History, mission and vision of Young Audiences
Arts education is who we are and what we do.
Our venue is the school. Our model of delivery brings arts experiences by professional teaching artists directly to students. By doing so, we eliminate barriers to participation and make the arts accessible to students of every socioeconomic background, geographic area, and ability. We deliver this programming in formats designed to complement the workings of a school. Formats include workshops, residencies, performances, and teacher professional development. All programming is designed to meet school-defined needs. Our programs are consistent with New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards in the Arts, National Core Arts Standards, and 21st Century Skills.
We begin our relationship with a school at the place they are willing and able to welcome the arts. We strive to work in partnership with schools to provide long-term in-school programs centered around hands-on sequential arts learning activities for students. We work to surmount barriers like school budget, standardized testing demands, leadership changes, and teacher willingness and preparedness to nurture relationships and change school culture. We have helped many school communities grow and adapt to embrace the arts (see Mercer Elementary Letter of Support).
Like you, we believe that children learn best when they’re truly engaged in the process. That’s why each child-centered, outcome-driven, and measurably effective Young Audiences’ program is designed to meet our four guiding core principles, below. So whichever program you choose, you can feel confident that children have the opportunity to:
- EXPERIENCE inspiring professional working artists of the highest quality
- UNDERSTAND the art forms and why they are important in the role and context they play in the world
- CREATE their own original works of art and expand their imagination and innovation
- CONNECT the arts and the creative process to their lives and other learning
We envision a future in which all young people have ongoing and sustained access to see and participate in quality arts learning that nurtures creativity, promotes cultural awareness, and helps children develop critical thinking and learning skills.
Our programs play a vital role in shaping today’s children into the future leaders and thinkers of tomorrow. What kind of people do we want our children to become? Our interactive workshops and performances help to create young people who are:
- Self-aware and able to positively express their thoughts and feelings
- Innovative, creative and adaptive
- Nimble and rigorous thinkers
- Engaged citizens who are aware of their community and the world
- Involved in the arts as an essential part of lifelong learning
- Able to nurture these qualities in others
Young Audiences’ mission is to inspire young people and to expand their learning through the arts. Our goal is to foster the creativity of every child, and to encourage productive and caring human beings. Our music, dance, theatre, literary, media, and visual arts programs are culturally diverse, curriculum-based, and measurably effective.
Best of all, these profound arts experiences inspire young people to discover new talents, believe in their abilities, and view themselves—and the world—in a new light.
ACCESS FOR ALL
We believe that every child deserves the right to an education that fosters their creativity and allows them to experience and explore the arts. As a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization, Young Audiences New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania raises over a million dollars each year to support thousands of under-served children to experience the joy of live performance, connect with professional artists, and see brilliant sparks of possibility.
Since our founding in 1973, YA has grown into the region’s largest arts education organization. YA serves students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12, their teachers and their families. Over the last 42 years our programs have affected 12 million children.
We are a proud member of the national network Young Audiences, Inc., comprised of 31 affiliates across the country. Each autonomous chapter shares a common mission, vision and goals. We are the largest affiliate.