORMON), and appear in numerous professional regional theatre and dance companies, movies, and national tours. Ken has danced, sung, acted, choreographed and directed both nationally and internationally. He earned his Master of Fine Arts in dance from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro where he performed with the dance, opera, and theatre departments. He is a native Baltimorean where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Towson State University. Ken’s recognitions include the Baltimore Mayor’s Award for Distinguished Service in the Arts, distinguished alumni awards from Towson State University and from the University of North Carolina, a choreography commission from the National Endowment of the Arts, and multiple choreography awards from the Maryland State Arts Council. Ken is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. In 2016, Ken received the National Dance Education Association’s Outstanding Advocate and Champion of Dance Education award and in 2017 Ken received the Performing Arts Advocate of the Year award from the Scarborough Foundation.