JoEllen Florio Rossebo Announces Her Retirement from Arts for Learning Indiana

Contact: Jessica Dunson
Marketing & Communications Specialist
Arts for Learning Indiana
[email protected]
(317) 925-4043 ext. 120

January 27, 2021

President and Chief Executive Officer, JoEllen Florio Rossebo announced her intention to retire as of June 30, 2021. The board of directors accepts this news with regret and gratitude for JoEllen’s 25 years of remarkable service to Arts for Learning. In 1995, Rossebo began her journey with Arts for Learning, formerly Young Audiences of Indiana, as a Program Director. She took on the role of President & CEO in 2004.

“During my tenure as President & CEO for Arts for Learning, I’ve been both proud and honored to serve for an organization that is steadfast in supporting its mission to empower youth through the arts and always placing the needs of youth at the center of its work”, said Rossebo. “Arts for Learning has weathered an ever-changing educational landscape, and the scars of long-term inequity but always rose to the occasion and persevered through these challenges. The foundation of our success is and always has been the strength and passion of our Board Members, Staff, and Teaching Artists. I know that with their commitment, passion, and care, Arts for Learning will continue to thrive in helping youth in the years to come.”

Throughout her 25 years of service to Arts for Learning, Rossebo expanded programming and community engagement reaching thousands of Indiana youth in 35 school districts and networks across 29 counties in the state. Under her leadership over 15 programs have been developed, some receiving national and local recognition. These programs include, Arts Partners, a program that provided schools in the Indianapolis area with subsidized arts education opportunities in the form of performances, workshops, and residencies. This program earned Arts for Learning Nuvo’s 2000 Cultural Vision Award.

In addition, her leadership was essential in evolving Arts for Learning’s Summer Arts for Youth program which received the 2008 Coming Up Taller Award from the President’s Committee on Arts & Humanity which Rossebo accepted at the White House from First Lady Barbara Bush. Summer Arts for Youth later paved the way to establishing Inspiring Scholars, a summer program in partnership with Summer Advantage aimed at keeping youth academically engaged to reduce summer learning loss. Most recently, Rossebo led the implementation of Arts for Learning’s most ambitious project to date, third space, an educational experience that temporarily disrupts the school environment through the installation of museum-quality works of art created by established local artists.

“First and foremost, JoEllen’s commitment has been to the students of Indiana and the role the arts can play in providing a well-rounded education”, said David Dik, National Executive Director of Young Audiences Arts for Learning. “As I and many of my colleagues reflect on JoEllen’s career, she has provided a rich connection between the arts and education. And, in doing so, created a more just, inclusive, and empathetic society.”

In recent years, Rossebo’s passion for providing all youth with access to the arts has helped establish Arts for Learning as the largest provider of arts education programs for youth in the state of Indiana. Rossebo’s work with Arts for Learning earned her Indianapolis Business Journal’s Women of Influence Award in 2011. She also served as President of the Indianapolis Consortium of Arts Administrators from 2016-2018 and represented the Young Audiences Arts for Learning affiliate network on several national board committees.

“JoEllen has served Arts for Learning for 25 phenomenal years. The Board of Directors is grateful for her service, passion, and commitment to this organization and to our community. We wish her the best in her upcoming retirement!” said Arts for Learning Board Chair Susan Oliver. “A CEO/President search committee is being developed. We plan to identify her replacement this spring in advance of her retirement this summer.”

About Arts for Learning Indiana: Since 1961, Arts for Learning Indiana has been the premier provider of arts education programs for youth across Indiana. Their programs empower youth and expand their learning through creative arts experiences. Arts for Learning employs more than 60 teaching artists who provide performances, workshops, and residencies to schools, libraries, parks and community organizations to reach nearly 40,000 youth every year.


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