Nicole Agois Hurel

A musician, educator, arts administrator and disability advocate who works at the intersection of arts, education and disability. As the Managing Director of VSA Massachusetts, the State Organization on Art and Disability, she oversees programs that provide inclusive arts-integrated instruction to 1500+ students, supports educators with inclusive arts teaching practices, and creates opportunities for people with disabilities to fully participate in the cultural life of their communities. For the past 12 years, she directed VSA MA's COOL Schools program, where she closely examined and contributed to research on the application of Universal Design for Learning in the Arts, contributing to publications, and developing numerous professional development initiatives on the subject. She served as a UDL curriculum reviewer for SchoolTalk in Washington, D.C., and as National Institute Faculty for VSA International. In 2016 Nicole was selected as a member of the Leadership Council for Boston Creates, the cultural planning process for the city of Boston, where she contributed to conversations about equity and inclusion that were critical to the development of the plan. She currently serves on the Advisory Boards of the Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs, and the Adaptive Music Institute in Springfield, MA. Born and raised in Lima, Peru, Nicole received her Master of Education in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the Boston Conservatory. As a firm believer in the power of the arts as a tool for equity and inclusion, Nicole is thrilled to join Abilities Dance as the Board Chair, working closely with the company to further its impact in reimagining and redefining inclusive dance.