We’re continuing our social media campaign asking community members “Why Do the Arts Matter?” to celebrate National Young Audiences Arts for Learning Week (YA Week). Maryland State Senator Bill Ferguson shared his perspective in a #WhyArts video.
You can join us in celebrating #YAWeek by creating a video, taking a photo, writing a few words, or sharing a piece of artwork that tells a story of how the arts have impacted your life. Learn how to share your story and other ways you can get involved this week at yamd.org.
During National Young Audiences Arts for Learning Week (YA Week) we’re leading a social media campaign to ask community members “Why Do the Arts Matter?” Young Audiences Executive Director Stacie Sanders Evans shared her perspective in a #WhyArts video.
Join us in celebrating #YAWeek by creating a video, taking a photo, writing a few words, or sharing a piece of artwork that tells a story of how the arts have impacted your life. Then nominate your friends, family, and colleagues to participate as well! Learn how to share your story and other ways you can get involved this week at yamd.org.
In July 2014, Young Audiences adopted its new five-year strategic plan, “Transforming the Lives and Education of Our Youth.” In the coming weeks, we will profile our four strategic directions and our exciting plans related to each. To kick off this series, Stacie Sanders Evans, Young Audiences executive director, wrote about how the plan was created and the exciting work that is to come.
More than 300 volunteers contributed to Young Audiences’ strategic planning process, spanning May 2013 to July 2014, to build an ambitious new strategic plan that sets the organization’s course for the next five years to significantly grow its reach–ultimately impacting the education of 50,000 more young people across this state every year.
During the development of the plan, Young Audiences worked with two consultants to conduct an external and internal review of the organization; more than 50 board members, staff members, artists, teachers, organizational funders, and school administrators gathered for a day-long strategic planning retreat; and smaller working groups composed of artists and educators spent two months exploring six strategic areas that came out of the retreat’s discussions and developed goals for the plan. It was an honor to co-lead this work with Bill Buckner, chair of the Strategic Planning Committee and Young Audiences’ immediate past board president. Our new plan was adopted by our board in July 2014 and since then our staff and board have been laying the foundation necessary to take on the challenges laid out in our plan.
Some of you may not be aware that Young Audiences is the nation’s largest arts education network and it began in Baltimore in 1950. During our 64-year history, the Maryland affiliate of Young Audiences has continually expanded its services to Maryland students, teachers, and artists to give more students the opportunity to experience and learn through the arts. We are proud of our rich history and roots as an organization focused on exposing young people to the arts. Yet, we are increasingly excited by our evolving role as an education organization that is transforming the lives and education of young people by building communities of educators, professional artists, and parents and enabling them to help our children realize their full potential through the arts.
The Next Five Years
Our vision remains the same as it did five years ago: “One day, every student in Maryland will have the opportunity to imagine, to create, and to realize their full potential through the arts.” Our mission also remains unchanged: “To transform the lives and education of youth through the arts by connecting educators, professional artists, and communities.”
What has changed is that now, more than any other time in our history, Young Audiences is poised to realize this vision and achieve this mission for all Maryland children.
During the next five years we plan to significantly increase Young Audiences’ transformative impact on students and on education, and to accomplish this by:
- Expanding our school district arts integration partnerships
- Investing in and growing our teaching artist community
- Building and sharing evidence of our impact
- Strengthening and expanding our programs
Through a series of blog posts, I will dive deeper into each aspect of this plan and share updates on our progress. I welcome your feedback and participation in our work.
We are excited about the power of the arts to improve educational and life outcomes for students, and we are proud of our plans and the community we are building to leverage the arts to have the greatest impact possible on our students. We hope you will join us in this work!
– Stacie Sanders Evans, Young Audiences Executive Director
To learn more Young Audiences’ mission and our work, we invite you to join us at one of our upcoming On the Bright Side Tours. Learn more and sign up online.
We started 2014 off big: moving into a brand new space in the restored former tire shop at 2600 North Howard Street in Remington.
Everyone has been talking about our big move (the Baltimore Sun recently featured the new development), but we want to give you a firsthand look at what’s really going on inside our spacious new home. Check out this short virtual tour for a glimpse into our new offices, and a look back to how far we’ve come since the organization’s start in 1950!
Come see us in person at our Open House event on Sunday, February 16, from 1 to 3 p.m. There will be Young Audiences staff and roster artists on hand to provide interactive and artistic entertainment as well as impromptu tours of the space. The whole family is welcome! RSVP here if you plan to attend. Stay updated on the schedule of events and entertainment by joining the Facebook event.
While you’re here, you can also see our neighbor (and roster ensemble) Single Carrot Theatre‘s final matinée performance of “The Flu Season” at 2:30 p.m. Learn more about the show and buy your tickets online. Discounted tickets are available for $10 by using the coupon code YAMD. Tickets are expected to sell out quickly for this final show, so please purchase your tickets early! (Please note: This particular show is best suited for theater-goers 18 years and older.)
Not able to make it on February 16? Sign up for one of our monthly On the Bright Side tours to see our new space and learn about our programs and their impact on Maryland students. You’ll get the chance to talk with one of our teaching artists, our executive director, and a member of our board, all while learning more about our work of bringing the power of the arts to Maryland students and educators.
Hope to see you soon!
Every day, Young Audiences artists, teacher partners, staff, board members, and supporters work to fulfill our mission of providing opportunities for Maryland students to imagine, create, and realize their full potential through the arts. In addition to our monthly enewsletter, this blog will share the stories of our work in Maryland schools and examples of the profound impact the arts have on learning.