Akua Kouyate-Tate to Receive “K-12 Promotion of Education Award” at the BEYA STEM Global Competitiveness Conference

Vienna, Va. (February 2, 2015) – Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts announces that Akua Kouyate-Tate, Senior Director, Education, will be honored with the “K-12 Promotion of Education Award” at the 2015 BEYA STEM Global Competitiveness Conference, which will take place at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C. February 5-7. Kouyate-Tate leads Wolf Trap’s national programs that use the arts-integrated strategies to teach young children science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Hosted by Lockheed Martin Corporation, the Council of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Black Engineer magazine, the annual BEYA STEM Global Competitiveness conference highlights leaders in science, technology, engineer and math (STEM) fields, and provides opportunities for students and professionals to learn from their peers.

Nominees for the K-12 Promotion of Education award must be an educator committed to enhancing STEM career opportunities for women and minorities through promotion of STEM education programs. U.S. Air Force General (Retired) Lester Lyles, a Wolf Trap trustee and a recipient of the Black Engineer of the Year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, nominated Kouyate-Tate for the award, which he will present at a gala event on February 7.

“Akua’s contributions to the early childhood and STEM fields are enormous. Under her strategic leadership, Wolf Trap has developed arts-integrated science, technology, engineering and math programs, which are proving a great success and have been scaled to sites nationwide. It is critical that we start teaching STEM skills at an early age, and Akua is a pioneer in introducing the idea that music, theater, and dance are a most natural way for young children to learn STEM skills,” said General Lyles.

Kouyate-Tate is an expert in arts-integrated learning and early childhood arts education. Under her leadership, Wolf Trap Foundation has implemented new education initiatives such as Early Childhood STEM Learning Through the Arts, a rigorous program of professional development for educators and in-school services for young children. This approach to using the arts to teach core subjects earned Wolf Trap a major grant from the U.S. Department of Education, allowing the organization to scale its STEM program to Affiliate sites in 17 communities nationwide. Independent research of Wolf Trap’s arts-integrated teaching model shows that children taught using Wolf Trap’s methods demonstrate better math knowledge; additionally, research validates the quality of Wolf Trap’s professional development for teachers.

“Having this prestigious recognition at the 2015 (BEYA) STEM Conference will do volumes to amplify the importance of giving young children the opportunity and the means to engage in active STEM learning through the arts. We know that the arts are an effective means for young children to develop STEM skills, and this award is a humbling and important validation,” said Kouyate-Tate.


Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, produces and presents a full range of performance and education programs in the Greater Washington area, as well as nationally and internationally. Wolf Trap features three performance venues: the outdoor Filene Center and Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, both located at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, and The Barns at Wolf Trap, located down the road from the national park and adjacent to the Center for Education at Wolf Trap. The 7,028-seat Filene Center is operated in partnership with the National Park Service and annually showcases an extensive array of diverse artists, ranging from pop, country, folk, and blues to classical music, dance, and theatre, as well as multimedia presentations, from May through September. The Barns at Wolf Trap is operated by the Wolf Trap Foundation year round, and during the summer months is home to the Grammy-nominated Wolf Trap Opera, one of America’s outstanding resident ensemble programs for young opera singers. Wolf Trap’s education programs include the nationally acclaimed Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, a diverse array of arts education classes, grants, and a nationally recognized internship program.

Akua Femi Kouyate-Tate is the Senior Director, Education at Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, where she has led program development and implementation for major Education initiatives since 2001. As an administrator, educator and professional artist, Akua has served as a grants review panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and other arts agencies, and is a regular presenter at national and international conferences on arts education. She holds degrees in Arts Management and Dance from American University, and is a recipient of a Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Award. She has conducted research on African Cultural Studies at Howard University and in West Africa.

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Michelle Pendoley, Director, Public Relations
703.255.1917 or michellep@wolftrap.org