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Joni Boyd Acuff

Joni Boyd Acuff photo

Joni Boyd Acuff



Areas of Expertise

  • Culturally Relevant Pedagogy and Curriculum Development
  • Critical Race Theory in Art Education
  • Critical Multicultural Art Education
  • Race and Art Education


  • PhD, Art Education, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 2011
  • MA, Community Based Art Education, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, 2007
  • BS, Art Education, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA, 2005
  • BA, Photography, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA, 2005

A Love Letter to This Bridge Called My Back cover
Race and Art Education cover
Multiculturalism in Art Museums Today

Dr. Joni Boyd Acuff (she, her, hers) is a Professor of Art Education at The Ohio State University. She serves as department chair and diversity chair in the Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy, where her goal has been to recruit, admit and retain students from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds. Acuff teaches undergraduate and graduate students in the art education program, including courses like Critical Analysis of Multicultural Art Education, Social and Cultural Theory in Art and Art Education, Critical Pedagogies of Critical Multiculturalism in Teaching Visual Culture, and Art Education for Children with Special Needs. Acuff utilizes frameworks such as critical multiculturalism, critical race theory, Black feminist theory and Afrofuturism to develop pedagogical and curriculum strategies for art education. Acuff has art and art education teaching experience in both traditional and non-traditional classrooms. She has worked extensively with diverse populations of learners, including students with special needs (cognitive and physical), student who identify as LGBTQ and students from varying racial backgrounds and socioeconomic levels.

Acuff’s most recent publications include peer-reviewed articles titled, “Afrofuturism: Reimagining Art Curriculum for Black Existence” (Art Education), “Visuality of Race in Popular Culture:

Teaching Racial Histories and Iconography in Media” (Dialogue: The International Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy) and “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, & Beyoncé: Performing APESHIT at the Louvre” (International Journal of the Inclusive Museum).  She is the co-editor (with Laura Evans, PhD) of Multiculturalism in art museums today, published by Rowman & Littlefield and is co-authoring a book titled Race and Art Education alongside co-author Amelia M. Kraehe. Acuff is the recipient of the 2017 Mary J. Rouse Early Career Award, the 2019 J. Eugene Grigsby Award for her culturally engaged research, and the 2020 Manual Barkan award for her scholarly merit--all awards presented to Acuff by the National Art Education Association, the foremost leading professional organization in the field of art education.

Dr. Joni Boyd Acuff received a BA in Photography and a BS in Art Education (and licensure in teaching art in K-12) from The Pennsylvania State University in 2005. In 2007 she obtained a MA in Community Based Art Education from the University of Texas at Austin. Her thesis research evaluated education curriculum in museum programs from youth.  Acuff attended The Ohio State University from 2008-2011 and received a PhD in Art Education. The dissertation, titled A Multicultural and Social Reconstructionist Approach to Art Education: A Framework

for Social Justice through Art Curriculum, investigated the influences of a social justice art curriculum in a community center for youth who identify as lgbtq (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer).