YA Newsletter: Summer 2023

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June 07, 2023 | lauren@ya.org

Welcome to the Summer 2023 Young Audiences Arts for Learning (YA) Newsletter. In this edition, coming to you from the National YA Office in New York, we are excited to share the latest news and updates from across our network. We also have some important national events on the horizon, which we hope you will mark in your calendars.


Celebrating Young Audiences Charter School's Inaugural Graduation

On May 19, Louisiana's Young Audiences Charter School (YACS) graduated its first class of high-school seniors. Founded by Young Audiences of Louisiana (YALA), with support from National Young Audiences Arts for Learning (YA), YACS is the only fully arts-integrated public charter school serving Louisiana’s Orleans and Jefferson Parishes. It offers tracks in Visual Arts, Dance, Digital Media, Theatre, and Music, with creative career development and the motto “Academic Excellence with an Artistic Edge.”

During the ceremony, YACS CEO Rickie Nutik (formerly Executive Director at YALA) was also honored for her efforts in championing the school's founding a decade ago. Congratulations to all YACS graduating seniors! 


Introducing YA's New Development Director, David Falk

We are pleased to announce that David Falk has joined YA's national staff as Director of Development. In this role, he will design and implement fundraising strategies capable of supporting the robust depth and breadth of YA’s impact on the field of arts in education.

David brings to YA more than 25 years of experience in development and communications across the media and nonprofit sectors. Before joining YA, David served as Director of Philanthropy with Yaddo, the nation’s preeminent artist residency program. “It’s an honor and a privilege to become part of a seven-decades-old organization that places our children and youth at the center of its work," David shared. 


Announcing Affiliate Development Fund (ADF) Grant Awards for 2023

YA's Affiliate Development Fund (ADF) is a national initiative that encourages and supports innovative projects at the affiliate level, which serve as models for the network as a whole. This year's ADF awardees are Arts for Learning Connecticut (Hamden, CT), Arts for Learning Western New York (Buffalo, NY), and Young Audiences of Louisiana (New Orleans, LA). We commend the winning organizations and all of this year’s applicants for their leadership, vision, and commitment to the betterment of the YA Network and the learners we serve. 


Four Young Audiences Affiliates Awarded National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Grants Totaling $160,000

In its second major grant announcement of FY 2023, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) named four Young Audiences Arts for Learning affiliates as recipients: Arts for Learning Connecticut (Hamden, CT), Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (Chicago, IL), Young Audiences of Houston (Houston, TX), and Arts for Learning Maryland (Baltimore, MD). All four projects were awarded under the NEA's Grants for Arts Projects (GAP) category. 


Showcasing CAPE Gallery, Our Chicago Affiliate's New Home and Gallery Space

This spring, YA affiliate Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE) opened CAPE Gallery, its new headquarters in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood. The space is both a gallery and arts integration center, dedicated to publicly sharing student work. It also serves as a community-driven resource for engaging students, inspiring teachers and artists, and highlighting CAPE’s impact in classrooms across the city.


On the subject of Chicago, we look forward to welcoming you to the windy city for the 2024 Young Audiences Arts for Learning (YA) National Conference, held in partnership with CAPE. Please Save the Date: April 3 – 5, 2024, and stay tuned to our conference website for additional information. 

In Other News...

2023 Gala Dates Announced!
We are pleased to announce that a date has been set for this year's annual Young Audiences Arts for Learning Gala. Join us October 24, 2023, for what is sure to be a very special celebration in support of arts in education. Please visit ya.org/Gala to learn more. 

Join Arts & Learning Conservatory for Gospel Voices of OC
In celebration of Juneteenth, YA affiliate Arts & Learning Conservatory (Costa Mesa, CA) presents Gospel Voices of OC (June 10, 2023). Debora Wondercheck, Arts & Learning Conservatory's CEO and Founder, leads the production team behind this multi-generational staged performance that spotlights gospel music as a source of historical impact and resiliency. Learn more and buy tickets

Looking Back on YA Week 2023
Our gratitude goes out to everyone who took part in the celebration of this year's National Young Audiences Arts for Learning Week (YA Week). Representative Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) introduced the 2023 YA Week Resolution to the House of Representatives, designating April 9 through 15, 2023, as YA Week in recognition of the contributions YA has made to students and schools nationwide through arts in education programs.

YA Welcomes New Executive Leadership Across the National Network 
We are pleased to introduce four new executive leaders across the YA Network: Zareta Ricks, Young Audiences New York (New York, NY), Mark Horton, Young Audiences of Northeast Texas (Tyler, TX), Daisy McGowan, Think 360 Arts for Learning (Denver, CO), and Kea Beasley, Young Audiences of Lubbock (Lubbock, TX). Young Audiences of Lubbock, the newest YA affiliate, joined the network in December 2022. 

Teaching Artist Credential (TAC) Updates
YA's Teaching Artist Credential program, a national initiative now in its fifth year, is pleased to welcome two new teaching artists to its roster. Congratulations to Maria-Ines Tripodi (Arts for Learning Maryland) and Alison Zapata (Arts Education Collaborative), who joined the ranks of our Credentialed Teaching Artists. Additionally, Credentialed Teaching Artist Chris Espinosa (Young Audiences of Northeast Texas) has been named the new TAC Liaison. Meet the full TAC roster here.

Now Hiring: Programs Manager, Network Initiatives
We are currently looking to hire a full-time Program Manager, Network Initiatives to provide essential support for the execution and ongoing management of national initiatives. Interested candidates should visit ya.org/Jobs to find a full job description and application instructions. 

Responsive Arts in School Education (RAISE)
Building on last year's momentum, YA's USDOE-funded Responsive Arts in School Education (RAISE) program has expanded its implementation to five new affiliate sites and begun a new training course focused on healing-centered engagement with students. We have so much exciting RAISE news to share in our next YA Newsletter. Please stay tuned!




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.