We believe creative, artistic experiences can transform children

Miguel was an extremely bright third-grader, and like many, lacked self-confidence. He was hesitant to try new things in class and did not always follow his teacher’s instructions. And then Miguel’s class participated in an artist residency provided by Young Audiences of Northern California. Young Audiences partnered Susan, a professional mural artist, with Miguel’s third grade teacher to conduct several hands-on lessons in his classroom. Susan encouraged students to use their imaginations to compose underwater scenes on ceramic tiles and to paint their compositions with colorful glazes.  Miguel responded—he became engaged and his confidence blossomed. His teacher noticed he was more enthusiastic in class and other areas of his academic performance improved:

“My students were asked by the artist to draw a specific pattern, and I noticed Miguel just wasn’t following directions, but I didn’t say anything. The teaching artist encouraged Miguel to embrace his own creativity. I saw at that moment that sometimes you have to let the child find their own voice, to find their own way. To give this boy an opportunity to unleash his creativity gave him confidence. He is so happy and engaged.”

Art in the classroom gives children the tools to make meaning out of their experiences and enables them to grow. Now, Miguel participates more in class and is interested in trying new things.

Young Audiences transforms children (like Miguel) and by extension their communities. Each year Young Audiences, with the support of people like you, provides children with opportunities to experience an art form demonstrated by a professional artist; understand an art form and its history and culture; create the art form and connect their learning to other areas of study and to their lives and world. Many children that engage with professional artists from Young Audiences experience art for the first time. Like Miguel, many of them transform into better students, engage more with other children and teachers, and improve in other academic subjects.

As we observe our 60th Anniversary of creating art experiences that inspire young people, expand learning, and enliven communities, we rely on your support to help us achieve our mission.

Meet our NEW Teaching Artists for 2018-2019!

This year we are excited to welcome seven new teaching artists to our roster. These artists expand our roster through each of the four disciplines and offer new and unique cultural programming. Our goal to reach children where they live, learn and play  will be accomplished through the mastery of these artists and will enrich the communities in which we work.

  ALONZO KING LINES BALLET : Alonzo King LINES Ballet just celebrated its 35th year in San Francisco and continues to act as home to a world-renowned contemporary ballet company, outstanding education and extensive community programs. LINES educational philosophy honors the power of discovery, collaboration, expression and individuality

ALONZO KING LINES BALLET: Alonzo King LINES Ballet just celebrated its 35th year in San Francisco and continues to act as home to a world-renowned contemporary ballet company, outstanding education and extensive community programs. LINES educational philosophy honors the power of discovery, collaboration, expression and individuality

  CYNTHIA PEPPER:  Cynthia Pepper has been a dancer, teacher, filmmaker and choreographer for over 30 years in both public and private California school districts. She enjoys bringing her love of both contemporary and cultural dance into her classrooms with over 25 international dance forms to choose from.

CYNTHIA PEPPER: Cynthia Pepper has been a dancer, teacher, filmmaker and choreographer for over 30 years in both public and private California school districts. She enjoys bringing her love of both contemporary and cultural dance into her classrooms with over 25 international dance forms to choose from.

  ASUAL ASWAD:  Asual Aswad has instructed Bay Area young people in the arts for many years.  He is a resident artist at Southern Exposure and a California Arts Council Resident Artist with the East Oakland Youth Development Center.      

ASUAL ASWAD: Asual Aswad has instructed Bay Area young people in the arts for many years.  He is a resident artist at Southern Exposure and a California Arts Council Resident Artist with the East Oakland Youth Development Center.

 

 

  DERRICK D'MAR MARTIN:  Talented drummer/percussionist, producer and songwriter, Derrick Martin has been performing internationally for the past 20 years. Having worked in studios from Los Angeles to New York, Derrick toured the world with Rock & Roll Legend Little Richard Band for 17 years.  

DERRICK D'MAR MARTIN: Talented drummer/percussionist, producer and songwriter, Derrick Martin has been performing internationally for the past 20 years. Having worked in studios from Los Angeles to New York, Derrick toured the world with Rock & Roll Legend Little Richard Band for 17 years.  

  KULTURA KAPWA:  This dynamic ensemble presents the pre-colonial music, dance and attire traditions of Mindanao, Southern Philippines and Kalinga, Northern Philippines. All trained in the traditional manner by indigenous Philippine culture bearers, the Kultura Kapwa musicians and dancers take pride in introducing young people to the joyful and unifying power of tribal Philippine polyrhythmic percussion music, song and dance.

KULTURA KAPWA: This dynamic ensemble presents the pre-colonial music, dance and attire traditions of Mindanao, Southern Philippines and Kalinga, Northern Philippines. All trained in the traditional manner by indigenous Philippine culture bearers, the Kultura Kapwa musicians and dancers take pride in introducing young people to the joyful and unifying power of tribal Philippine polyrhythmic percussion music, song and dance.

  OPERA CULTURA : Opera Cultura's mission is to explore the Latino - Hispanic cultural experience through music theater and opera, while providing opportunities for the community to participate as creators, learners, and performers. We accomplish this by presenting the work of composer Héctor Armienta, showcasing other artists, and training young people in the performing arts. By doing so, we create a cultural bridge between communities. 

OPERA CULTURA: Opera Cultura's mission is to explore the Latino - Hispanic cultural experience through music theater and opera, while providing opportunities for the community to participate as creators, learners, and performers. We accomplish this by presenting the work of composer Héctor Armienta, showcasing other artists, and training young people in the performing arts. By doing so, we create a cultural bridge between communities. 

  JIAYAN (JESSIE) YONG : Jiayan (Jessie) Yong has over 10 years of teaching experience and seeks to cultivate an appreciation for the culture behind and the techniques involved in the creation of traditional Chinese dance. As a performer trained in classical, modern, and Chinese folk dance, she has enjoyed providing students with opportunities to immerse themselves in Chinese culture while realizing their own artistic potential.

JIAYAN (JESSIE) YONG: Jiayan (Jessie) Yong has over 10 years of teaching experience and seeks to cultivate an appreciation for the culture behind and the techniques involved in the creation of traditional Chinese dance. As a performer trained in classical, modern, and Chinese folk dance, she has enjoyed providing students with opportunities to immerse themselves in Chinese culture while realizing their own artistic potential.

Artist Connect: Susan Peterson

In an effort to connect our communities and networks with our teaching artists, we are beginning a new blog series called "Artist Connect". Each week, we will feature one of our artists on our roster and dive deeper into their art form and history with Young Audiences. 

Susan Peterson just recently completed a semester long residency at Longfellow Elementary School. During the 18 week residency, Susan worked with 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classrooms for a total of 72 creative sessions. Students were given a theme of "Ocean" and were able to have their creativity take over. The result is a beautiful mural, installed at the school for future generations. Read below to find out more about Susan Peterson and her passion for arts education.

 Susan Peterson has taught ceramics, papermaking, bookbinding, printmaking, mask making, and sculpture. In addition to teaching, she creates and exhibits her works of sculpture, much of which has been inspired by her travels to Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

Susan Peterson has taught ceramics, papermaking, bookbinding, printmaking, mask making, and sculpture. In addition to teaching, she creates and exhibits her works of sculpture, much of which has been inspired by her travels to Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

Getting to know...Susan Peterson

Can you tell us a little bit about your art form?

I have been a ceramic sculptor for many years. My imagery was animals and made commentary on environmental issues. I incorporated found objects into the pieces. These days I am making collages from magazines with imagery of flowers, rose windows, and mandalas.

What has been the most memorable part of the programs you have brought to students with Young Audiences?

All the tile murals have been my most memorable. They create such a strong validation of the children’s artwork, and look fantastic.

How do the lessons and skills you teach students about or through your art form apply to their everyday life outside of the classroom?

We talk about all things in the world that are made of clay – from the tiles in your kitchen or bath, to the dishes you eat on to the bricks that buildings are made of.

Why do you believe it is important for every student to have access to the arts?

Many children suffer trauma. A recent study by a pediatric doctor revealed that 67% of Americans have experienced trauma. Art heals. Art is like vitamins, it feeds you.  Also, there are many different ways we learn. Art making is one way that we can absorb knowledge. Some students do not enjoy school, but love art class. We can sneak lessons of math, science, etc into art class. Making a lesson visual can make it more exciting. I love what I do because it brings such joy to so many. I also like the quote “Science makes life easier, Art makes it worthwhile”.

How does your art form help connect students to what they are learning in school?

Ceramics has connections to both the visual arts and science. We do this through connections  to particular subject matter that the children are studying, such as animals, oceans, and health. Most recently, I used the current volcanic action on the Big Island of Hawaii and the lava flow to make a parallel to the process ceramic glazes go through to transform from dry chalky paints to a rich, glossy finish.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Thank you to Susan Peterson for providing these responses. Learn more about her here!

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Artist Connect: Larry Wilson-Slightly Askew Productions

In honor of the month of March being Theater in Schools Month, Young Audiences honors our artists who showcase the power of theater in arts education. All "Artist Connect" blog posts will feature our many artists who use theater to engage students. 

Remember: Young Audiences is offering a $100 discount on Larry Wilson and nine other roster artists. Available until March 31st! Find out more about that here

 Larry Wilson has performed in schools across America, teaching magic and the scientific principles behind a magician’s secrets, including friction, magnetism, static electricity, surface tension, persistence of vision, depth perception and psychology. Larry has performed at the Magic Castle, the most famous club for magicians in the world, in addition to hundreds of appearances on television, a nomination for an Emmy award, his own television specials and live performances all over the world.

Larry Wilson has performed in schools across America, teaching magic and the scientific principles behind a magician’s secrets, including friction, magnetism, static electricity, surface tension, persistence of vision, depth perception and psychology. Larry has performed at the Magic Castle, the most famous club for magicians in the world, in addition to hundreds of appearances on television, a nomination for an Emmy award, his own television specials and live performances all over the world.

Getting to know...Larry Wilson

Can you tell us a little bit about your art form?

Magic? What’s to tell? Everyone loves it because we all secretly believe there is more to life than what we see on the surface. When you have that moment of pure astonishment it feels like, “I knew it!”

What is your teaching philosophy and how do you use that to approach each new audience/classroom?

My philosophy is very controversial. I believe—and I know some people will say I’m crazy for saying this—that children are actually miniature people. Everything begins and ends with communication so you must understand what matters to them, what are their hopes and fears. Then you can frame things in a way that makes sense to them. They can learn anything if you present it in a manner that resonates with them.

How do the lessons and skills you teach students about or through your art form apply to their everyday life outside of the classroom?

Nothing is really impossible. That’s quite empowering for kids who frequently feel they have no power. It’s tempting to think that life is a fixed, static reality. Magic demonstrates dramatically that it is not. We believe what we perceive. And once you begin to understand that you possess the power to affect how you are perceived you realize that most limitations are self-imposed.

Why do you believe it is important for every student to have access to the arts?

For the same reason Renaissance scholars encouraged it. Our capacity for development is unlimited. But, it doesn’t happen if you’re focused on one specific discipline to the exclusion of all others. Ideally, students should be exposed to music, painting, dance, theater, as well as mathematics, science, language arts and critical thinking. It’s the mix that makes great minds.

How does your art form help connect students to what they are learning in school?

Magic is just the word we use to describe things that seem impossible. Once we know how they’re done we use a different word—science! Students see that mastery and expertise are within their reach. I actually created a syllabus for teachers to use in conjunction with my program, “Top Secrets for Wizards in Training.” I have lesson plans they can use to teach about magic with science, magic with mathematics, magic with art, magic with language arts, magic with history and even magic with music. There is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to magic. Once you get students talking about what they’ve learned from me, it’s easy to make the jump to other subjects.

How did you first hear about Young Audiences? What made you decide to become a roster artist? 

I’m Executive Director of a nonprofit in Northern Nevada devoted to bringing the arts to school children. I travel back and forth between Reno and the Bay Area constantly so I did a little investigating and found Young Audiences. I’d rather be performing than sitting around in a hotel room so it’s perfect for me. I coordinate my corporate evening shows in the Bay Area with Young Audience shows during the day and it’s been a match made in heaven.

What has been the most memorable part of the programs you have brought to
students with Young Audiences? Do you have a favorite memory from a program?

 The most memorable part is the look on the faces of the teachers—they don’t expect me to be able to hold the attention of such young children for so long.

What are three words that describe your performances?

Theatrical. Mind-blowing. Fun.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Thank you to Larry Wilson for providing these responses. Learn more about them here!

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Artist Connect: Benny and Bebe's Magic Circus

In an effort to connect our communities and networks with our teaching artists, we are beginning a new blog series called "Artist Connect". Each week, we will feature one of our artists on our roster and dive deeper into their art form and history with Young Audiences. 

In honor of the month of March being Theater in Schools Month, Young Audiences honors our artists who showcase the power of theater in arts education. All "Artist Connect" blog posts will feature our many artists who use theater to engage students. 

Remember: Young Audiences is offering a $100 discount on Benny and Bebe's Magic Circus and nine other roster artists. Available until March 31st! Find out more about that here

 Magic Circus, an award-winning, educational entertainment theater company, provides assembly programs with science enrichment, environmental and visual education, as well as multicultural, history and performing arts learning. All of their programs include enthusiastic audience participation.

Magic Circus, an award-winning, educational entertainment theater company, provides assembly programs with science enrichment, environmental and visual education, as well as multicultural, history and performing arts learning. All of their programs include enthusiastic audience participation.

Getting to know...Benny & Bebe's Magic Circus

Can you tell us a little bit about your art form?

We combine performing arts such as acting, mime, dance, magic, circus arts and music. Our science program also includes visual arts with giant optical illusions.

What is your teaching philosophy and how do you use that to approach each new audience/classroom?

We like to inspire students and show them that learning is fun and a life long process. Waking student's enthusiasm about learning and discovering is something that fills our hearts. Each audience is slightly different and each performing situation has its own challenges. To be in the moment with that keeps our performances fresh and alive

How do the lessons and skills you teach students about or through your art form apply to their everyday life outside of the classroom?

Part of our science program is environmental education where we motivate students
to change their everyday behavior when it comes to caring about the environment
with simple steps such as recycling and using a cloth bag to go shopping.

With our multicultural program, we try to build bridges to show the humor and
common humanity in all cultures around the world. Students with multicultural
background identify with the vignettes from their countries of origin.

Why do you believe it is important for every student to have access to the arts?

Artistic expression fosters self esteem and creativity that will help also in academic
learning.

What are three words that describe your performances?

Science - Magic - Multicultural learning

What has been the most memorable part of the programs you have brought to
students with Young Audiences? Do you have a favorite memory from a program?

There are many favorite memories - one of them is when after our science show
students came up to us and said “ I want to become a scientist too”. Another one is
the feedback from a teacher after our multicultural show at a school with low income
families. He said: “ You brought the world to our students!”

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Thank you to Benny Buettner and Bebe Conrad for providing these responses. Learn more about them here!

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