Categories: Latest News.

Young Audiences Returns to Cradle Beach Camp

cindycbYA staff and teaching artists are delighted to have the opportunity to continue programming with Cradle Beach Summer Camp in Angola this year! Starting in July and running through August 9, teaching artists Cindy Hanna, Sarah Hooper, and Shane Fry will conduct workshops as part of the camp’s dance residency. Additionally, Glenn Colton and Doug Rougeux will participate this summer with featured performances of Glenn’s Christmas in July and Doug’s Bubble Mania.

Cradle Beach Camp services the needs of disabled and disadvantaged children from Western New York, and is one of the few camps in the United States to integrate campers with and without disabilities. Throughout the five week program, YA teaching artists and Cradle Beach staff work with nearly 800 campers to promote socialization, self expression, and decision making skills.


Categories: Latest News.

American University Features Cynnie Gaasch

CynnieYoung Audiences WNY Executive Director Cynnie Gaasch  was recently featured by American University (Washington, D.C.) in its College of Arts & Sciences News Release. This success story, titled Young Audiences Learn from the Experts, outlines Cynnie’s professional journey in the arts and her important role here at Young Audiences WNY.

From the article:

When it comes to the arts, Cynnie Gaasch, CAS ’99, has done it all. The studio art MFA alumna has studied dance and visual art, held jobs at non-profits and arts organizations throughout the northeast, and even had a stint in development at the Vermont Studio Center.

But as she continued working in the arts, she realized that arts in education was the field that suited her best. “It’s different from an art or music class,” she explains. “It’s about experiencing the highest level of an art form intimately, exploring a variety of curriculum topics, and participating through creating.”

Click here to read the full article.

Categories: Latest News.

Keep It Moving! Completes a successful pilot year.

We were so pleased to be able to bring dance and health programs to the Butler Mitchell Boys & Girls Club and Salvation Army after school programs all year.  With major support from General Mills Foundation, students took part in Ballet, Ballroom, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Modern, and Salsa lessons for 35 weeks this past school year.  Learn more here.

Keep It Moving! from Young Audiences on Vimeo.  This video showcases the final sessions students had with teaching artist, Cindy Hanna, lead artist for the residency.

Click here to watch the Keep It Moving! video on YouTube.

Categories: Latest News.

Our Artists Performing Around Town

Our artists do a lot of work outdoors throughout the summer at the free concert series at Biwell Park, University at Buffalo, and the M&T Plaza series, to name just a few.  Check out opportiunities to see our artists performing live on our summer calendar.

Categories: Latest News.

Taylor Made Jazz Plays Cairo!

Taylor Made JazzOn May 8th, Taylor Made Jazz was invited to perform for the US/Egyptian Embassy’s OMC Spring Gala in Cairo, Egypt! There, musicians Ronald Walker, Tim Webb, Michael Pennick, Walter Kemp and vocalists Melissa Kate and Joyce Wilson-Nixon joined Mr. Van Taylor in entertaining some of our highest ranking military men and women—including Ambassador Margaret Scobey and Lt. Col. Isaac Davidson. Both vocalists had the honor of singing the US National Anthem for this prestigious event.

Taylor Made Jazz has educated thousands of children all over the world through its Music is Peace program and have been proud artists of Young Audiences  WNY since 1990. The group has entertained our troops overseas for well over 30 years, bringing to their school performances a world of multi-cultural experience. “Music is the bridge to peace and harmony,” Taylor says, “Our American heritage of Jazz music is celebrated all over the world.”

In addition to their performance in Egypt,Taylor Made Jazz’s vocalist and YA-WNY teaching artist Melissa Kate performed in NYC at Governor’s Island for Army Heritage Day on June 19. The group is also scheduled to host Veteran’s Appreciation Day in Buffalo from 7-9 p.m. on board the USS Little Rock at the Buffalo Marine Park.

Categories: Latest News.

Summer of the Arts!

Summer is the perfect time for young learners to explore the world around them through the arts. Our high-energy workshops and programs are available for Summer Camps, Day Cares, Church Groups, Library and Museums and special community events and are a great opportunity to make learning fun under the sun!

MegWhat better way to celebrate summer weather then by making a kite! Meg Alber‘s Kite Workshops use kites as a means of self-expression and as a way to explore Japanese history.

dougAs The Bubble Man, Doug Rougeux teaches the science of popping bubbles, the art of sculpture with bubbles, and the joys of reading.

Who doesn’t want to be able to juggle? Twilight Educational Entertainment offers a variety of fun programs that combine magic, comedy, balloon art and juggling and teaches participants the basic skills they will need to be successful at the art of illusion.

stringFrom folk to classical, jig to tango, String Dancers extend students’ knowledge and appreciation of the world’ s cultures through the sounds and rhythms of dance from around the globe.

Contact the Young Audiences office at 716.881.0917 if you are interested in booking one of these programs or search our full catalog of programs and workshops by clicking here.

Categories: Latest News.

Breaking Down Barriers — An Inspiring Day

Check back soon for details on the 2011 conference.
Young Audiences of Western New York hosted our 4th annual conference featuring artists and educators on May 11, 2010 at Ani DiFranco’s Babeville.  The conference explores outstanding work done with young people who have special needs or are at risk of educational failure.  This year our board of directors and staff named the conference to honor Patricia Cotsen, a board member who had served the organization for 18 years and passed in January.  She was a long time docent for the Albright Knox Art Gallery and the Darwin Martin – Frank Lloyd Wright House.  Among many other services to the community, she was instrumental in the rehabilitation of a massive church in one of Buffalo’s most challenged neighborhoods into a state of the art charter school.  

Executive Director, Cynnie Gaasch welcomed the 110 attendees of the conference, inviting everyone in attendance to accept the challenge to continue Patty’s commitment to young people and the arts, and make their own impact, around the world.  Cynnie framed the day:

“We are here today because the arts can break down barriers of limitations, bigotry, and abilities.  Working in the arts can open doors, and provides opportunities for learning to us all.  Young and old may be challenged, learn and find success.  In its highest forms, we may experience beauty, true diversity, and opportunities for learning.”

This year’s attendees represented a diverse array of students, artists, and industry professionals in the fields of arts education and human services. With students attending from six of the region’s universities and professionals traveling from as far away as Brockport, Fredonia, and Albany, we are sure that our results will be far reaching. Representatives from two Buffalo art galleries, two museums, twelve schools, and eight  of the regions human services organizations were also in attendance.

2010 also boasted an exciting addition to our roster of presenters with the inclusion of students from Heritage Centers After School Program who had participated in the A Rhythm Runs Through It residency. Students, staff members, and teaching artists discussed the program’s successes in an interactive presentation that was highly admired by its participants.

Some of our favorite quotes in the conference evaluations included:

  • I found: “Inspiration and hope! Recognition in the power of art & allowing student voices to shine!”
  • I will use this experience to: “Be a facilitator and let the students guide the journey.”
  • “The hands-on workshops reenergize me!”
  • I found: “Ideas for fostering creativity in students who are introverts or have a low sense of self.”
  • I will use this experience to: “Inspire teachers I influence to use their imagination to help students find their own voice.”

Breaking Down Barriers: 4th Annual Patricia Cotsen Arts Abilities Conference from Young Audiences on Vimeo.


Categories: Latest News.

Young Audiences and C.A.O. Partner to Make Literacy Fun

Poetry and Playwriting ResidencyThis Spring, Young Audiences has partnered with the Community Action Organization of Erie County (C.A.O)  to bring playwriting and poetry workshops to students in the N.U.R.T.U.R.E Academy After-School Program. The workshops, which present students with multiple hands-on approaches to making creative writing fun, take place at the  C.A.O. Pratt, JFK, and Edward Saunders after-school venues.

Beginning in April, Teaching Artists Annette Daniels-Taylor and Melissa Kate began visiting the sites with a variety of workshops designed to give students the tools to compose and organize their own thoughts and stories effectively. Participants were challenged to take the writing process one step further  by expressing their ideas from a variety of dramatic angles. The artists introduced students to dramatic techniques including Improvisation, Collaborative Storytelling, and unconventional approaches to performing the poetic word. By bringing their stories to life by acting them out with their peers, students experience writing in a new way and take true ownership of their creativity.

This residency reinforces many of the goals outlined in the C.A.O.’s Rising Readers Club initiative which focuses on intensive literacy training for students who attend schools under academic review or who qualify for reduced lunch. Young Audiences workshops with the C.A.O. will continue through May.

Categories: Latest News.

Interested in Advancing Arts Education Practices?


Sponsored by Project U.N.I.Q.U.E. with the Association of Teaching Artists, George Eastman House, and Young Audiences of Western New York


WHAT: A sequence of two facilitated dialogues to explore the question: Can we as teaching artists and museum educators push our thinking in ways that advance our practice?

WHEN: Friday June 4th, 2010,  10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
    Friday June 18th, 2010, 10:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
    Both workshop days will include lunch.

DESCRIPTION: Together we will explore cutting edge principles and practices in the evolving field of arts-in-education as they impact our work as teaching artists. In this process we will:

  • articulate what is essential for students to know, understand, and be able to do in our art forms
  • analyze how the elements and processes of our art forms relate to other areas of instruction
  • learn how to implement methodologies such as Action Research and Understanding by Design
  • examine the role of assessment in the teaching/learning process

Read more here.


Categories: Latest News.

Save the Date! Help Us Keep It Moving!

Have you marked your calendars yet? We’re reminding everyone to SAVE THE DATE for Help Us Keep It Moving!, our Annual Benefit Dinner & Auction coming up on Wednesday, June 9.

This year’s event features dinner, a silent auction,  and a performance by Annette Daniels-Taylor, lead teaching artist for our new Underground Railroad in WNY program. Additionally, our celebration honors William Y. Cooper and Monica Angle for their significant contributions as artists, teachers, and commitment to community service.

Please join us to celebrate and support the important work of engaging young people in their education through the arts. Click here for more information or to purchase tickets. We ask that you please RSVP by May 26.

2010 Help Us Keep It  Moving! Annual Benefit Dinner Sponsors:

National Air Cargo

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Buffalo Teachers Federation, Inc.
  • Crowley Webb and Associates
  • CTG
  • Fabtech Carpet Care
  • Gastroenterology Associates, LLP
  • Gelia
  • Hooper Family Foundation
  • National Air Cargo, Inc.
  • Phillips Lytle LLP
  • Rich Products Corporation
  • Travers Collins & Company
  • Xpedx