Laurel Butler is a brilliant, passionate, and influential arts educator. She brings an asset-based approach to education, uplifting community voices and ensuring that the work is always centered around our youth's development. Laurel is the rare genius who excels at communicating to a wide range of audiences, with a remarkable ability to break down complex academic concepts into clear, tangible objectives. Her talent as a performing artist is both wide-ranging and genuine, and she is adept at synthesizing her love for the arts with her commitment to education and social justice. A natural leader, Laurel inspires those around her to improve their craft, step just outside their comfort zone, and be the best version of themselves possible. Matt Bogdanow Director of Curriculum, Everyday Arts
With over 20 years of experience as an Arts Educator, my experience working with Laurel is unmatched. Her knowledge of research and hands-on pedagogy in arts education and working with youth is the perfect recipe in supporting administrators and educators. She holds a safe space for participants to share, build community and walk away with tangible resources to inform and implement in their classrooms. Laurel inspires everyone to be reminded of the true transformative power of the arts in the lives of young people. She is a gift to any individual, school or organization that has the opportunity to work with her!
In my work at the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture I have had the good fortune to collaborate with Laurel Butler on a variety of projects and to see her work first hand as a teaching artist and expert facilitator. Laurel’s gifts as a dancer and choreographer are matched by the creativity, emotional power and the intellectual stimulation that she brings to every convening. It is a rare that an artist is talented as well in communicating with clarity and connecting with classroom teachers in ways that fire their imaginations and inspire new ways of engaging youth in the arts. Anyroom in which Laurel is guiding the practice is transformed with sparkling enthusiasm, laughter and the joy of discovery.
Gregg Johnson Program Manager, Arts Education Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture
Working with Laurel is ALWAYS something I look forward to. Her immense experience, contagious enthusiasm, and empowering leadership skills make collaboration both personally and professionally inspiring! She is a dependable and reliable partner that provides the highest quality of work for a diverse range of publics.
Dr. Jessica Bianchi LMFT, ATR-BC Art Therapy Clinic Director and Assistant Professor Loyola Marymount University Department of Marital and Family Therapy
LAUREL IS THE BEST PROFESSOR EVER!!!!!!!! I wish she could be my professor for all of my classes. UCLA needs more people like her. She is so nice and knowledgeable about what she is teaching Laurel is a fantastic teacher. She is fun and warm and welcoming and inspiring and everything you could possibly want in a professor. Her enthusiasm for the subject was evident, and it really inspired the class. I loved her class and enjoyed coming to it each week. Laurel is an EXCELLENT teacher and has done a GREAT job at getting to know her students, caring for them, and adapting the lesson plans to meet their needs. She is caring, fun, and very wise! She is always willing to help and most importantly, she values her students' opinions a lot and allows time in class for dialogue to happen. She is just amazing and all the students like her a lot!
Laurel is an exceptional educator and overall human being. I've never had a class that so deeply changed who I am as a person. I wish more than anything that I could stay in college a little longer just to be taught by her again. I genuinely can't think of a weakness. Laurel is by far the most incredible teacher I have ever had, and has become my biggest role model. It is hard to find examples to show how much care and passion she brought to her students because she inspired us with every second of her lessons to the point that we would still be talking about the class for hours or even days after the class had ended. Laurel has made such an amazing impact on her students in so many wonderful ways; she has changed the way we value and engage with art, how we value and take care of ourselves in our everyday lives, how we engage with society and how to simply be the best person you can be! I know that is a lot to say, but this teacher is packed with wisdom, kindness, and meaning. I wish every student in the world could have the chance to have her as a teacher (again, this is saying a lot but I deeply truly mean it) because she has the ability to teach any human on this planet how to be kind, respectful and conscious (and much much more...)
I love this class. It was much more like a community. Laurel has power to make classsmates become unity. I am truly inspired by her teaching.
Laurel is truly an amazing instructor. Her interest in each and every student, her attention to detail, and unmatched energy and enthusiasm about the course and arts education alone convinced me to follow through with the minor. Looking forward to working with her in the future! One of the most engaged, caring, and experienced teachers. If she didn't know something, she'd look it up. She really cares about student learning and achievement. Wonderful teacher. It is safe to say that this class has changed my life. It has given me new perspectives on my art practice, relevant information on what can largely be described as the human rights issue of our generation, and tangible avenues to become involved in direct action activism through meaningful community building. The classes, source material, and guest presentations were all spot on - it is hard to find anything to mention in regards to constructive critique about the class. Laurel is incredibly knowledgeable and has the experience to back it up, and some. She is an incredible resource for UCLA, and our university is blessed to have her active presence on campus. I look forward to continuing this work around correctional institutions in the near future. We all appreciate your dedication and effort, and please continue doing what you do! All the best. Laurel is a phenomenal teacher who clearly cares about her students and works incredibly hard to make class meaningful. Her attention to detail is apparent -- everyone will leave this class more encouraged and excited about criminal justice and ending mass incarceration. Laurel is an amazing professor! She has such a great classroom presence, is extremely engaging, passionate, and makes you want to learn more! She is everything a student could ask for in a teacher and I love the community she created in our classroom. I like how she engaged every student and I felt very comfortable talking to her and asking her for help. Overall, the course made me more interested in the topic and I would love to take another class with Laurel again! Laurel is an incredible instructor who genuinely cares about the subject she is teaching as well as the students learning. The syllabus is thoroughly thought out and the readings and content are super meaningful. This course is an educational experience unique to ucla. Professor Butler is very passionate about her work. This appreciation for her work allows her to very effectively communicate with the students and allow them to participate. I had not ever taken a class in this discipline and while I was sometimes a bit overwhelmed, I knew that I could also go to Laurel to ask questions if I needed to. Great course and professor overall. Professor Laurel Butler has been an amazing professor. She engaging and accessible throughout the whole quarter, something I have rarely seen on this campus. There are too many positive adjectives to describe Laurel. She has been one of my best professors on this campus. Laurel really made everyone feel like their ideas and input were important which ignited me to want to participate. I never want to participate in classes but Laurel was able to create a safe space in the classroom every week. The material was challenging but always relevant and compelling. Laurel is truly one of the best teachers I've ever had - not just because she's so passionate about what she teaches but because she really wants students to learn. The best professor ever!! She presents course material in such an interesting and captivating way that you even forget that you are learning. This was one of the most meaningful classes I have had the opportunity to take during my undergraduate career. Laurel's ability to facilitate developing a strong class community over only ten weeks is incredible. We not only learned about important theories and concepts, but also had the opportunity to actually go into a facility, which many of us had not before. I feel lucky to have taken a course that will help guide me towards becoming part of the resistance against the prison industrial complex. I only wish that more UCLA students had this kind of educational experience! Laurel has been my favorite professor at UCLA. Never have I had a professor so dedicated, knowledgeable, and passionate about her students and their learning experience. Laurel has and continues to be one of the most ambitious, organized, and positive human beings I've ever met. Her dedication to arts education is clear, and I look forward to working with her in the future. Professor Butler has masterfully guided us through our Arts Ed teaching sequence. This course (capstone project) was a direct culmination of all the ideas we had discussed in the previous 2 courses. Her energy and passion is inspiring. She has provided an excellent example for us students who want to be arts educators. By far the best class I took at UCLA. Instructor was caring, hard working, and committed to her students receiving the best possible education. Everyone should take this course! Laurel serves as a great example for us who are future arts educators. She genuinely cares about student's learning and being able to implement pedagogy. Her positive energy is infectious and provides a great learning environment. Laurel is the greatest professor ever. - Undergraduate student evaluation feedback, UCLA Visual and Performing Arts Education program