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Newport Festivals Foundation Hires Leland Baker for Music Education Manager Position

March 10, 2023

Newport Festivals Foundation is excited to announce the hire of Leland Baker as Music Education Manager. Leland will be responsible for managing NFF’s existing education programs and developing new initiatives to expand the Foundation’s music education impact locally, here in Rhode Island, and across the country.

Baker, a Pawtucket native, has extensive experience as an educator for various Rhode Island institutions including TAPA: Trinity Academy of Performing Arts, The MET, Beacon Charter School of the Arts, and more. He also developed “Bridging Gaps”, a collaboration between interdisciplinary artistic mediums that addresses improvisation and its role in various art forms (e.g. jazz, hip hop, dance, etc.) which has been presented at various schools across the state including Blackstone Academy of Performing Arts, RISD and Brown University.

“As someone who grew up in Rhode Island, attending the Folk and Jazz Festivals every summer and seeing the massive cultural impact they have on this state, it’s an honor to be joining the Newport Festivals Foundation team,” said Leland. “I look forward to bringing my passion and commitment for music education, community engagement, and support for artists to NFF”.

Leland will officially begin in mid-April after a two-week artist residency in the Balkans for a cross-cultural initiative in partnership with the Balkan Art Zone and the US Embassy in Kosovo.

“We could not be more thrilled to have Leland join our team,” said Dan Swain, Director of Programs and Development. “Leland has developed an impressive reputation in Rhode Island for creating some truly unique and impactful educational programs. Leland’s expertise, matched with our community of artists and festival resources, will allow our Foundation to create life-changing musical moments for thousands of young people”.

Deborah Ross was the inaugural Director of Education at NFF, a position she held from 2012-2021.


Your donation to Newport Festivals Foundation will help ensure the future of our festivals and support musicians and music education programs across the country.