Announcing Affiliate Development Fund (ADF) Grant Awards for 2023

ADF logo with green/blue abstract graphics
May 26, 2023 |

Young Audiences Arts for Learning (YA) has awarded three Affiliate Development Fund (ADF) grants for 2023 to support innovative projects across the national Young Audiences Arts for Learning network (YA Network). Each year, the ADF program supports initiatives at the affiliate level that can serve as models to build the capacity of the YA Network as a whole.

"At the heart of the ADF grant program is the expectation that the entire YA Network will benefit from the organizational development of each affiliate, which in turn will enable us to better carry out YA's work to enhance the creativity, learning skills, and cultural understanding of all children and youth," said David A. Dik, National Executive Director of YA.

We commend the winning organizations and all of this year’s applicants for their leadership, vision, and commitment to the betterment of the YA Network and the learners we serve. Read below for details on each ADF-funded project.

Emerge - Arts for Learning Connecticut (AFLCT)

AFLCT's Emerge training and mentorship program supports emerging Teaching Artists (TAs) from underrepresented communities in developing the skills and experiences required to work as professional TAs. The program delivers training in lesson planning, classroom management, and arts learning pedagogy, coupled with hands-on experience in a supported classroom setting. Ultimately, Emerge will help the AFLCT build a more diverse and inclusive teaching artist roster, bring arts learning programs to New Haven youth, and strengthen Connecticut's arts and culture sector through an expansion of culturally responsive teaching and learning.

Master Teaching Artist Training Program - Arts for Learning WNY (A4L WNY)

A4L WNY's Master Teaching Artist Training Program educates artists on how to be culturally responsive, promote inclusive practices, and create accessible and effective learning opportunities for students with varying individual identities and abilities. This training initiative equips artists with the tools to be successful educators in today's classroom, including incorporating JEDII (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Innovation) into all program offerings, increasing belonging in the classroom, and providing equitable social-emotional learning supports for all students regardless of race, age, financial barriers, ability, or sexual orientation.

Planned Expansion for Equitable Access and Sustainability – Young Audiences of Louisiana (YALA)

This equity-focused project aims to advance YALA's capacity and sustainability through service to rural parishes. In consultation with Atlanta-based YA affiliate ArtsNow, YALA will pilot an expansion into Assumption Parish Schools, providing arts-integrated residencies for Pre-K – 1st-grade learners by recruiting and training local artists. The initiative will expand YALA's ability to deliver arts-integrated services to rural communities, cultivate an artist roster in Northern Louisiana parishes, and develop a model to expand to more locations outside the Greater New Orleans area.

About Young Audiences Arts for Learning
Founded in 1952, Young Audiences Arts for Learning is the nation's largest art in education network, impacting approximately 5 million young people each year. Young Audiences works to support its diverse network of affiliated organizations dedicated to playing a decisive role in young people's personal, artistic, and educational development. Learn more about Young Audiences and its mission to inspire young people and expand their learning through the arts at