The School of Professional & Continuing Studies has named a director and hired a program coordinator to lead Partners in the Arts (PIA), a community-focused creativity-in-education program of the School.

Rob McAdams, MFA, has been named PIA director after serving as the program’s interim director and, prior to that position, as its manager. McAdams recently celebrated five years of service in PIA through SPCS. In October 2015, McAdams traveled to Brazil to explore arts and creativity with Brazilian artists, educators and students through a grant from Partners in the Americas.

McAdams has hired by and worked closely with PIA’s previous director, Dr. Elizabeth Sheehan, who remains active in SPCS as an adjunct professor of liberal arts.

Amy Williams, MAE, has been hired as PIA’s part-time program coordinator. Williams brings to the position her recent experience as a graduate student in art education at Virginia Commonwealth University and as director of Creative Arts Day Camp (CADC), a VCU arts program for youth with the theme RevolutionARTists, exploring the potential for social change via the arts.

PIA manages the Joan Oates Institute, an annual week-long professional development opportunity for local educators to learn ways to integrate creativity in all its forms throughout the entire preK-12 curriculum. The Joan Oates Institute is named after Joan Oates, a long-time arts advocate and supporter in the Richmond area who remains involved in the annual Institute. Her generous endowment makes possible the long-term viability of the Institute and its mission.

PIA also provides Engaging Creative Thinkers (ECT) awards to teams of local educators who attend the Institute and develop a plan for integrating creativity across the school curriculum.

Director, Partners in the Arts
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Liberal Arts