The Why Change? podcast brings listeners around the globe to learn how artists, educators, and cultural practitioners can change the world, one community at a time. We believe that young creatives are our world’s greatest asset and recognize that we – as the adults who are dedicated to their creative development – have work to do so they can thrive. Attendees of this session will join podcast co-hosts, Ashraf Hasham and Jeff M. Poulin, and their special guest to learn and laugh while envisioning new futures through the question, “why change?”
Live Podcast Recording: Why Change? A Podcast for the Creative Generation
Jeff M. Poulin (he/him/his) is an American scholar, non-profit administrator, and social entrepreneur whose work is grounded in social justice and seeks transformative local solutions to global complex challenges.
In 2019, Jeff founded Creative Generation, which works to inspire, connect, and amplify the work of young creatives who catalyze social change and those committed to cultivating their creativity. In this role he leads a team which produced global messaging campaigns, creates unique learning environments, conducts original research, and supports people and projects working at the intersection of arts/culture, education, and social change. He serves as the Principal Investigator for the Institute for Creative Social Transformation, lead Facilitator for the Academy of Creative Leadership, host of the Why Change? podcast, and Executive Editor of the Campaign for a Creative Generation and the Creative Generation Journal.
With over a decade of experience as a performer, teaching artist, education researcher, and arts administrator, he previously led a national program, where he worked to advance local, state, and federal policies supportive of equitable access to arts education throughout the United States. Jeff is a tap dancer by trade and continues to mentor young dancers in the U.S. and in the U.K.
Jeff is widely published, serves as a reviewer for grant and research panels, and speaks to audiences across the country and around the globe. Currently, he is on the faculties of arts management at American University and Carnegie Mellon University.
Jeff hails from Portland, Maine and earned degrees in arts management, cultural policy, and education at Oklahoma City University, University College Dublin, and the University of Glasgow.
Ashraf Hasham (he/him/his) is a Campaign Correspondent at Creative Generation. During the day, he serves as the Youth Arts Manager for the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture, overseeing the City’s youth investments in arts education, creative youth development, and career-connected learning. Ashraf comes to these roles from The Vera Project, a homegrown, nationally-renowned, all-ages music venue & DIY arts space, where he served as Executive Director. Prior to that, he spent a short time with Chicago’s Urban Gateways, building capacity for their youth engagement & advocacy programs w/ Street-Level Youth Media. Before that, he got to work with an organization that changed his life as a young person in Seattle: TeenTix, a revolutionary arts access & youth empowerment organization, where he held multiple roles over the years, most recently Director of Programs & Partnerships.
An unapologetic optimist, Ashraf is a proud millennial-of-color and South Asian immigrant. He believes in radical inclusivity and anti-racist, strengths-based, community-led solutions that center the most impacted. He leads with empathy and positivity, collaboratively and transparently, centering love and joy. Recognizing things change fast and often, Ashraf strives to remain nimble and humble, always growing and adapting to meet the moment.
Nationally, Ashraf advises arts advocacy initiatives. Locally, he serves on Seattle’s Central Waterfront Oversight Commission. He’s previously served on the Seattle Arts Commission, and is a 2020 graduate of Leadership Tomorrow.
Ashraf can be seen in the wild chasing the sunset, on the dance floor, at arts events, in your local thrift store, seeing live music, or rollerblading in the distance.