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Richard Kessler is the dean of Mannes College The New School for Music., a 100-year old music conservatory at The New School.
Labeled a “firebrand” The New York Times, Richard Kessler was the executive director of The Center for Arts Education (CAE), the nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring arts education as an essential part of every child's education in the New York City public schools. Kessler’s tenure at CAE has been largely occupied with establishing CAE as the rare hybrid organization effective at both arts education programs/ partnerships with schools and advocacy/policy.
Richard Kessler was born in Brooklyn and grew up in The Rockaways. He holds two degrees from The Juilliard School and was a college faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music from 1988 to 1993. Kessler is the board treasurer of Common Core, the D.C.-based organization dedicated to a liberal arts education for all K-12 children nationwide, and a trustee of the American Composers Orchestra.
In 2005, Richard Kessler was awarded the American Music Center's Letter of Distinction for his "significant contribution to the field of American music." In 2010, Kessler was honored by both the Music Educators Association of New York and The New York City Art Teachers Association/UFT.
Kessler is the author of the arts education blog appearing on artsjournal.com: Dewey21C.