Who We Are


Young Audiences of Northern California, a nonprofit 510(c)3 organization, is affiliated with the national Young Audiences Arts for Learning network. Founded in 1952, the mission of Young Audiences Arts for Learning is to inspire young people and expand their learning through the arts. Our network is made up of local affiliated nonprofits that collectively impact over 5 million young people each year. The national Young Audiences Arts for Learning network works collaboratively to advance arts in education through advocacy, communications, fundraising, program development, professional learning, and other support. To explore our national network, please visit: YA Network Map.

Young Audiences of Northern California became a member of the national network in 1958. Since then, YANC has provided exceptional arts education to over 20,000 Bay Area students annually. 

We believe a strong case can be made for learning through hands-on experience. When watching a musician, a child learns to listen. When learning how to create the music himself, a child grasps the concept of patience. While practicing, each of the child's iterations builds self-discipline and self-reliance. When collaborating with peers, a student utilizes cooperation and demonstrates leadership skills.

To achieve this enhanced learning experience, we select exceptional teaching artists who have spent years building their craft. We connect these community-based artists to teachers to provide in-depth residencies and workshops as well as thought-provoking performances. This process evokes a deep understanding of the art itself as well as the ability to implement the skills acquired into other facets of education. 

Fostering creativity transforms the way young people think. Being encouraged to create expands the thought process and opens pathways to deeper thinking. When children express themselves through different mediums and conceive something beautiful and memorable, they are inspired to remain actively engaged within their communities.   

Art demonstrates the importance of interconnected roles and the notion that every person contributes to the whole. This fosters a sense of belonging, and a drive to forge a path and make a difference; it creates an idea of importance to the greater good that carries through all aspects of life.

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What We Do

YANC brings learning focused arts programming directly to preK–12 grade students in schools, libraries, community centers, museums, hospitals, homeless shelters and other centers of learning and healing. We develop, promote and coordinate programming that introduces traditional and contemporary art forms from cultures around the world to:

  • bring curriculum vibrantly to life
  • strengthen learning and social skills
  • inspire imagination and develop creativity
  • promote cultural understanding
  • introduce students to powerful modes of self-expression
  • encourage students to create, risk, explore and discover their unique potential

OUR MORE THAN 100 PROGRAM OFFERINGS INCLUDE: Inspiring performances that introduce large audiences to an art form, its cultural context and its applications to school curriculum. Hands-on workshops in which small groups of students practice an art form with the guidance of a teaching artist in a focused environment and in-depth residencies, in which a series of progressive, skill-building workshops culminates in a final student performance or project.

OUR EXPANDED ARTS ACCESS PROGRAMMING brings adaptive arts learning experiences to those who face the greatest barriers to access and yet often have the most to gain, including at-risk students in underserved schools and students with special needs and chronic illnesses.

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How We Do It

YANC works closely with arts coordinators at all of our sites to select, adapt or develop programming that meets their learning goals and accommodates the needs of their students.

Partnerships with school districts, community foundations and arts and cultural councils help us to identify students who are in need of access and current issues that can best be addressed through arts programming.

Our volunteer Program Committee, comprised of former arts coordinators and educators, helps us to identify vet and improve programs for our roster.

Program Fees charged for our programs help support our roster of the region’s best performing and teaching artists. Administrative fees cover only a portion of our work in finding, vetting, developing, promoting, coordinating and evaluating more than 100 arts learning programs for PreK-12 students of all backgrounds and abilities throughout Northern California. Our work depends on the generosity of donors who share our commitment to youth and our understanding of the power of arts to transform lives. 

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