Since 1962, Young Audiences of Louisiana (YALA) has been serving the ever-changing needs of its students, educators, and administrators. New Orleans-based YALA is also the Louisiana affiliate of Wolf Trap Early Learning Through the Arts. Its signature initiatives include performance assembly programs, semester-long classroom artist residencies, pre-school programs, and professional development workshops for teachers and teaching artists. The organization also offers a nationally recognized arts-integrated curriculum that provides classroom teachers – regardless of previous arts experience or training – with lesson plans designed to enliven core academic subjects to energize and engage students. YALA provides afterschool and summer programs specially designed to connect the school day and combine academics, arts and culture, and life skills.
In 2013, YALA opened the Young Audiences Charter School (YACS), the only fully arts-integrated public charter school in the Greater New Orleans area. Authorized by the Jefferson Parish Public School System as a Title 1 Charter, the school’s arts-integrated curriculum reflects recent research from the arts education field that provides significant evidence of the value of the arts in the learning process. YACS currently consists of three campuses serving grades K-12.
In the spring of 2020, YALA launched a collection of online workshops to bring its arts integrated programs into the online arena.