Karen L. Erickson, Executive Director
Karen L. Erickson is a recognized national leader in Arts Education who has worked with schools and arts organizations internationally and in nearly all fifty states. She is the Executive Director of Creative Directions. She is a National Workshop Leader for the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. sharing her expertise with teachers, artists, and administrators on tour to the Kennedy Center National Partnership sites.
Karen consults with schools transforming into arts magnet or arts centered schools, trains education and arts leaders in curriculum integration, assessment, long range planning, professional development preparation, and curriculum mapping. She also works with arts organizations to train local artists in arts and education practices. Ms. Erickson has had the privilege of being a co-developer and presenter in a long term teacher training program for the Sarasota schools, Creative Drama for Creative Learning (CDCL) as well as with the Alabama Institute for Education in the Arts.
She is the author of eight books on drama and education including The Arts: Keystones to Learning, Getting Started with Drama: A guide for 1st-8th Grades, Getting Started with Drama in Kindergarten, First and Second Grade Drama Guides, Integrated Units in a Dramatic Framework, From Page to Stage: Fifty Original Stories for Classroom Drama, and 181 Favorite Level I Ideas for Drama among others. Ms. Erickson was a co-author of the Illinois Fine Arts Curriculum Resource Guide, the Illinois State Learning Standards, Integrated Curriculum Arts Project (ICAP), Illinois Performance Assessment Tools and the Illinois Performance Descriptors in the arts.
In professional theater, Ms Erickson worked with the Goodman Theater where she assisted Tennessee Williams on two world premiers, Center Theater, Trinity Square Ensemble Theater, and for Pegasus Players in various roles from artistic director, stage director, playwright and actress. Ms. Erickson is the author of 8 plays for young audiences and toured for 8 years in Children's Theater productions. She is on the Board of the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education, serving as President for 2 years, and served on the board of the Kennedy Center National Alliance for Arts Education for 4 years, one year as National Chair.