Young Audiences of Oregon and SW Washington
Providing arts-in-education services to nearly 93,000 children in more than 220 schools each year
Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington has steadily grown in scope and programming since it was founded in 1958. Today, our work reflects responsive, innovative programs that meet the needs and anticipate the challenges of the local arts education landscape. With a focus on expanding programs to serve young people in new ways, whether deepening a residency to connect with high school students or supporting teaching artists with professional development, we are committed to inspiring young people and expanding their learning through the arts.
Connecting the best, most qualified teaching artists with schools and community groups to create meaningful arts experiences, spark creativity and enhance learning for young people remains at the heart of what we do. Residencies, workshops and performances conducted by our roster of rigorously selected artists and artistic ensembles reach between 70,000 and 80,000 students each year.
Because we believe that the arts are an essential component to a young person’s complete education, we’ve developed the Teaching Artists Studio professional development series to build the strength and capacity of teaching artists who in turn increase the quality of their impact on students’ lives and education. This program has been offered to our Portland metro area artists and has also been offered in conjunction with partner organizations Lane Arts Council, Arts Central, and Arts Center East to support teaching artists throughout Oregon.
The upcoming 2016-2017 school year marks the seventh year of our partnership with the Beaverton School District on the development and implementation of the Arts for Learning literacy lesson curriculum. Visited by Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), co-chair of the US House of Representatives STEAM Caucus, this arts integration program provides reliable gains in literacy and life skills for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. It’s also shown to be especially effective in reaching English Language Learner students and young people from low-income households.
Our footprint in arts integration is also firmly planted in K-8 schools throughout the Portland metro area through our long term partnership with the local Regional Arts and Culture Council’s program, The Right Brain Initiative. Originally, this program inspired by the arts integration programs of Young Audiences affiliate Big Thought and was adapted to fit the Portland educational landscape. Right Brain Initiative works to make an arts integrated education accessible to every K-8 student in the Portland tri-county region through arts-integration professional development for teachers and in depth work with teaching artists.
Sitting at the intersection of workforce readiness, technology and creativity, Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington’s Live SET (Sound Engineering for Teens) program teaches high school students the art and science of sound engineering live musical performances. With a focus on serving high needs students and closing the gender gap, this program delivers career and STEAM skills to a diverse cohort of young people outside the classroom throughout the year.
Paying for arts programs has always been a challenge. To address this concern, Young Audiences of Oregon and SW Washington partners with schools to coordinate to coordinate jog-a-thon fundraisers called Run for The Arts. Since 1977 students have been securing pledges for laps, running, and raising money to ensure the arts are present at their school. In its history, Run for The Arts has helped schools raise over $15 million for arts-in-education.
Mixing innovation with tradition, Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington has built a record of quality and trust to advance arts education and remain the only organization in our region delivering a full range of educational arts programs in multiple disciplines and cultures.