UMFA Educator Honored with NAEA Award

FOR RELEASE March 29, 2023 
Contact: Emma Ryder, 

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) at the University of Utah is thrilled to announce that Katie Seastrand, UMFA’s manager of school and teacher programs, has been awarded the 2023 Pacific Region Museum Education Art Educator Award by the National Art Education Association. Seastrand works both in the Museum and in schools throughout Utah to connect classroom core subjects to the UMFA’s global art collection. In her time with the UMFA Seastrand has re-envisioned UMFA’s school outreach efforts in response to the COVID pandemic and refreshed the programs as in-person visits resumed. Her visits to underserved schools in the state are often the only connection to the visual arts that those students receive.

Katie Seastrand stands in a classroom with first graders sitting at round tables there is a screen with a projection of a landscaped photograph of a red rock hill in the back ground and photos on the tables with the children
Katis Seastrand teaching a lesson on photography during a visit to Ensign Elememtary in Salt Lake City. 

“We are so thrilled that Katie’s passion and creativity is being recognized with this prestigious award from the National Art Education Association.” said Annie Burbidge Ream, co-director of learning and engagement at UMFA. “Katie consistently approaches her work with thoughtfulness and vision to connect creativity to student's learning across the state of Utah. Her teaching practice is never static, always dynamic, and continues to grow, change, and adapt in wonderful ways!”

Burbidge Ream continued, “Katie embodies the idea that art is for everyone. She welcomes student’s comments with kindness and support and encourages respectful dialogue and a diversity of perspectives. Her approach to facilitating art experiences in both classrooms and Museum galleries – by using art as a catalyst for understanding, conversation, critical thinking, and mindfulness­ – fosters brave spaces that make students of all ages comfortable to talk and share about their lives and ideas.”

Seastrand grew up in Salt Lake City and graduated from Olympus High School. She has a bachelor’s degree in art history and curatorial studies from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in museum education from George Washington University. While in graduate school, she interned at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Abracadabra Preschool in Alexandria, Virginia, before returning to Salt Lake City and joining the UMFA. She was previously honored with the Utah Museum Educator of the Year award from the Utah Art Education Association in March 2022.

Read more about Seastrand’s award in the following press release from The National Art Education Association.

Katie Seastrand

2023 Pacific Region Museum Education Art Educator

Alexandria, VA—The National Art Education Association has named Katie Seastrand, of Salt Lake City, UT, as the recipient of the 2023 Pacific Region Museum Education Art Educator Award. This prestigious award, determined through a peer review of nominations, recognizes the exemplary contributions, service, and achievements of an outstanding NAEA member annually at the Regional level within their division. The award will be presented during the NAEA 2023 National Convention in San Antonio.

NAEA President James Haywood Rolling, Jr. states, "This award is being given to recognize excellence in professional accomplishment and service by a dedicated art educator. Katie Seastrand exemplifies the highly qualified art educators active in education today: leaders, teachers, students, scholars, and advocates who give their best to their students and the profession."

Founded in 1947, the National Art Education Association is the leading professional membership organization exclusively for visual arts educators. Members include elementary, middle, and high school visual arts educators; college and university professors; university students preparing to become art educators; researchers and scholars; teaching artists; administrators and supervisors; and art museum educators—as well as more than 54,000 students who are members of the National Art Honor Society. We represent members in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, U.S. Possessions, most Canadian Provinces, U.S. military bases around the world, and many foreign countries.

The mission of the National Art Education Association (NAEA) champions creative growth and innovation by equitably advancing the tools and resources for a high-quality visual arts, design, and media arts education throughout diverse populations and communities of practice.

For more information about the association and its awards program, visit the NAEA website at