The Center for Creative Education has announced Olga Vazquez as the new manager of in-house programming, according to CEO, Robert Hamon. Vazquez’s primary focus in the nonprofit “arts in education” organization will be overseeing CCE’s newly announced Discover Series. “Olga brings incredible experience to this position, and she has worked with CCE in the past on behalf of FAU to help us evaluate our in-school and after-school programming,” said Hamon. “She is a great addition to our creative team here. Her work on our newly announced Discover Series will set the tone for future in-house programs. It is a milestone for this organization and completes our arts in education model with this programming offered in our own facility. Olga is extremely well qualified to oversee our Discover Series and future programming as well. We welcome her to CCE.” The Discover Series will offer 60 rising third- grade students a unique opportunity to discover their passion for the arts. The Series will allow young children to explore music, dance, theater, visual arts and media with art instructors and professional master artists. The students do not need to have a specific talent or art experience. CCE is looking for kids with curiosity, a strong commitment to study the arts and the discipline to attend the weekly classes on a regular basis. As in-house program manager, Vazquez will be responsible for hiring and selecting the Discover Series arts faculty, scheduling community partners for presentations, ensuring that programming goals and national educational standards are being met, and coordinating with an external researcher to do the evaluation of the program. In addition, she will be looking into new programming possibilities at CCE and begin to schedule classes and special events for a variety of audiences. “In this ever-changing global economy, we are no longer focused on the three ‘Rs’ of Reading, Writing and ‘Rithmatic,” said Vazquez. “Today’s educators are looking at the four ‘Cs’ – Critical thinking, Creativity, Collaboration and Communication. The arts naturally help develop the four Cs and the Discover Series is designed to improve these skills in students through direct instruction in the arts. I am thrilled with this opportunity to help CCE create signature programming to introduce students to their potential passion for the arts. There isn’t anything else like this program in Palm Beach County – it’s a very exciting opportunity.” Vazquez holds both a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music degree from the University of Miami. She is currently pursing a Ph.D. in Education/Curriculum and Instruction from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and will soon be defending her dissertation. She spent her first two years at FAU as the South Florida Team Program Coordinator in the Music-In-Education National Consortium, a FIPSE funded project through the Listening Learning School Network at the New England Conservatory. In addition, she has worked as a researcher in arts integration programs including the Supporting Communities Through Arts Learning Environments (SCALE) project for Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE). Her previous work experience includes positions in concert management and academic administration with non-for-profit institutions such as the Florida Grand Opera, Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, The Harid Conservatory (Music & Dance Divisions), Palm Beach County School of the Arts, and the Lynn University Conservatory of Music. A Boynton Beach resident, Vazquez is a prize-winning pianist, accompanist, and bass- clarinetist. She spent several years as a liturgical musician, directing and accompanying church choirs in Palm Beach and Broward Counties and continues to serve her church community in various capacities. The Center for Creative Education served nearly 13,000 Palm Beach County students last year – using the arts to educate and inspire creative thinking in Palm Beach County classrooms and after-school programming. Many of the students involved in CCE’s programming are at risk of educational failure. Through their exploration of the arts, students learn commitment, discipline, open-mindedness, team-building and creative thinking – necessary skills for developing the whole child. The Discover Series completes the circle of arts education that the Center for Creative Education provides: arts-integrated curriculum, arts-enhanced curriculum and art as curriculum. CCE has long been linking arts and academics in their “LEAP” program, in which a CCE teaching artist and a classroom teacher collaborate to teach the content of art and another subject. Their after-school program, “CADRE”, uses art as a “hook” to reinforce classroom studies. Now CCE’s Discover Series will offer instruction in “art for art’s sake,” allowing third graders to explore a range of art forms and decide what sparks their creativity. For information and registration forms for CCE’s Discover Series, or general information about in-house and other programming, please visit the Center for Creative Education’s website at cceflorida.org or call at 561.805.9927.