A reflection from Stacie Sanders Evans, Young Audiences’ Executive Director, and Kristina Berdan, Young Audiences’ Arts Integration Specialist.
One thing that people consistently say that they love about being a part of Young Audiences is that we welcome different perspectives and opinions. We, as a team, love that too. We have staff members and board members who may have voted for different Presidential candidates for different reasons, yet we can all come together around this mission. The thing we can unite around, and find comfort and resolve in, is our shared values and vision around what we want for children and for education.
Our teaching artists are doing essential work in schools and are critical at a time when our young people need to feel valued, loved, and part of an authentic classroom community, with the freedom to express their knowledge, values, beliefs, and opinions through all art forms.
Teaching artists bring humanity into classrooms — it is who they are, it is what they do. Our artists use their talents, gifts, spirit, and humanity to lift up and engage the voices of young people. And to provide them with opportunities to explore our world, determine who they are, how they fit into it, and to feel like a part of a community — one that honors and celebrates differences. This is what happens when a teaching artist is in the classroom.
If you were to walk through Young Audiences’ office today, you’d find the hopes and dreams of some of our teachings artists, written out and on display. These hopes and dreams remind us of who we are as a community, what we are doing collectively, and why it is so important that we keep striving to realize our vision that one day, every student in Maryland will have the opportunity to imagine, create, and realize their full potential through the arts.
Today, one artist’s dream, in particular, spoke to us:
“As a teaching artist, I hope to bring more peace
and listening opportunities to students.”
Let’s get behind that! The actions we take on behalf of this mission every day matter. Today more than any other day, we know this to be true.
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