Scott Stoner
Scott Stoner '68
Outstanding Achievement in a Chosen Profession

In his wildest dreams growing up in Shiremanstown, PA, Scott Stoner never envisioned where the road of life would lead him. Little did he know he was destined to travel the world and become involved with many organizations dedicated to helping people and promoting the value of the arts, whether in education, healing, or community well-being.

Upon graduating from Mechanicsburg Area High School in 1968, he went on to graduate from Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he earned his B.S. degree in Art Education. Motivated by his experience as a camp counselor for socially-emotionally challenged children, he enrolled in Hahnemann Medical University’s art therapy program and earned an M.S. in Mental Health Sciences. After serving as an Art Teacher / Art Therapist for the Devereux Day School and the Southern Home for Children in Philadelphia, he returned home to teach both gifted and socially-emotionally challenged students in the Harrisburg City Schools/Riverside Center for the Arts (1974-1976). He then worked at Pennsylvania State University as a teaching / research assistant during which he completed his ABD for an Ed.D. degree in Art Education/Special Education.

Scott’s story doesn’t end there. It was only the beginning of a lifelong career devoted to strengthening the role of the arts in education, healthcare, and community development. Space is limited so we will try to concentrate on some of Scott’s more noteworthy experiences.

In 1979 Scott moved to the Washington, DC area where he was chosen to direct a national in-service program for a new organization founded by Jean Kennedy Smith (known as Very Special Arts), which trained teachers to integrate disabled students into public schools through a program of arts-based instruction and activities. From 1989-1997, as National Education Programs Director for The Kennedy Center, he worked with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Internet Engineering Task Force to help build technology-based content and communications options for what would become the World Wide Web. In 1993, he founded The Kennedy Center’s Arts Edge network (one of the country’s first education web sites) and was instrumental in producing the first globally live-streamed music event on the Web – the Messiah Sing-Along - from the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. During this time he also worked as a production consultant for theater and live televised events.

In 2004, Scott co-founded and raised funds for an arts-based public charter school: Academy of Learning Through the Arts in Washington, DC. As Vice-President for the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (2007-2017), Scott developed leadership programs, campus-based arts innovation projects, and professional development to help build audiences for the performing arts nationally and internationally.

Perhaps though, his most self-rewarding contributions have been in the Arts and Healing. He served as the first Executive Director of the American Art Therapy Association and in 2001-2007, established and directed an Artist-in-Residence Program for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts. He recruited, trained and managed a cadre of artists towork with cancer patients bed-side and in out-patient treatment centers in four hospitals in the Washington metro area, and in 2011, co-developed an innovative Artist-in-Residence program for the “wounded warriors” unit at Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. Currently, Scott is developing an Artist-in-Residence program in partnership with Smith Center and Inova Health System for the new Inova Schar Cancer Institute in Fairfax, VA.

During his career, Scott has raised over $12 million for various arts programs serving educators, students, cancer patients and others with life-threatening illness or injury, including veterans. And in his words: “I have failed semi-retirement” – he’s still going strong!