Key Note Speaker

 James Haywood Rolling, Jr.

James Haywood Rolling Jr. is the current and 37th President of the National Art Education Association. Before this role, he initially served as NAEA’s Higher Education Division Director (2011-2013),  Was recognized with the 2014 National Higher Art Educator Award for outstanding service and achievement, and also served as the inaugural Chair of NAEA’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Commission.

Outside of NAEA, Rolling teaches at the Syracuse College of Visual and Performing Arts. He has served as the Chair of the Arts Education program since 2007 and as the inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (2018-2020).  

Rolling has also published many books including, "Swarm Intelligence: What Nature Teaches Us About Shaping Creative Leadership," a surprising look at the social origins of Creativity (Palgrave Macmillan); the "Arts-based Research Primer" (Peter Lang); "Cinderella Story: A Scholarly Sketchbook About Race, Identity, Barack Obama, the Human Spirit, and Other Stuff That Matters" (AltaMira Press) and "Come Look With Me: Discovering African American Art for Children" (Charlesbridge); in addition to more than 35 peer-reviewed articles and commentaries, fourteen book chapters, and five encyclopedia entries on the subjects of the arts, education, creativity, and human identity. In 2020, Rolling published "Growing Up Ugly: Memoirs of a Black Boy Daydreaming" (Simple Word Publications), an inspirational coming-of-age narrative tracing his own emergence as a painfully shy child raised in a struggling inner-city New York neighborhood who learned to rewrite the trajectory of his life story through the development of his own creative superpowers.

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