Young Audiences New York (YANY) captivates, educates, and inspires children through the transformative power of the arts. With an emphasis on collaboration, YANY partners with New York City schools to design a customized blend of residencies, performances, family activities, and professional development that will best meet the needs of their communities. YANY believes that providing students with arts education positively affects all aspects of students’ learning and influences the development of creativity, cultural awareness, and critical thinking skills.
Founded in 1952, YANY originally presented chamber music performances as a way to increase access to the arts for large numbers of students, but over the past sixty years, the organization has grown into one of the nation’s leading art education providers. YANY’s comprehensive programs now include multi-week residencies led by professional Teaching Artists, performances that increase access to the arts, family activities that strengthen the home-school relationship, professional development that builds the capacity of artists and teachers alike and Youth Labs that advance learning in the arts for teens outside of the school setting.
From the early years in chamber music, to the addition of jazz, opera and world music, then dance and theater – YANY’s programs have evolved to meet the constantly changing needs of our schools and students. In the 1970s, visual and literary artists were added to the roster, and long-term and multi-year residencies began to be implemented. Schools began to ask for programs that not only taught arts skills and enhanced the viewing of performances but also looked for authentic connections between and among the arts and all areas of the curriculum. At about the same time, the importance of and increasing need for professional development for classroom teachers became apparent.
With the advent of the Empire State Partnership Grants and the Center for Arts Education Annenberg Grants and Project ARTS funding, the in depth examination of programming and models of partnership increased. The needs of parents and family members became a new programmatic focus, and additional supporting materials for parents and teachers, such as the YANY Family Guide to the Arts in New York City and Arts for Learning (an online professional development tool), were developed.
The organization has been providing arts learning experiences for children and their families for more than six decades. YANY has separated itself from others in the field through its expansive reach and variety of disciplines. Each year YANY works with more than 100 school partners and community organizations throughout the five boroughs of New York City and surrounding metro area. Currently, YANY provides arts learning experiences in visual arts, dance, music, theater and digital arts. Because of the high caliber of our professional Teaching Artists, our programming can be the start of a student’s introduction to the arts and help them develop their skills in order to be college and career ready. As YANY embarks on its next 60 years, the organization is extending its reach through its merger with The American Place Theatre. This partnership will bring APT’s award-winning Literature to Life® program to even more students in New York City and nationwide.