The Arts School Network (ASN), which is the largest professional organization of arts schools, is honoring Kyle Wedberg ’00 (Masters of Public Administration) with the Jeffrey Lawrence Award. Wedberg is the President and CEO of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), a performing and visual arts high school for students from across Louisiana. NOCCA counts many notable artists among its alums, including jazz musicians Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Harry Connick, Jr., and Terence Blanchard. The ASN describes the award as “the most coveted award presented by ASN”, and it is granted to the head of an ASN school that “exemplifies an uncompromising commitment to excellence in arts education and training”.
“I was humbled when I learned I had received this award,” said Wedberg. “It is a privilege to lead NOCCA, but a great institution is never the work of only one person. The recognition represents the greatness and efforts of so many different people: students, families, faculty, staff, board, community, and countless others,” he adds.
Wedberg credits his time studying public policy at the University of Massachusetts as an important phase of his career.
“I learned so much from John Hird and am grateful for his leadership, mentorship, and friendship. Working with the rest of the public policy team was great preparation for my future in the public sector,” he explains.
“Kyle combines great passion for public service leadership with intelligence, creativity, humility, and wide-ranging skills,” said SBS Dean John Hird, who directed the Center for Public Policy and Administration during the time Wedberg was at UMass. “We all knew Kyle would be doing great things, and I’m delighted to see his work appropriately recognized.”
Since his time on campus, Wedberg has worked in the public sector in positions ranging from a stint in AmeriCorps in Boston, MA, to working as the Chief Administrative Officer in the New Orleans schools after Hurricane Katrina.
“UMass also expanded my thinking and enhanced my perspective on the need to be engaged in civic activities. I am grateful for the fellowship I received 20 years ago from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the gifts it continues to yield to me,” Wedberg adds.
The award will be presented at ASN’s annual conference in Minneapolis, MN, Oct. 24-27, 2017.