YAWNY Joins in the YA Week Celebration!

To celebrate National Young Audiences week, Young Audiences of Western New York (YAWNY) hosted a public celebration event on Thursday March 19th at the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. The event focused on allowing children and their families to experience the arts in many different forms, through exciting performances, intriguing exhibitions and touching personal testimonies about how the arts have impacted lives. 
Upon entering the event, attendees were instantly captivated by the rhythm and the grace of the traditional African drum and dance performance by Le Ballet Touba, featuring YAWNY teaching artists Robin Hibbert and Alassane Sarr. Other performances included an improvised skit featuring youth from YAWNY’s Direct Services program, a jazz performance by YAWNY ensemble Unusually Different, and a presentation of a video created by area youth enrolled in the Buffalo Youth Media Group by YAWNY Arts Partners for Learning member group, Squeaky Wheel/Buffalo Media Resources. Check out the video here.
Perhaps the most moving presentation of the event was when Obadiah, a former Direct Services program participant turned intern at YAWNY, got up on stage to talk about his experiences with YAWNY’s Direct Services programs. Obadiah spoke about how YAWNY introduced him to many art forms, and helped him discover his passion for poetry. Obadiah shared with the audience how this newly found love of reading and writing poetry had a left huge impact on his life and helped keep him going, even during some of the hardest times in his life.
The event also featured remarks given by Hal Payne, a representative from Buffalo State College, as well as local Buffalo Council Members David Rivera and Michael J. LoCurto, detailing their appreciation of the contributions that Young Audiences programs have made in enriching the lives of students, teachers, volunteers, and families in WNY.
YAWNY was also honored by US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in a letter recognizing the great contribution that YAWNY's has made in the Western New York Area. To view the letter in full, click here.
Also, Click here to learn more about YAWNY and the impact they are making through programs such as the Direct Services Program.

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