For 2019-2020 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist, Alysia Lee-- her role as an artist, arts educator, teaching artist and arts advocate, give her broad perspective of the arts ecosystem. Her work has received national recognition for advancing access, equity, visibility, representation, and power-sharing between artists, organizations, and communities. Key to Lee’s method is leadership development, building strong partnerships, and intersectional approaches to engagement while centering artistic excellence, creativity, social justice, and multiculturalism.
She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Sister Cities Girlchoir (SCG), an El Sistema-inspired, girl empowerment, choral academy with programming in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey. Lee provided strategic oversight of the program growth from the 12-participant pilot to 300+ membership. SCG celebrates seven seasons building communities of music makers that empower girls to occupy their unique position in creating a better world. SCG has performed for audiences at Carnegie Hall, The Smithsonian Institute, The Kimmel Center, Citizens Bank Park, National Constitution Center, The Barnes Foundation, New Jersey Performing Arts Center and throughout their local communities. The girls cherish their past performances with The Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Opera Philadelphia, Temple University, Anna Crusis Women’s Choir, The Philadelphia Singers, Westminster Choir College, El Sistema New Jersey, Greater South Jersey Chorus, and many local youth choirs.
Alysia proudly serves her home state as the education program supervisor for Fine Arts education for the Maryland State Department of Education. Visiting hundreds of schools annually, Lee shares her vision of statewide equity and excellence across five arts disciplines: music, dance, visual arts, theatre, and media arts. Since beginning her appointment in 2018, she has spearheaded the Best of Maryland Arts Education Festival, a statewide multidisciplinary student exhibition; Maryland Micro-Credentials for Creative Classrooms, joint professional learning institute for arts educators and teaching artists to explore cultural competency; and the Maryland Masterclass Series connecting Maryland arts educators with world-class artists. She is a proud member of the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE).
Recent professional recognitions include The Knight Foundation, Stockton Bartol Rush Foundation, National Association of University Women and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Recent speaking/writing engagements include Arts Education Partnership, TEDX, Chorus America, Americans for the Arts, Maryland Citizens for the Arts, Maryland Music Educators Association, Maryland Theatre Educators Association, and the Maryland Arts Summit.
A Baltimore native, Lee is an alumna of Maryland schools, including George Washington Carver Center for Arts & Technology. She received a bachelor degree from the University of North Carolina School for the Arts and a graduate degree from Peabody Conservatory. In 2011, Lee was selected from an international pool of applicants to the third cohort of the Sistema Fellowship at New England Conservatory. Alysia also completed Executive Education programs at Harvard University and La Salle University.
A classically trained mezzo-soprano, Lee is a versatile performer who is equally at home on the operatic and concert stage. She holds performance credits ranging from Handel to Schoenberg. Lee is also a frequent performer with the Baltimore Improv Group.