Student Showcase: Refugee Youth Art Program, Spring Semester 2012

As our semester with the IRC’s Refugee Youth Program came to a close, ASTEP volunteer artists helped the students present their artwork to their families and communities during a final performance and ceremony. The evening was a celebration of creativity, full of proud moments and feelings of accomplishment!

ASTEP Art Class at PS199. This class focused on a creative writing component, composing a poem about Tyler the Mouse, who moved to NYC with his family. Led by their ASTEP Volunteer Artists, Alyssa Bothman and Catherine Hancock, they presented their poem to the audience.


This visual arts class created SuperHeroes by drawing their superhuman on one side and their secret identity on the other. Led by ASTEP Volunteer Artists, Kyle Netzeband and Tajh Rust.
ASTEP Visual Arts Class at Brooklyn International High School


ASTEP Visual Art Class at the Saturday Learning Series, led by ASTEP Volunteer Artists, Priya Patel, Susanna Brock, and Alli Job. Watch this video to hear from the volunteers!


The ASTEP visual arts class at the Saturday Learning Series focused on fashion and design, emphasizing what fashion and identity meant to each student since the majority of the students come from diverse backgrounds.



ASTEP offers leadership seminar.

ASTEP Leadership Seminar 2012

Dates: March 1-2, 2012
Location: Mertz Gilmore Foundation
218 E. 18th Street, 3rd Floor (between 2nd and 3rd Avenue)

The purpose of this seminar is to:

  • Explore the skills and abilities needed to be an effective facilitator and administrator
  • Strengthen ASTEP’s community of individuals and artists who are dedicated to using the arts for social change

Any former ASTEP On-Site-Administrator (OSA), board members, potential future OSA’s, and ASTEP staff members are invited to take part in the workshop. A formal certificate will be presented to each participant at the end of the seminar.

Agenda Day One:
(10-10:30) Welcome and Introduction
(10:30-10:45) Activity
(10:45-12:00) Communication Skills
(12-12:15) Break
(12:15-1:30) Teaching Skills: Reviewing the General Manual
(130-215) Lunch
(2:15-230) Activity
(2:30-3:30) Conflict Mediation Skills
(3:30-4) Reflect and Review
(4-6pm) Break
(6-8pm) Artistic Workshop (Led by Annika Sheaff, a Juilliard alumna and Pilobolus dancer, this workshop will explore movement and how it relates to thinking quickly, group productivity, awareness, trust, and communication. You will learn how to move your body in a new way–no prior dance training required! Get ready to collaborate, open your mind, and have fun!

Agenda Day Two:
(10:10:15) Activity
(10:15-12:15) Monitoring and Evaluation Workshop
(12:15-1) Lunch
(1-2) Group Moderation and 1-on-1 Brainstorming Workshop
(2-2:45) Review the Roles and Responsibilities of the OSA
(2:45-3) Break
(3-4) Review and Reflect: Thoughts to keep in mind
(4-TBD) Break
(TBD) Closing event

Things to Remember:
  • Please review the General and OSA manuals. If you do not have a copy of the manual, please let us know when you sign up for the workshop so we can provide you with one.
  • Please bring your potluck offering
  • Please come ready with movement attire
  • Please bring your own mug for coffee/tea/water
  • If you are running late or have any last minute questions, please contact Abby Gerdts at (603) 479.9971

To sign up, please email Mauricio Salgado at

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!

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.




Celebrating New York City kids

ASTEP recently completed the Celebration Program, a year-long training partnership led by Youth INC, an organization that  supports youth serving nonprofits in NYC.  The program culminated in a fundraising benefit on November 14, 2011 held at The Waldorf=Astoria. For the event, ASTEP launched a $25,000 fundraising target, and we are thrilled to announce that we surpassed our goal!

Thank you to all of the donors who supported us that evening! It was indeed a celebratory evening, and we were able to enjoy the festivities with several students and staff from our New York City partner organizations, Incarnation Children’s Center and IRC Refugee Youth Program.


Inspiring local communities through TEDx — the ASTEP way


ASTEP has been invited to present at the TEDxYouthDay event on November 19, 2011 at The School at Columbia University. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, the well-known TED conference created TEDx so local communities could spark deep discussions and share a TED-like    experience. The TEDxYouthDay 2011 theme is Play, Learn, Build & Share,  and ASTEP’s Mauricio Salgado is presenting A Call to Action to highlight creative ways to inspire curiosity and empower young leaders. Visit the  TEDxYouth event website to learn more.




A Million Billion Thunders — live from the Kennedy Center

From August 31-September 5th, Mauricio Salgado and Marco Ramirez were granted a residency at the Kennedy Center in order to complete a new work and present it at the Kennedy Center’s Page to Stage Festival (September 3-5).

“A Million Billion Thunders” is Nico’s telling of the literal and metaphoric storms he faces and fights. The piece is for an actor and a musician. Although the piece is still in development, it has already generated interest in Washington DC, and Mauricio and Marco have already committed to producing the show in the near future.

During the residency, they also collaborated with Alejandro Rodriguez (dramaturgy) and Steve McWilliams (Guitar). The project was made possible by Gregg Henry’s generosity, the Director of the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival.