YANJEP Joins New National Young Audiences Arts for Learning Project To Support Responsive Arts in Education


Date: December 4, 2021


Emily House


[email protected]

PRINCETON, NJ – Young Audiences Arts for Learning New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania (YANJEP) is proud to be a part of a new national Young Audiences Arts for Learning (YA) program, Responsive Arts in School Education (RAISE), which was awarded a US$9.2 million federal grant through the US Department of Education’s (DOE) Assistance for Arts Education (AAE) program. RAISE will bring Teaching Artists (TAs), School Social Workers (SSWs), and classroom teachers into partnership to develop healing-centered and culturally responsive-sustaining arts in education residency programs, in order to enhance student learning and wellbeing across YA, the nation’s largest arts in education network.

The RAISE program consists of four primary activities: (1) TA training, coaching, and action research; (2) learning networks for TAs and SSWs across the country to share best practices; (3) professional learning for SSWs and teachers in incorporating the arts into their practice; and (4) customized school-based arts education residencies.

Instruction and coaching will be provided to TAs working at affiliates across the network, including YANJEP. TAs applying their learning to in-school residencies will convene regularly as a learning community to share action research strategies and findings.

Over the five-year project period, RAISE will serve over 17,000 students and 800 teachers and SSWs from under-funded urban, suburban, and rural areas across the country, as well as over 500 TAs who will receive training. At the project’s conclusion, YA will publish an online library of resources for use by other organizations, TAs, SSWs, and teachers.

“The Responsive Arts in School Education program brings to light the opportunity to further position the Young Audiences Arts for Learning network as a national research laboratory steeped in differentiated practice nationwide,” said David A. Dik, National Executive Director of YA. “Through both formative and summative research over the next half-decade, we look forward to connecting our collective practice to support the social-emotional learning and wellbeing of students across the country.”

“We are thrilled to be selected for this national project, and eager to begin working with our school partners and teaching artists in our service area,” says Michele Russo, President and CEO of Young Audiences New Jersey and Eastern PA.  “The impact that arts education can have on students’ well-being is immense, and we look forward to being part of this community of learners and researchers.”

About Young Audiences Arts for Learning New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania

Founded in 1973, Young Audiences Arts for Learning NJ & Eastern PA is the premier arts-in-education resource in the region, providing teaching artist-led performances, workshops, residencies, and teacher professional learning programs to schools in all 21 counties of New Jersey and the 7 easternmost counties of Pennsylvania. Young Audiences’ extensive professional artist roster represents all art forms—dance, theater, music, language and visual arts. Since its founding, the organization has reached over 15 million children in its nearly 50-year history.

A not-for-profit organization, Young Audiences’ mission is to inspire young people and expand their learning through the arts. Students are the center of our work. YA continually strives to create spaces that are diverse, equitable, and inclusive to all students and is committed to providing students of all identities, backgrounds, and experiences with arts education in which their creativity, cultures, abilities, and identities are validated, included, and nurtured.

To learn more, visit www.yanjep.org. To be “social” with us, join us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @YAAFLORG.

About Young Audiences Arts for Learning

Founded in 1952, Young Audiences Arts for Learning is the nation’s largest arts in education network, serving more than 5 million young people each year. Young Audiences works to support its diverse network of affiliated organizations that are each dedicated to playing a decisive role in young people’s personal, artistic, and educational development. Learn more about Young Audiences and its mission to inspire young people and expand their learning through the arts at www.youngaudiences.org.