“Walls were broken down, confidence was built up, and the entire context of my classroom changed for the better…”

We envision a Maryland where the arts are valued for their capacity to transform lives.

Young Audiences/Arts for Learning is the most far-reaching arts in education nonprofit in Maryland. Each year, we partner with hundreds of schools and community organizations in all 24 Maryland school districts to provide students—from pre-K to grade 12—with over 230,000 hours of discovery, inspiration, and hands-on learning and engagement through the arts.

Our Vision

One day, every student in Maryland will have the opportunity to imagine, create, and realize their full potential through the arts.

Our Mission

Young Audiences transforms the lives and education of our youth through the arts by connecting educators, professional artists, and communities. We provide artistically excellent programs, expertise, and resources to ensure opportunities for all students across the state of Maryland.

The Challenge :

CLOSING THE INSPIRATION GAP

Schools are facing huge challenges caused by a focus on standardized testing and narrowing of the curriculum. These conditions do not inspire our students, do not create a love for learning, or develop the creative and problem-solving skills young people need to succeed in school, work, and life.

Our Solution :

ARTISTS & ARTS INTEGRATION

Learning in, about, and through the arts creates inspired learning environments. The arts empower students to think creatively and engage in the learning of all subjects in a new way. Research shows that all children— and particularly children at risk of academic failure—are more likely to thrive in schools that make time for the arts and utilize arts integration, the practice of using the arts to teach classroom subjects.

Our Methodologies
Artist and School Partnerships

We partner with more than 100 of the best musicians, dancers, actors, poets, storytellers, and visual artists and nearly 500 schools and learning centers throughout Maryland to provide hands-on arts and arts-integrated learning experiences to students in all grade levels.

Teacher Professional Development

We train more than 500 new teachers each year to use the arts to engage students in the learning process through arts integration and provide a basis for improving student achievement in the arts and other academic subjects.

Artist Professional Development

We train more than 80 new artists each year in the use and understanding of arts integration, state curriculum, and Common Core Standards, creating opportunities for artists to learn how to bring their art to the classroom and enhance the curriculum.

Customized Programs for School Districts

We partner with school districts across Maryland to design and evaluate customized arts-integrated programs that transform teaching practice and are a model for school reform.

Fundraising for Schools

Our supporters allow us to reach students of every socioeconomic background, geographic area, and ability by covering the financial gap between what schools can afford to pay and what professional artists deserve to earn.

OUR HISTORY

Nina Collier was our first change agent. Sixty eight years ago she asked, “Why can’t we bring professional musicians into our schools to perform?”

Concerned that young people were completing school and living their lives without ever having heard a live performance by a professional musician, Nina answered by founding the “Young Musicians’ Series,” a live, chamber music series performed by professional musicians in Baltimore-area schools and cultural centers.

This experimental music series marked the beginning of Young Audiences of Maryland and sparked the formation of a national Young Audiences network, serving over 5 million children each year in more than 7,000 schools and community centers across the country through its diverse network of 30 affiliates.

During our 68-year history, Young Audiences has greatly expanded its services to Maryland students, teachers, and artists. What began as a program to introduce children to classical music grew to include jazz, opera, theatrical, and folk performances. And, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the organization created programs for in-class, arts-integrated learning: workshops and residencies.

ABOUT THIS IMAGE : In November 1951, Mrs. Nina Collier (upper right), founder of the “Young Musicians’ Series,” smiles as she watches children plead for autographs from viola-violin duo Joseph Fuchs (upper left) and Lillian Fuchs (right center) after a concert at the Baltimore Museum of Art. (Photo by Dunaway, The Baltimore Sun)

Our ANNUAL REPORT

Last year, we served 190,630 students, from pre-K to grade 12, with our programs, ranging from interactive live performances to long-term, classroom-based residencies. YA’s roster of more than 100 professional teaching artists traveled to all 24 Maryland school districts to deliver these programs to 420 schools and community sites, providing students with a total of 230,727 learning hours.

“We believe artists can be catalysts in our schools. At a time when many kids have "checked out" of school, we see artists, and the creative process, as a catalyst for inspiration and engagement across the curriculum. Our artists are helping administrators approach curriculum and teaching in a way that reaches all types of students.”

- Stacie Sanders Evans, President + CEO

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Meet Young Audiences

Whether you are familiar with our organization or know little about us, we invite you to learn more about our mission at an upcoming Meet Young Audiences event.

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Our work of expanding access to arts learning experiences for all Maryland students would not be possible without the help of many dedicated and passionate volunteers. 

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Every gift is critical to creating the future where every student in Maryland has the opportunity to imagine, create, and realize their full potential through the arts.