There should be no dividing line between artistic excellence and social consciousness.

For 59 young artists interested in combing their artistic practice with their pursuit of a better world, ASTEP presented our 2nd annual Artist as Citizen Conference from June 7 – 12, 2015 at The Juilliard School.

At ASTEP, we work with children. We put artists in classrooms around the world to share their passion with kids.

In a larger sense, we’re part of an evolving, nationwide conversation on the role of the artist in society. There are articles published on the subject everyday – the landscape of the arts is changing and so are the opportunities available to artists. Meanwhile, the social emotional skills the arts help to develop are increasingly viewed as essential for success in today’s knowledge-based economy.

The Artist as Citizen Conference is an opportunity for ASTEP to help spread this powerful ideal nationwide — and with it, the remarkable culture of service it represents.

It’s been talked about for years. Innumerable blogs have discussed it. The New York Times recently chimed in. There is a movement afoot. A return to meaning in the arts. A return to impact. As one curator put it, “Marcel Duchamp’s toilet is being returned to the bathroom.”

The Conference is about putting the riches of the first network at the disposal of the second. Its mission is to celebrate, connect, and develop young leaders in the arts by providing them with a transformative artistic and educational experience in the heart of New York City.

Why? Because developing motivated young leaders in communities across America is a way for ASTEP to expand the reach of its mission exponentially.

Which means more kids. Exposed to more art.

Apply to the 2015 Artist as Citizen Conference TODAY!

June 7 – June 12, 2015

at

The Juilliard School, NYC

The Artist as Citizen Conference aims to identify and support young, motivated artists with a demonstrated capacity to take on leadership positions within their communities. Applicants must be between 18 and 25 years old to apply.

The artist’s specific skill-set can be in any discipline–we welcome applications from actors, dancers, writers, visual artists, filmmakers, musicians, designers, administrators, educators, and more.

The application is in three parts — “Basic Info”, “Video Statement” and “Original Work” — each described below and all due by April 22, 2015. You should fill out the Basic Info form first, and then send all supplemental materials to apply@artistascitizen.com

You’ll receive an official response from apply@artistascitizen.com regarding your application no later than May 1, 2015.

Check out the Artist as Citizen Conference website for more testimonials and how to apply!

Ali and Alejandro’s tales from KCACTF!

Here at the ASTEP office, we get to hear the stories and inspiration that come out of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) as soon as our team members come home. This year, we thought we’d give you the opportunity to hear some of these thoughts, as well!

ASTEP’s Alejandro Rodriguez and Ali Dachis are thrilled to share a few of their experiences on the road with you!

table1

 

Alejandro Rodriguez’s thoughts from KCACTF Region 6:

Region 6 of this year’s Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival returned us to “the Other Side” of Louisiana, and to our fabulous hosts at Centenary College in Shreveport. It was great to see some familiar faces among the Centenary crew — the industrious Joe Signorelli, the riotous Victoria Chavis, the cool-headed Clint White and Centenary faculty member/resident wonder-woman Emily Huegatter. Last year, fired up by ASTEP’s mission and spurred on by our exchanges at the 2013 festival, Emily and her students chose to make their production of Moliere’s The Miser a fundraiser for ASTEP, and sent all their proceeds to us in New York. This year, I got to thank them in person. They were once again impeccable hosts.

ASTEP had another major assist in Region 6 from a young woman I met in Shreveport last year and who a few months later was volunteering with us at the Refugee Youth Summer Academy in Brooklyn, New York, as a KCACTF / ASTEP Scholarship Recipient: Ms. Molly Page. Molly spoke about her experiences in both of our workshops this year, and galvanized her peers with her stories. We can’t thank you enough, Molly. (Region 6 has been a blessing to ASTEP on many fronts — it’s also where we met Ms. Kelcie Miles, who volunteered with us in Homestead last summer and travelled to India shortly thereafter!)

Conversations were initiated with faculty members about exposing their students more directly to ASTEP’s work— with David Blakely from Rogers State University, Pablo Guerra-Monje from University of Arkansas Fort Smith, and David Lee Painter of the University of Idaho, among others— and we met several students excited about the prospect of volunteering in the very near future. Our Time to Make a Change workshop was on Friday afternoon and it got so charged that it actually ended in hugs for some and tears of inspiration for others. The Living Outside the Box workshop was on Saturday and it filled the room with 20+ students eager to talk about what it might mean to live fruitfully as an artist in America today. On top of this, I got to see my dear friends at the University of Oklahoma (Kelcie’s alma mater) in a riveting production of Miss Evers’ Boys by David Feldshuh, a play I hadn’t been familiar with before but that now I won’t forget easily. Throughout the week, we were treated to festivities and comforts of every sort, all with a distinctly Louisiana flavor to them. Ask anyone who knows her, they’ll you Region 6’s chair Joy Pace knows how to throw a party.

I’ve already received several follow-up emails from students I met in Louisiana. I can’t wait to carry forward these important conversations. In a region that, for us, has such beautiful roots, I can’t wait to see which new flowers will bloom.

 

Ali Dachis’s thoughts from KCACTF Regions 4 and 5:

My time at KCACTF could not have been more wonderful and inspiring! I did not know exactly what to expect being with college students, and I was fearful because I thought that those making their transition from teens to twenties would be full of judgment and doubt. Instead, I was met with open arms by everyone at Region 4 (Roanoke, Virginia) and Region 5 (Lincoln, Nebraska). Faculty treated me like one of their own, but it was the students who really blew me away with their eagerness to learn and think about the world as artists in new ways. I was thrilled to share my first workshop Living Outside the Box in Lincoln Nebraska with 22 students and teachers as we talked about how our skills can serve more than just a career. Some really interesting questions arrived: How can we make social change with the talents we have? How can we exist as artists as well as healthy human beings? How can we give back to the world with our art? I left inspired by the exchange of so much positive energy. In Region 4 this particular workshop was smaller, but just as powerful. The students brought their honesty and hearts to the workshop and we explored what it means to be more than just one thing, or what it is to live outside ‘the box.’

The Time to make a Change workshop really delved into what it is to experience change and how we feel before and after a major change in our lives.  In both Regions 4 and 5 I was happily surprised by how openly everyone shared. Both vulnerability and respect were present in a room full of strangers. How lovely, how rare! From there we were able to make plans for how we wanted to change our personal communities for the better. Not only did everyone come up with amazing ideas; I was inspired by the compassion and drive within each and every person in the room. We all left with an eagerness to build a stronger community where we live.

In the midst of all of this, I was able to see some awesome work as a judge for the Irene Ryan competitions, and a respondent for several shows and invited scenes. I also was lucky enough to find some time to take a Pilates workshop, a Yoga workshop, a D’ell Arte workshop, and a Broadway Cares workshop (also full of amazing ideas for change). All in all this exhausting, packed, lovely week left me excited and inspired for the future.

Now announcing…The 2014 ASTEP Artist as Citizen Conference!

Region 4_Group2w

June 2 – June 6, 2014

at

The Juilliard School, NYC



The ASTEP Artist as Citizen Conference is a four-day immersive retreat for young leaders in the performing and visual arts who have recognized the power art has to transform communities. The 2014 Conference will draw on ASTEP’s diverse community of supporters, partners and volunteers, as well as on New York City’s incomparable resources, to expose students to professionals in the fields of arts education, applied theater, and social practice art. Application deadline is May 15.*

 

$300 Participation Fee Includes:

Housing in the Juilliard dorms

NYC MetroCard

Meal Stipend

One Broadway Show

Six Workshops

Three Keynote Speakers

Two Roundtable Discussions



Apply Now!


ARTISTASCITIZEN.COM


 *Must be 18-25 years old to apply.
Applications received before May 1 are eligible for scholarship consideration.

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Are you interested in our conference but couldn’t make the full four-day immersion work out? Below are three options that might give you an opportunity to participate after all!

1. Full Non-Resident Pass $200
Did you want to commit to the full range of conference activities, but couldn’t stay overnight with us at Juilliard for some reason? The non-resident pass gives you access to all four days of conference activities, from 9 AM to 6 PM, including three wake up sessions, three real talk speakers, six ASTEP workshops, and more. (Housing, meals, and evening entertainments not included.)

2. Single Day Pass $125
Are you leaving town mid-week, or is there one day of conference programming you especially want to take advantage of? A day pass grants you access to all conference activities from 10 AM to 6 PM, and includes all guest artist workshops, real talk sessions, ASTEP workshops, panel and roundtable discussions. (Housing, meals, wake up sessions, and evening entertainments not included.)

3. A La Carte Pass $35
Is there one speaker or event you’ve got your eye on in particular? Though some elements of the conference will remain exclusive to fellows and/or holders of day passes, several of our workshops will be available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. These include: Real Talk Sessions, the Artist Roundtable on June 3rd, the Citizenship Panel Discussion on June 4th, and several others.

Please contact Davinia Troughton, davinia@asteponline.org with your inquiries and interest. Just tell her who you are and which pass you’re interested in, and she’ll be happy to register you and arrange payment accordingly.







Third year partnering with The Kennedy Center!

ASTEP is thrilled to partner for a third year with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide, to enhance the quality of college theater in the United States.

ASTEP will be leading two workshops, “Time to Make a Change” and “Living Outside the Box”, highlighting creative ways to use the arts to transform lives and communities. In addition, ASTEP will be joining a prestigious panel of judges for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship. (Check out our 2013 experience!)

ASTEP’s presenters at each of the eight regions:


Abby Gerdts, ASTEP’s Director of Programs

* Saginaw Valley State University – Region 3 (Jan 7-11)

* Boise State University – Region 7 (Feb 17-21)

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Mauricio Salgado, ASTEP’s Director of Programs

* West Chester University of Pennsylvania – Region 2 (Jan 14-18)

* University of Nebraska-Lincoln – Region 5 (Jan 19-25)

* Hyannis, MA – Region 1 (Jan 28-Feb 1)

_____________________________________________________________________________


Ali Dachis, ASTEP Volunteer Artist

* Hollins University – Region 4 (Feb 4-8)

Boston College establishes ASTEP Student Chapter

Boston College_Student Chapter

ASTEP has had a longstanding relationship with Boston College, and we’re thrilled that the students there have mobilized to build a formal ASTEP Student Chapter. Led by Co-Presidents Sarah Kelley and Eliott Purcell, this chapter strives to bring awareness to issues connected to poverty through the arts while providing art outreach to children in the Boston Area.

Their leadership team has been busy organizing and recruiting volunteers since the school year started — stay tuned for updates on their project!

 

Student Chapter launches this fall at Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University_Student ChapterwSanta Clara ASTEP student chapter members!

 

For the past several years, ASTEP has worked closely with the Social Justice and the Arts Program at Santa Clara University so we’re excited that the students there have officially created Santa Clara ASTEP, an ASTEP Student Chapter. Led by Co-Presidents Nick Manfredi and Tennyson Jones, the student chapter will focus on organizing the pre­-existing spirit of artist ­activism on campus into compassionate engagement with the Santa Clara and San Jose communities.

“When Mauricio Salgado, ASTEP’s Director of Programs, visited the Santa Clara campus last year, he sparked a new way of thinking for the theatre and dance artists on campus. Located just minutes away from San Jose, a city with over 15% of its population living in poverty, Santa Clara University and its artist ­activists are called to the ASTEP mission.” — excerpt from the Santa Clara ASTEP application

When asked what they plan to do, they shared the following:

  • To engage the Santa Clara University Community in active dialogue about the greatest needs of the world beyond our campus.
  • To locate communities, especially of students and children, who are not able to benefit from artistic engagement.
  • To confront the realities of social issues such as poverty, substance abuse, gender inequality, HIV/AIDS, domestic violence, gang violence, and teen pregnancy in our extended community through creative engagement and arts-­based action.




The community grows — a new ASTEP Student Chapter at Albright College!

Albright CollegewASTEP@Albright student chapter members


This fall, ASTEP will have a new presence on the campus of Albright College, thanks to Emily Piket and Paulina Gallo, who recently founded the ASTEP@Albright Student Chapter along with Abby Walke, Kaytlyn Ashley, Andrea Cameline, and Geoff Alterman. As President and Vice President, Emily and Paulina are inviting any student, faculty or staff member interested in using arts education to end the cycle of poverty in their local community.

When asked why they wanted to start an ASTEP Student Chapter, they shared the following:

To bring together students of different majors and backgrounds at Albright College in order to teach them about the collective power of arts organizations whose missions align with the tenants and philosophy of “theatre for social justice/change”.

To improve confidence, self-esteem, and collaboration skills through arts education in our local community.

To address specific issues (bullying, poverty, drug use, intolerance, etc.) that place our community’s youth at risk.

Pretty impressive goals! We’re looking forward to sharing in their journey and inspired by their dedication to using the transforming power of the arts!






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