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Release: Nevada Arts Council Hires Shereen Choudhury as Arts Learning Specialist  

The Nevada Arts Council has hired Las Vegas-native Shereen Choudhury as the council’s arts learning specialist. In this position, Choudhury will support, increase and expand arts learning across the state of Nevada to ensure that all residents have access to quality arts education experiences. 

Choudhury is a resource for teaching artists and artists who want to add teaching to their creative practice. They are also available to support any Nevada organization that wants to bring arts education programming to its community spaces. Choudhury also is the statewide coordinator for Poetry Out Loud, a national contest for high school students to master public speaking skills, build confidence and learn about literary history and contemporary life. The Arts Learning program area also includes grants, specifically to teaching artists creating more access to arts education in Nevada schools and communities, and bringing Creative Aging programs to adults 50 or older. Choudhury is based in the council’s southern Nevada office in Las Vegas. 

“As a teaching artist, I’ve been able to bring creative and arts education experiences to many different communities, in particular to underserved communities and people who don’t always have access to the arts,” Choudhury said. “I’ve seen firsthand the power of arts education and how beneficial and even therapeutic it can be. For me, arts education is about personal empowerment and community building.” 

Shereen Choudhury
Shereen Choudhury

They earned their Bachelor of Arts in art history with a museum education concentration from Smith College followed by a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Southern California. They have spent close to two decades in arts education, first as an elementary school art teacher and then as an educational consultant, helping teaching artists increase their community-based programming. Choudhury also has a background in bringing collaborative placemaking projects that build the link between arts education and community.  

“I think that arts are an amazing way to get to know ourselves and one another so that we can come together to create positive change in the world. The arts help us to create spaces that include everyone,” they said. 

As a Las Vegas-born and -raised artist, Choudhury has seen how arts education can help unlock students’ drive and success. As a struggling high school student, discovering the arts helped them find purpose and direction in life. These experiences in education are what inspired them to become an art teacher and lifelong advocate for arts education.  

Research has shown that exposure to the arts and arts education helps students across the board with higher attendance rates and grades in every subject area, they said.  

“Shereen brings vast experience as both an arts educator and a creative herself,” said Tony Manfredi, Nevada Arts Council executive director. “Her dedication to lifelong learning in the arts will help promote and expand quality arts education opportunities for all Nevada citizens. They are an asset to our team.” 

Get to Know Me More: Shereen Choudhury (they/them)

What do You hope to achieve in this position?

I hope to support talented creatives to teach, share their creative process, and inspire our communities through the arts.

Why are you passionate about the arts?

I’m passionate about the arts because I was a creative student who fell through the cracks of the education system as a high school student. I struggled in school, and it wasn’t until I discovered the arts that I became a high achiever and started to see what I was capable of. Exposure to the arts has been what’s moved me forward in life, and I want to make sure that everyone who needs it has access to creative experiences and all of the wonderful benefits that come from arts education.

My experiences in education are what pushed me to become a licensed art educator. I earned my Master in Teaching to teach elementary school and, following that, pursued additional specializations to teach K-12 visual arts. I wanted to be the art teacher that I always needed and help other students who, like myself, needed to find their place in school and in the world.

How do You get inspired?

My main medium is acrylic painting. I love to paint, and it is one of my greatest joys in life. Painting and creative writing go hand in hand for me. In addition to being an art educator, I’m also a published author. To get inspired, I usually default to creative writing or painting. I’m very interested in the therapeutic aspects of art-making. I use the arts to better understand myself and my inner landscape.

Art inspires me, and I see art in everything. I’m also inspired by the natural world and nontraditional art forms. I believe that we can use our creativity in everything that we do and that creativity is a lens through which we can view the world. And I also believe that everyone has the potential to be an artist in the world.

One thing that I love about my role as the Arts Learning Specialist is that I get be introduced to lots of new art, artists, and creative communities. I love that I can support, uplift, and help fund local artists as a part of my role.

I also love to take art classes. I find learning new mediums to be very inspiring. So, it’s perfect that I get to help local teaching artists to implement new art classes and educational programming across our state. It inspires me to see the work that others are creating, and I love to marvel at the many ways that creativity expresses itself in our communities.

Shereen Choudhury is a painter.
Artwork by Shereen Choudhury
Students painting in a collaborative painting projects at the Amity Foundation in Los Angeles.
Choudhury’s main medium is acrylic painting (left). They use it to better understand themself as seen in their pieces (center).
Above, students are participating in a collaborative painting project Choudhury lead at the Amity Foundation in Los Angeles.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to practice yoga and am also a yoga teacher. I teach restorative yoga and also lead meditations about how to increase your creativity. I call this work Creative Wellness. I also love going to see live music and tend to go to a lot of concerts. I love to explore my city and am fascinated by Las Vegas and its history. Nevada, as a whole, is full of so much interesting and quirky art. I was born and raised in Vegas, but I moved to Los Angeles for 16 years and moved back recently. So, I feel like I’m rediscovering my city because it’s grown so much. And I’m now able to see things from a new perspective.

Final thoughts?

I guess you could say that I am a product of the arts community here in Las Vegas. It made me the artist and arts educator that I am. I’m happy to be able to support and elevate arts education here in my home state. When I was younger, I would see many unique artists doing all sorts of inspiring things in the arts district of Las Vegas. I had many friends who were artists, but I didn’t feel creatively confident enough to be a part of it. Now, it’s a full-circle moment where, as an adult, I get to support not only teaching artists but all lifelong learners to develop their creative gifts and, if they want, to step into leadership to teach what they know. My goal is for all Nevada residents to be touched by the programming that the Nevada Arts Council supports. I want more artists to know that there is support and funding here at the NAC to help you discover, create, share, and/or teach your art!

If you have any art education ideas for Nevada, you can reach Shereen Choudhury at