Looking Forward: The Sun is Rising in Young Audiences of Santa Cruz County

As we approach our 43rd year, I want to take this opportunity to share some of our accomplishments, goals and aspirations. Over the last 5 years, Santa Cruz County Young Audiences has had to overcome many adversities ranging from more minor issues all the way up to financial hardships. Without going down memory lane, I am happy to share that as a result of some hard work during challenging times for all who work in this field, we have developed a renewed energy for the continued growth and success of Young Audiences of Santa Cruz County (YASCC). With the support of many people, we have found that more often than not we need to think outside of the box in order to move forward. 

We have taken that advice with a revitalized passion and are running with it!  This year’s programs have included summer music programs, character building workshops, trips to the Theatre in Tucson, and the reintroduction of Artist Eric Cork’s “Rap, Rhythm and Rhyme” Fundamentals of Writing for the 3rd time.  This is just one of the residencies we feel utilizes everything that our mission emphasizes, including supplemental support for our educators in the area of reading, writing and math.

                                                         Mike DeShalit Motivational Speaker giving a talk at Band Camp

Starting in November, Arizona State University (ASU) based Tetra String Quartet will visit just about every school in Santa Cruz County conducting workshops and performing for all grade levels, K-12. YASCC will offer various extended residencies throughout 2015 and we hope to bring back Capoeira Mandinga Martial Arts and Dance in the spring. Every one of our teaching artists have been exceptional in both reaching and connecting with our students and the integration of their discipline with the core curriculum.  We also hope to reinforce our role as co-educators by continuing to promote professional development for our teachers.

I believe that being situated in Arizona puts our organization at a great advantage.  Although located in the poorest County in the State, AZ Arts Standards has been fully supportive of our work and has even created endorsements in the areas of dance, music, theatre and visual arts. AZ Arts Standards also have implemented certain requirements for all our Pre-K through 12th grade students and teachers in order to maintain rigorous, sequential guidelines to support the role of the Arts.  The relationship we have with all of our schools, educators and administrators has served to support our journey to re-strengthen amd re-imagine both our organization and our passion for what we do.  


Contributed by Jeannie Perez, Executive Director, Young Audiences of Santa Cruz County, Arizona



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