Introducing New Executive Leadership Within the National YA Network

Graphic with ED headshots
January 25, 2023 |

Young Audiences Arts for Learning is pleased to introduce the executive leaders who have recently been appointed to head YA affiliates in New York, NY, Tyler, TX, Denver, CO, and Lubbock, TX.

Zareta Ricks, Young Audiences New York (New York, NY)

Young Audiences New York (YANY) has named Zareta Ricks as its new Executive Director. She will begin the role on June 12, 2023. Ricks has over 10 years of experience as an educational nonprofit leader in New York City and most recently served as the Executive Director of Opening Act, a nonprofit organization that provides afterschool theater programming for high school students. 

Ricks studies Organizational Management at Manhattan's Mercy College, 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. She believes deeply in the transformative power of the arts for New York City's youth, families, and communities and is excited to advance YANY's work and lead its team

Matt Horton, Young Audiences of Northeast Texas (Tyler, TX)

Matt Horton joined Young Audiences Northeast Texas as Executive Director in May of 2023. 

Daisy McGowan, Think 360 Arts for Learning (Denver, CO)

Prior to joining Think 360 Arts for Learning, Daisy McGowan was director of University of Colorado, Colorado Springs' Galleries of Contemporary Art, where she oversaw artistic program diversification, community engagement, and access to arts learning for all. She was awarded her Bachelor of Studio Art from Colorado College and Master of Public Affairs from the University of Colorado. 

As an educator, McGowan has taught at the university level for nearly twenty years, including studio art and museum studies and gallery practice. She has also worked as a K-5 arts educator and is frequent speaker and published author on the topics of contemporary art and art economics. Daisy joined Think360 Arts for Learning in January of 2023. 


Kea Beasley, Young Audiences of Lubbock (Lubbock, TX)

Kea Beasley is the Education Director for the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra and new Executive Director for Young Audiences of Lubbock. Originally from Oklahoma City, she attended Oklahoma State University and graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance. Beasley also attended Texas Tech University, earning master's degrees in Violin Pedagogy and Violin Performance in 2017 and 2020. 

She began her role as Education Director in 2021 but has performed with the Lubbock Symphony since 2018. Beasley is honored to be part of the YA network and is devoted to increasing arts opportunities for students throughout the West Texas region. Young Audiences of Lubbock joined the Young Audiences network in December of 2022.


About Young Audiences Arts for Learning

Founded in 1952, Young Audiences Arts for Learning is the nation’s largest art-in-education network, serving more than 5 million young people each year. Young Audiences works to support its diverse network of affiliated organizations that are each 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