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City Club of Eugene: Creating Access to Arts and Music Education

Boy playing violin
The benefits of arts learning are far-reaching, impacting young people in ways that support them in all aspects of their lives.

Program date: Oct. 20, 2023

Air date: Oct. 23, 2023

From the City Club of Eugene:

The benefits of arts learning are far-reaching, impacting young people in ways that support them in all aspects of their lives. Yet, arts instruction, music programs, and creative engagement continue to be significantly reduced or eliminated in many schools. Two local arts organizations are making significant efforts to ensure there is more equitable access to arts and music opportunities in schools throughout Lane County.


A facilitated conversation with Lane Arts Council and Eugene Symphony shares insight into the current landscape of visual and performing arts education locally and statewide, the impact of arts learning, and how the programs of these organizations and others are making a difference for young people in our region. Listeners will also learn about advocacy efforts and how to participate in championing arts education for all.



Ben Minnis (he/him) has been the Arts Education Program Coordinator at Lane Arts Council since 2021. He is an advocate for all children’s right to have access to the arts as a means for building understanding, self-expression, and personal liberation. In his work with Lane Arts Council, Ben brings local artists to classrooms across Lane County through a variety of arts education programs. Prior to his time at Lane Arts Council, Ben spent fifteen years as a Teacher and Pedagogical Coordinator at the Co-op Family Center at the University of Oregon. Ben holds a BFA in Theater Performance from Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI and a Master’s Certificate in Pedagogical Coordination in the Reggio Emilia Approach from Webster University in St. Louis, MO. His personal art practice is currently focused on play-writing and ceramic sculpture.


Stacey Ray (she/her) is the Executive Director of Lane Arts Council (she has served in multiple positions since 2016). Stacey brings 15 years experience in roles supporting artists, managing arts programs, and leading arts organizations. Prior to Lane Arts Council, she worked for multiple art galleries, and served with several arts organizations including UO Center for Community Arts & Cultural Policy, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), and others. Stacey has a MS in Arts Management and certificate in Nonprofit Management from University of Oregon, as well as degrees in Studio Art (BFA) and Art History (BA) from Montana State University. Stacey practices her creativity through drawing and writing, playing guitar, kitchen dancing, and participating in local arts happenings. She believes that the arts are critical to healthy, vibrant communities and that self-expression and heart-centeredness are at the core of fulfilled and meaningful lives. When not working or playing in the arts, you’ll find her outdoors: fly-fishing, birding, paddling her canoe, or rowing on a river.


Katy Vizdal (she/her) is the Education & Community Engagement Director at Eugene Symphony Association, a position she has held since 2016. Vizdal is passionate about bringing music education opportunities to youth, and she leads music advocacy efforts in the Southern Willamette Valley region to champion strong music programs in schools. Vizdal provides consulting for local non-profit arts organizations, and she has held positions at Lane Arts Council, the Community Center for the Performing Arts (Eugene, Oregon), and Krannert Center for the Performing Arts (Urbana, Illinois). In 2009, Vizdal served as an AmeriCorps Volunteer at the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center. She holds a BA in Music from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, where she performed with the UIUC Wind Symphony, Clarinet Choir, Indonesian Gamelan ensemble, and Zimbabwean Mbira ensemble. In her free time, Vizdal plays Shona music in a Zimbabwean marimba band in Eugene, Oregon.


About the City Club of Eugene:

The mission of the City Club of Eugene is to build community vision through open inquiry. The Club explores a wide range of significant local, state, and national issues and helps to formulate new approaches and solutions to problems. Membership is open to all, and Club members have a direct influence on public policy by discussing issues of concern with elected officials and other policy makers. The City Club’s mailing address is PO Box 12084, Eugene, OR 97440, and its website is cityclubofeugene.org.


Video and Broadcast

This program will be live streamed, and the videotape will be made available on the City Club of Eugene’s Facebook page and You Tube Channel, in addition to our website. It will be broadcast on Monday, Oct. 23, at 7:00 pm, on KLCC 89.7 FM.

Contact: For more information, visit CityClubOfEugene.org.

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