YA Newsletter: Back-to-School 2023

September 19, 2023 | lauren@ya.org

As we say goodbye to summer and start off the current school year, Young Audiences Arts for Learning (YA) is delighted to be bringing you the latest YA Newsletter. In this Back-to-School 2023 edition, we reflect on an arts-filled summer, share exciting event news, and advocate for arts in education nationwide.

Responsive Arts in School Education (RAISE) Updates

YA's USDOE-funded Responsive Arts in School Education (RAISE) program continues to expand its impact and affiliate implementation across the Young Audiences Arts for Learning (YA) network. RAISE is a five-year, multi-state project designed to address the current, urgent needs of young learners through healing-centered, culturally responsive practices rooted in social emotional learning and student empowerment.

During Year 2 of RAISE, which covered the 2022-2023 school year, the program offered 33 artist residencies, for students in pre-K through grade 8, in 96 classrooms throughout 10 schools. On the program’s professional development side, RAISE engaged YA network teaching artists in 56 hours of online learning, with 88 artists completing the courses offered. Feedback from program participants has been overwhelmingly positive.

Back in June, YA partnered with Arts for Learning Indiana, our Indianapolis-based affiliate, for the RAISE Summer 2023 Convening. The event brought together over 50 passionate network staff and teaching artists from current and future RAISE implementation sites to share strategies, make connections, and plan for the coming year. To learn more about RAISE, please visit YA.org/RAISE.

2023 National Benefit Gala

YA Gala season is just around the corner! We’ve been busy setting the stage for our 2023 National Benefit Gala (Tuesday, October 24) in support of our mission to inspire young people and expand their learning through the arts. This year’s honoree is longtime YA supporter James H. Gellert, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of Rapid Ratings International, Inc. The evening will feature a special musical performance by ARKAI.

If you would like to learn more about our 2023 National Benefit Gala or help support the cause, please visit YA.org/gala.

2024 National Arts in Education Conference

YA’s national event calendar continues into spring with the Young Audiences Arts for Learning 2024 National Arts in Education Conference (April 3-5). The upcoming gathering will be held in Chicago, IL, with local affiliate Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE) as conference co-hosts.

We look forward to convening the YA network and field at large for what is sure to be a fun-filled and learning-driven time. Please continue staying tuned to our conference website.

National Teaching Artist Credential: Application Now Open

YA's 2023-24 National Teaching Artist Credential (TAC) application is now open. TAC articulates what effective, high-quality teaching artistry looks like in K-12 school-based residencies, and formally endorses exceptional teaching artists and their professional artistry.

Teaching artists working within the YA Network with significant experience designing and implementing school-based residency programs are invited to apply. To learn more and get started, please visit YA.org/TAC.

An Arts-Integrated Summer at Arts for Learning Maryland

Arts for Learning Maryland, YA’s Baltimore-based affiliate, was featured in an op-ed piece in the Baltimore Banner. The piece illustrates the impact of Arts for Learning Maryland's Summer Arts for Learning Academy (SALA), a free, full-day, six-week summer learning program centered on arts-integrated literacy and math instruction, and open to Baltimore City Public School students in pre-K through grade 6.

In addition to offering students an engaging and joy-filled summer learning experience, SALA motivates local classroom educators to incorporate arts-integrated approaches to teaching math and literacy in their classrooms through hands-on creativity in partnership with teaching artists. Read about one SALA teacher's experience on YA’s whYArts blog.

ACTIVATE Arts Learning with Arts Ed Collaborative 

Arts Ed Collaborative, YA’s Pittsburgh-based affiliate, is excited to host its 2023 ACTIVATE Arts Learning Conference at August Wilson African American Cultural Center! The event (October 9) will feature a fabulous line-up of artists and educators, while celebrating 25 years of Arts Ed Collaborative. To learn more and register, please visit the organization’s website.

Arts ARE Education

Our thought partners at Arts ARE Education (ARE), a national initiative in support of arts learning for all students, kicked off the back-to-school season with new advocacy tools, updated talking points, and other resources that support arts in education at the outset of and during the 2023-24 school year.

Visit ARE's Action Center to explore resources and lend your voice.

Welcome to Young Audiences, Jennifer! 

YA is happy to welcome Jennifer Quintanilla to our national staff as Program Manager, Network Initiatives! In this role, she will be providing essential support for the implementation and ongoing management of national initiatives at YA, including RAISE and TAC. To learn more about Jennifer, check out her staff bio here



About Young Audiences Arts for Learning
Founded in 1952, Young Audiences Arts for Learning is the nation’s largest art in education network, impacting around 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. To learn more about Young Audiences’ mission to inspire young people and expand their learning through the arts, please visit: www.youngaudiences.org.