Gordon's depth of experience will shape the path ahead in Musicopia's 50th year
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Press Release


Richard Gordon IV Elected as Board Chair for Musicopia and Dancing Classrooms Philly

Philadelphia, PA … Partnering arts education non-profits, Musicopia and Dancing Classrooms Philly (DCP) proudly announce the election of Richard Gordon IV as the new Chair of the organizations’ shared Board of Directors. Gordon, a nationally recognized educational leader currently serving as the Assistant Superintendent for the School District of Philadelphia, will bring a wealth of experience, an expansive network of connections, and visionary leadership as Chairperson. 

For over 20 years, Richard Gordon’s passion, innovative problem-solving skills, and devotion to uplifting student communities have transformed many young lives. His efforts to save the underperforming Paul Robeson High School from permanent closure and raise the student graduation rate to 95% when he was principal earned him numerous awards, including being named the National Principal of the Year in 2017, 2019, and 2021. 

Gordon’s dedication to equity and the transformative power of arts education aligns his goals with the access-focused Musicopia and DCP. He has worked closely with these partnering organizations for the last two years as an integral member of their Board and is honored to take on this leadership role. “I have been blessed with the privileged opportunity to help lead [these] amazing organization[s] that for decades have reinforced the life-changing effects access to arts education and enrichment has on transforming students into self-confident, globally aware leaders of Philadelphia’s tomorrow,” Gordon shared. “Musicopia [and DCP] inspire a unique love for the arts that truly changes the lives of students.”  

Executive Director and Board President Catherine Charlton shares: “We extend our sincere gratitude to outgoing Chair, David Distefano, who will remain a valued member of our Board of Directors. Dave has led our organizations’ community and education-focused strategic planning and guided us through tremendous programmatic and budgetary growth. Musicopia and Dancing Classrooms Philly always strive to be in tune with schools and educators and are proud that 50% of our Board are educators. Richard Gordon’s extraordinary depth of educational experience makes him the natural fit as our next leader.” 

As the new Chairperson, Gordon is eager to leverage his experience to help the arts organizations soar to new heights, envisioning the organizations’ programs to become an educational model for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and beyond. As Musicopia approaches its 50th anniversary in 2024, Richard Gordon’s vision and commitment to educational equity will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping the future of both organizations as they define who they will become in the next 50 years ahead. 


About Musicopia  

Musicopia’s mission is to provide equitable access to music education and enrichment, encouraging self-confidence, global awareness, dedication and joy in Pre-K to 12th grade students and their communities. Since its founding in 1974, Musicopia has helped more than 393,000 children experience the benefits of first-hand exposure to the arts, and is a recognized leader in rebuilding and revitalizing school music programs. Musicopia reaches thousands of children each year in the Delaware Valley/Philadelphia area through in-school music education, an afterschool string orchestra program, an afterschool drumlines program, and its Gift of Music Instrument Donation Program. 

For more information, please visit www.musicopia.net


About Dancing Classroom Philly   

Dancing Classrooms Philly’s mission is to foster self–esteem, social awareness, mutual respect, teamwork and joy in young people and their communities through social dance education and performance. DCP offers in-school and virtual residences and assemblies, Teacher Workshops, Intergenerational Community Workshops, and continuation programs for our flagship in-school ballroom program, a Saturday Academy program and the Allstars. Through our dance instruction, we help to enrich school communities across the Philadelphia region by building confidence in students, breaking down social barriers, and inspiring respect for all individuals.  

For more information, please visit www.dancingclassroomsphilly.org


1700 Market Street, Suite 1005, Philadelphia, PA, 19103

United States

For all inquiries, please contact us at: alexa@musicopia.net

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