Press Release

TMA’s Marianna Pegno Receives National Art Education Award

March 23, 2018

TUCSON, ARIZONA (March 23, 2018) – Marianna Pegno, Curator of Community Engagement at the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, has received the prestigious 2018 Elliot Eisner Doctoral Research Award in Art Education from the National Art Education Association.

The award, which is determined through a peer review of nominations, recognizes the value of doctoral research to the profession of art education and its related disciplines.

“This award is being given to recognize excellence in professional accomplishment and service by a dedicated art educator,” said NAEA President Kim Huyler Defibaugh. “Marianna Pegno exemplifies the highly qualified art educators active in education today: leaders, teachers, students, scholars, and advocates who give their best to their students and the profession.”

Pegno has been with the Tucson Museum of Art since 2010, holding various positions related to art education, creating programs and curating exhibits to increase interaction between the community and the museum.

She has presented at national and international conferences including the National Art Education Association, the Inclusive Museum, the Western Museum Association, and Arts in Society, and has been published in a number of museum publications and journals. She holds a Ph.D. in art and visual culture education from the University of Arizona, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in art history from the University of Arizona and New York University, respectively.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for the work that is a passion for me,” Pegno said. “The Tucson Museum of Art is such a unique space to explore community, creativity and the arts that I want to do everything I can to develop programs, engage audiences and position TMA as a responsive community-centered space.”

“This award exemplifies how incredibly fortunate we are to have Marianna working in our community, and how museums can build bridges across social and economic divides,” said TMA CEO Jeremy Mikolajczak. “She is a dynamic and innovative leader who understands the greater need and impact of museums like TMA as community-focused and accessible institutions.”

NAEA is the professional association for art educators. Members include elementary, secondary, middle level and high school art teachers; university and college professors; education directors who oversee education in our nation’s fine art museums, administrators and supervisors who oversee art education in school districts, state departments of education, arts councils; and teaching artists throughout the United States and many foreign countries. For more information about the association and its awards program visit the NAEA website at

For general media inquiries, contact Kelly Wiehe, Director of Communications and External Affairs, at or 520-616-2687