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Young Audiences New York (YANY) Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Zareta Ricks has been selected as the organization's next Executive Director, after an exhaustive and competitive search process. She began her

new role on June 12, 2023.

Ricks has served as an educational nonprofit leader for over 10 years and most recently served as the Executive Director of OpeninAct, an NYC nonprofit organization that provides afterschool theater programming for high school students.

In announcing Ricks’ appointment, George Young, President of YANY’s Board of Directors shared that “Zareta Ricks has the passion, intelligence, determination and managerial skills to transform Young Audiences New York arts programs and the lives of the children we serve in the New York Public Schools. Young Audiences New York Board of Directors is confident that Zareta will strengthen our organization fostering greater success and student impact.”

Previously, Ricks served as Senior Director of Programs and Innovation at Change for Kids where she managed the strategic development, implementation, and evaluations for their portfolio of programs. She also served as a Family and Community Engagement Coordinator with the NYC Department of Education, where she worked closely with family and community members to provide support and increase parental engagement. She is skilled at building long-term strategic partnerships with community leaders, educators, and families to support NYC youth and schools. Ricks believes deeply in the transformative power of the arts for youth, families and communities in NYC and is excited to advance YANY’s work and lead its team.

Ricks studied Organizational Management at Mercy College in NYC, holds a professional certificate in Nonprofit Executive Leadership and Management from Fordham University and is a member of the American Express Leadership Academy cohort for Emerging Nonprofit Leaders.

YANY’s mission is to inspire, engage, and unite children and communities through education, culture, and the arts. Founded in 1952, YANY uses art to create opportunity and promote equity for young people, families, and communities throughout New York City. YANY provides artmaking opportunities across the arts—music, dance, theater, visual and digital art. Each year, YANY gives thousands of children the chance to create art, taught by a distinguished company of practicing, professional New York City artists. Through creating and sharing art, children build important life skills, grow social networks, and affirm their belief in a positive future.

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