The Addams Family takes on Boston, to support ASTEP

The Addams Family National Tour


A Benefit Cabaret for ASTEP

Featuring the Cast of The Addams Family

Hosted by
Douglas Sills (The Scarlet Pimpernel, Little Shop of Horrors)

Brian Justin Crum (Wicked, Next to Normal)
Sara Gettelfinger (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Nine)
Blake Hammond (Billy Elliott, Hairspray)
Cortney Wolfson (Les Miserables, Legally Blonde-1st Nat’l)
many more…

Boston, MA— The Addams Family National Tour is proud to present A Benefit Cabaret for ASTEP at Oberon, 2 Arrow Street, Cambridge, MA on February 16th, 2012 at 11:00pm.

The cast of the Addams Family National Tour brings its talents together for a diverse evening of musical performances to support ASTEP. Raffle and silent auction will be held.

Tickets can be purchased through the Oberon website [] and are $20 for General Admission and $15 for Students (a valid student ID will be required when picking up tickets). All seating is General Admission and first come, first serve. Once all seats are filled, standing room will be available.

All proceeds will benefit ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty).


Celebrating Broadway and ASTEP on one night!

It’s never too late to share some holiday cheer, right?

If you weren’t able to attend our 4th Annual NYC Christmas Concert on December 12, 2011, then we invite you to take a look at the highlights! It was an evening full of festive songs, memorable performances, and some of Broadway’s biggest stars who came out to support ASTEP.

Thank you to everyone who made this night a success!

Now, who’s looking forward to the 5th Annual NYC Christmas Concert in December 2012?!

Happy Holidays!

Refugee youth explore visual art, pushing their boundaries.

ASTEP provides enriching arts education classes and workshops through the Refugee Youth Program (RYP) at the International Rescue Committee. Our programs not allow refugee youth to build confidence and a capacity for self-expression, but also break down the barriers they face by improving their English language skills, academic abilities, social and emotional behaviors, and community ties—abilities they require to create a new life for themselves in their new home. In addition, our volunteer artists serve as trusted adult role models, mentors, and educators who guide refugee youth in making healthy decisions about their futures.

We’d love to share photos from the fall 2011 visual art classes, including some of their collages and individual student photography. Creativity and energy abounds!

Mauricio Salgado interviewed at Region II festival.

Just last week, Mauricio led two workshops at the KCACTF Region II Festival at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and engaged with students from around the mid-Atlantic region. A reporter from The Indiana Gazette, Bill Zimmerman, attended these workshops and highlighted ASTEP’s focus on the transforming power of the arts:

On Thursday, attention turned from the stage to the community, when Mauricio Salgado of Artists Striving To End Poverty offered two workshops centered on making the world a better place. In the first session, “The Artist as Citizen,” 15 students and educators took part in a lively discussion in Cogswell Hall about the role of the artist in the community.

“This is a dialogue that we need to be having,” he said. “I have a perspective, and I’d like to hear the rest of yours.”

The Juilliard-trained actor opened by reciting an inspirational piece created by an ASTEP volunteer working with disadvantaged youths in Florida, where the organization does much of its work. It included rap lyrics, humor, a little profanity and the line: “No one on this planet can tell you what you’re worth.” The group was impressed. (Read the complete article here!)



Student voices from Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, Region 2

Check out more videos by following Abby and Mauricio’s updates from the road…

Brenna Kempf, University of Wisconsin Parkside

Sean Hartman, Alvernia University

Elizabeth Gannaway, Eastern Mennonite University

Rob Lunak, Concordia University-Chicago

Ashley Frankhouser, Alvernia University

Bridget McCarthy, Hope College

Annie Walaszeck, University of Wisconsin Parkside


Greetings, Illinois! Abby Gerdts shares her story.

Abby Gerdts, ASTEP’s Director of International Programs, sat down with an arts reporter for the News-Gazette, a local paper for the Champaign, Illinois community. The full article, which can be found in the Arts Beat section, captures Abby’s path and her work with ASTEP, specifically our involvement with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region III at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.


Student voices from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, Region 3

Check out more videos by following Abby and Mauricio’s updates from the road…

Brenna Kempf, University of Wisconsin Parkside

Sean Hartman, Alvernia University

Elizabeth Gannaway, Eastern Mennonite University

Mallory Mautz, Alvernia University

Rob Lunak, Concordia University-Chicago

Ashley Frankhouser, Alvernia University

Bridget McCarthy, Hope College

A good ol’ fashioned holiday concert. With a twist!

 (photo by: Monica Simoes) 

ASTEP appreciates everyone who came out to support our 4th annual presentation of  our New York City Christmas Benefit on 12.12.11 at Joe’s Pub.  Conceived, produced and music-directed by orchestrator Lynne Shankel (Cry-BabyAltar Boyz), the evening featured Broadway’s most sought-after talent singing fresh, original approaches of holiday songs from the ‘New York City Christmas’ album, available for purchase.

A special thank you to the performers and musicians who were instrumental in keeping the energy high and the festive spirits bright:

Raúl Esparza (Speed-the-PlowThe HomecomingCompany,Taboo), Sherie Rene Scott (Everyday RaptureDirty Rotten Scoundrels) and Orfeh (Legally BlondeSaturday Night Fever), as well as Sierra Boggess (Master ClassThe Little Mermaid), Chester Gregory (Sister ActDreamgirls), Lindsay Mendez (GodspellEveryday Rapture), Betsy Wolfe (Tales Of The CityEveryday Rapture), Andy Karl (Wicked9 to 5), Sally Wilfert (Make Me A SongAssassins), recording artist Anya Singleton, David Josefsberg (The Wedding SingerAltar Boyz), Michael Buchanan (Addams FamilyCry-Baby), Katy Basile, Derrick Cobey, Carlos Encinias, Desi Oakley, Seph Stanek and Julia Burrows, among others. In addition, were Lynne Shankel (piano), Joe Mowatt (drums/percussion), Randy Landau (bass), and Summer Boggess (cello). Mike Aarons (guitars), Craig Magnano (guitars), Justin Smith (violin), Cliff Lyons (sax), Jeff Schiller (sax), and Colin Brigstocke (trumpet).

For reviews, video, and photo recaps, visit and and

All proceeds from the concert and album sales benefit ASTEP



High school students using the arts for change. ‘Tis the season.

Walnut Hill ASTEP focuses on raising money for impoverished youth by using students’ artistic talent. For the Holiday Season, Walnut Hill ASTEP created a holiday album featuring readings and musical performances of winter-themed work (by students majoring in Writing, Music, and Theatre) with a cover designed by a Visual Art major. To sell and celebrate the CD, the school community gathered in holiday-decorated dining hall as the students on the CD and others performed winter favorites.  — Renee Richard and Jake Evans, Co-Presidents of Walnut Hill ASTEP 

• • • •

Many thanks to Renee, Jake, and the Walnut Hill School for the Arts community for holding this festive fundraiser and for being an example of the transforming power of the arts! The ASTEP community appreciates all that you do.