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About the 2023 Convening

On Monday, April 24, the REACH Lab will host its inaugural convening at Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, PA. Centered around the lab’s work promoting equity through the arts in early childhood, the convening will include:

  • panels featuring research, practice, policy, and funding perspectives,
  • workshops highlighting research and promising practice,
  • poster sessions, and
  • performances by affiliated artists.

Register for the Convening by March 24


Time Event
8:30am Registration and Coffee

Welcome to Settlement Music School and Introduction of the NEA Research Labs and the REACH Lab:  

  • Helen Eaton, CEO Settlement Music School
  • Sunil Iyengar, Director of Research and Analysis, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

Opening Panel: Childhood Creativity, Imagination, Neurophysiology, and Equity

  • Barbara Wong, Director of Creative Communities, William Penn Foundation
  • Tarrell Davis, Executive Director, Early Childhood, Settlement Music School
  • Ellie Brown, Professor of Psychology, West Chester University, Co-Director REACH Lab

Choose Your Own Adventure I:

  1. Settlement Music School’s Kaleidoscope Preschool: Best Practices in Early Childhood Arts Integration (hands-on music and arts workshops)
  2. REACH Research Studies Presentation

Lunch and Musical Performance

  • Amanda Bryans, Education and Research to Practice Supervisor, Federal Office of Head Start
  • Ximena Violante, Musician and Community Organizer

Choose Your Own Adventure II:

  1. Carnegie Hall’s Lullaby Project: Best Practices in Caregiver and Child Music (hands-on music workshops)
  2. Toward a Psychology of Liberation: Arts Research and Practice Poster Session
2:30pm Closing Remarks


Event Logistics

When and where is the REACH convening?

The REACH Convening will take place Monday, April 24 from 8:30am-3pm at Settlement Music School's Mary Louise Curtis Branch at 416 Queen St, Philadelphia, PA 19147.

Who should attend the REACH convening?

The audience will include researchers, practitioners, policymakers, students, and community members interested in how music and arts programs might promote educational and health equity for young children and families facing stress and trauma related to poverty and racism.

Is there a cost to attend?

There is a $50 fee to attend, with a reduced rate of $25 for students and practitioners. A limited number of scholarships (subsidized participation) will be provided upon request in the registration form.

Will the event be live streamed?

The REACH convening will not be livestreamed. Select sessions may be posted in an archive.

Additional questions?

Email us:

Call for Papers, Proposals, and Posters

Can I present at the REACH convening?

Researchers and practitioners who would like to share their work related to childhood arts and equity issues are invited to submit proposals for the poster session.

Poster abstracts should be submitted when registering for the convening. They should describe research motivation and specific aims, method, results, and implications (250 words or less).

Those who submit poster proposals will be notified of acceptance decisions by March 31.

Presenters will be responsible for printing their own posters.

Additional questions?

Email us:

Press Inquiries

Please refer all press inquiries to

NEA Research Labs

*This NEA Research Lab is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts (Award #: 1879148-38-C-21). The opinions expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not represent the views of the National Endowment for the Arts. The National Endowment for the Arts does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information included in this material and is not responsible for any consequence of its use.

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