Matt Hess Takes the Helm of Denver Arts and Education Group
(Denver, CO — Sept. 28, 2022) — The Board of Directors and Staff for Pop Culture Classroom today announced the Colorado organization’s new Executive Director: Matt Hess, formerly of the University of Colorado Anschutz and World Hunger Relief, Inc.
“We are absolutely thrilled to bring Matt Hess’s community-oriented approach to the organization,” said Pop Culture Classroom’s Board Chairperson Tone de Ellis Jesus in a prepared statement. “With Matt’s help, Pop Culture Classroom is set to take our efforts to the next level.”
Hess started his career teaching girls expelled from public school before joining World Hunger Relief, Inc. — first as Education Director and later as Executive Director. World Hunger Relief, Inc. operates a 40-acre training farm where Matt lived with his family for 10 years. Matt trained individuals who were preparing to serve in improving agriculture around the world, started a city-wide school gardening program, and led programs to improve food access in Waco.
Most recently, Hess has worked at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, where he focused on programs that encouraged students historically excluded from health care careers to consider the field and worked to prepare students to better serve rural and minoritized populations.
“My roots are in education, and our immediate goal is to expand the network of communities we serve. I’m excited to join the PCC team in promoting a love of learning and growing diverse, inclusive, and engaged communities,” said Hess in prepared remarks. “Pop Culture Classroom is creating opportunities to learn, create, and connect every single day.”
Established in 2010 as Comic Book Classroom, Pop Culture Classroom is perhaps best known as the main charity behind Denver Comic Con, Denver Pop Culture Con, and FAN EXPO Denver.
However, most of the group’s work centers around its arts and education workshops for Denver-area students and pop culture-themed professional development to help educators engage students, free educational comics, curriculum, and teaching guides online, and other community events.
Hess promises an enhanced emphasis on these services for students, educators, and families during his tenure.
“I am excited to join this team in bringing transformative education to students and encouraging students toward creative self-expression,” continued Hess. “In a time of rapid cultural change, preparing students to imagine better futures offers our greatest hope for a future where all may thrive.”
Pop Culture Classroom is currently completing work on new comics and curriculum and scheduling in-school workshops for this and next semester at PopCultureClassroom.org/outreach.
The group is also preparing for its PopUP Denver 2022 event on October 16th at Denver’s McNichols Civic Center Building, which will feature two full floors of educational attractions and exhibits and presentations from several local community groups. More information about PopUP Denver 2022 is available at PopCultureClassroom.org/popup.
“The Pop Culture Classroom Board of Directors wishes to thank Interim Executive Directors Adam Kullberg and Angie Morency for their extraordinary efforts over the last two years to save Pop Culture Classroom,” concluded Board Chair Ellis De Jesus. “They’ve set the foundation for some amazing community impact in the weeks, months, and years ahead — and Matt is ready to keep building.”
Pop Culture Classroom inspires a love of learning, increases literacy, celebrates diversity, and builds community through the tools of popular culture and the power of self-expression. Learn more at PopCultureClassroom.org.