USDOE Awards Over US$6.85M to Young Audiences Affiliates Through AAEDD Grants Competition

October 12, 2018 |


NEW YORK, NY – October 12, 2018 – Young Audiences Arts for Learning (Young Audiences, Inc.) is pleased to announce that three affiliates from the Young Audiences Network (YA Network) have been selected to receive funding through the United States Department of Education’s (DOE) Assistance for Arts Education Development and Dissemination Grants Competition (AAEDD). YA Network affiliates Young Audiences of Louisiana (YALA), ArtsNow Learning (ArtsNow), and Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE), have each been awarded more than US$2.25 million in funding over four years to advance pioneering projects in the arts integration field. These winning initiatives represent three out of only 22 AAEDD grants awarded for FY18, culled from more than 90 applications.

The AAEDD Grants Competition, formerly known as the Model Development and Dissemination Grants Program (AEMDD), supports projects that develop, disseminate, and integrate high-quality, effective arts-based instructional materials and educational programming, including online resources, in multiple arts disciplines that effectively (1) increase access to standards-based arts education; (2) integrate standards-based arts education into other subjects as part of a well-rounded education; and (3) improve students’ academic performance, including their knowledge and skills in creating, performing, and responding to the arts. AAEDD eligible projects are administered in partnership with a local education agency (LEA), or consortium of LEAs, in which 20 percent or more of the students served are from families with an income below the Federal poverty line.

We congratulate YALA, ArtsNow, and CAPE on their selection for these prestigious funding awards and thank the USDOE for their investment in this important work.

Read below for details on each AAEDD-funded project from the YA Network. For more information about these awards and past competitions, visit the AAEDD Awards page.


Young Audiences of Louisiana – Comprehensive Arts Integration Schools Model

New Orleans-based YALA has been awarded AAEDD funding to advance its Comprehensive Arts Integration Schools Model (CAISM) initiative, a partnership with the Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS), to create, evaluate, and disseminate a replicable model for implementing school-wide arts integration programs. The CAISM initiative will directly serve 2,620 elementary students, 211 classroom teachers, six teaching artists, and 18 school leaders across six JPPSS schools. Additionally, the project will deliver national access to curriculum and model materials through a distance learning platform administered by Young Audiences, Inc. and contribute to research on the effectiveness of arts integration in improving student academic and artistic outcomes. 

 “We are honored that the DOE recognized the tangible effects of our work developing the Arts-Integrated Professional Development program and sees the potential for maximum impact through a whole-school approach to arts integration,” said Jenny James, Director of Education and Programs at YALA. “By providing the supports needed for all stakeholders, from administration to teachers to children and families, we know that the arts-based school culture brought about by this comprehensive program will have lasting positive implications for student achievement across the curriculum,” she said.


ArtsNow Learning – smART Literacy!

AAEDD funding will allow Atlanta-based ArtsNow to bring professional development, job-embedded support, and training in literacy-focused arts integration to four elementary schools in Georgia and South Carolina. ArtsNow’s curriculum consultants will work with 124 educators in Charleston County School District and Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools to improve their ability to effectively integrate various art forms with their literacy-focused content. The project will benefit more than 2,300 students in kindergarten through 5th grades, improving students’ reading level and writing skills, while also increasing engagement and enjoyment of learning. In the latter half of the project, 24 lead teachers will serve as dissemination experts, providing peer mentoring and welcoming peer observations from other elementary teachers through their respective districts.

"I am overjoyed by this award, which will allow ArtsNow Learning to work closely with schools in the Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina regions to advance teaching and learning through the arts,” said ArtsNow’s President and CEO, Pamela Walker. “We look forward to positively impacting students, teachers, and school communities, while growing and deepening the reach of ArtsNow Learning!"


Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education – STEAM Ahead

CAPE, the Chicago affiliate of Young Audiences, has been awarded AAEDD funding to support the implementation of its project, STEAM Ahead: Improving Arts Integration in STEAM Focused Schools. STEAM Ahead will provide art and classroom teachers with ongoing professional development that addresses standards-based arts integration practices and methods for incorporating STEM with visual arts teaching and learning. Ultimately, 1,610 participating kindergarten through 5th grade students at four elementary schools will benefit from inquiry-based, co-taught STEAM projects in their art rooms and classrooms.

“By providing the methodology for sustaining and expanding arts integration practices and strengthening the capacity of teachers to integrate the arts into STEM curricula, we know STEAM Ahead will enhance student learning and achievement,” said Amy Rasmussen, Executive Director of CAPE. “CAPE is honored to have the USDOE's backing to advance the role of arts integration and teaching artist partnerships in improving educational outcomes for low-income, academically struggling children.”

About Young Audiences Arts for Learning
Established in 1952, Young Audiences Arts for Learning’s mission is to inspire young people and expand their learning through the arts. As the nation’s largest arts-in-education learning network, Young Audiences serves more than 5 million children and youth each year in 8,000 schools and community centers across the country through its diverse network of affiliates. For more information, please visit:

About Young Audiences of Louisiana
Young Audiences of Louisiana is the leading provider of arts education and integration programs in the state of Louisiana. Through 50 years of experience Young Audiences has evolved to serve the ever-changing needs of students, educators, and administrators in our state. Join us, along with our national, state, and local partners in bringing quality arts programs to every student across the great state of Louisiana. For more information, please visit:

About ArtsNow Learning
Serving schools across the southeast, Atlanta-based ArtsNow, works to transform lives through customized solutions to meet educational needs utilizing arts-integration and innovative strategies. ArtsNow Learning is the leading professional learning organization in the southeast for resourceful and innovative approaches which engage students, equip educators, and grow school communities for meaningful impact on the future. For more information, please visit:

About Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education
Every year, Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE) inspires over 5,000 students from more than 50 Chicago Public Schools to be more passionate about and more engaged in their educations.  CAPE teaching artists partner with teachers who weave together the arts and academics through original, creative lesson plans that go beyond traditional pencil and paper teaching strategies.  These lessons integrate music, dance, drama, digital art, video and photography into classrooms; and, they also expand learning beyond school walls into community sites like art studios, performance halls and exhibit spaces.  Commissioned, long-term research shows their unique approach to art-based education continually improves students’ grades, critical thinking, self-esteem and confidence.  For more information, please visit


Emily Lattal
Director of Marketing & Communications
Young Audiences Arts for Learning