Meet our New Chief Program Officer!
Providing students with engaging, meaningful, arts-infused learning experiences is a team effort—and we’re incredibly excited to announce that ours is growing!
We’re pleased to welcome Jessica Smith Hebron to the Young Audiences team as our new Chief Program Officer!
Jessica’s strong experience as a master teaching artist, arts manager, and entrepreneur uniquely positions her to enhance our many programs that ignite learning. For years, Jessica has successfully engaged young learners in the arts—both in classrooms in her role as teaching artist, and by planning and coordinating big picture programs. She’s done the work on behalf of students, and her approach could not be a better fit!
Jessica is a multidisciplinary artist and accomplished playwright, musician, screenwriter, and children’s book author with wide-ranging talents and a deep understanding of the arts’ power to positively transform a child’s self-image.
As Chief Program Officer, Jessica will lead Young Audiences’ development and enhancement of innovative programs that use the arts to spark student learning, curiosity, and expression while building relationships with educators across the state. She will work to diversify our offerings, support the program team as they support educators, and apply a racial justice approach to program development and evaluation.
“Early and continuous exposure to arts programming enriched my childhood with imagination, empowerment, and countless learning opportunities,” says Jessica. “I believe that every child deserves access to arts programming that is as inspiring and educational as it is impactful, and I am excited to use my extensive experiences as a master teaching artist, arts manager, and entrepreneur to continue the crucial work of innovating and transforming the dynamic programs offered by Young Audiences.”
Prior to joining Young Audiences, Jessica was the Interim Executive Director of Prince George’s African-American Museum and Cultural Center and served as Children’s Program Coordinator for Busboys and Poets. She is also the owner and founder of Culture Kingdom Kids, LLC, which delivers innovative and empowering children’s events with a cultural twist, including assemblies, festivals, and professional development workshops for diverse audiences.
Throughout her career, she has engaged thousands of students in the arts and managed programs that connect cultural awareness with arts integration. The experiences and ideas she brings will mean stronger programs and expanding impact on the students and educators we reach. Welcome, Jessica!