A headshot of Ph.D. candidate Frank Machos.

PhD in Creativity

Frank Machos is executive director for the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of the Arts & Creative Learning.

The Creativity immersion was by far the most inspiring array of experiences I have ever participated in. Each day was a journey through the cross section of approaches that professionals across industries engage to reach beyond the status quo and broaden the worlds they exist within.


I am investigating the role of the arts in American public education and identify where broadening and blurring the boxes can improve the impact and development of students academically, socially and emotionally. I will explore the intersection of arts, creativity, culture and education, and investigate how when engaged and implemented from the administrative level of a large school district, these areas can serve as the catalyst for improving all aspects of student growth and achievement. What boxes does education place the arts in? What systems prohibit and/or support growth? How do we broaden what is included in arts education curricula? How do students define, engage with and create art? How do adults in education define, engage with and create art? Are we teaching arts that connect to the cultures of students? Does arts education today prepare students for careers in current and future creative sectors? How can the arts serve as an opportunity for students to embrace trial and error and accept the idea of ‘failing’ to learn and improve?


Dr. Linda F. Nathan, adjunct lecturer, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Co-Director, Perrone Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership

Hannah Higgins, PhD, Professor of Intermedia and Avant-Garde Art and Culture, University of Illinois Chicago

Lorene Cary, Senior Lecturer, Department of English at the University of Pennsylvania