Volunteer Spotlight: Midori Samson

This week, our Volunteer Spotlight is on Midori Samson!
Get to know Midori, and learn about her experiences with ASTEP below.

I grew up in Portland, Oregon and that’s where I continue to call home. I went to Juilliard for my undergraduate degree in bassoon, which is where I got involved with ASTEP in 2010. Amid my college stress and burnout, I needed to get back in touch with my inner child-Midori and get back to why I started music in the first place. Meeting ASTEP and the children we work with was the perfect remedy. I’m so thankful that ASTEP is so connected to the Juilliard community.

Upon graduation, I moved to Austin where I got my master’s degree in bassoon at the University of Texas. During my brief 2 years in Austin, I organized an ASTEP chapter with some friends and we hosted a camp with a local youth shelter for two weeks! At that point, it was probably the proudest thing I’d ever done. 

For two years after going to grad school, I lived in Chicago, and performed in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago (the Chicago Symphony’s training orchestra) and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. I thrived in my position in Civic and that was completely because of the work I had previously done with ASTEP! The position involved simultaneously performing in the orchestra and curating musical community engagement projects around the city. I helped organized residencies at schools, shelters, a prison, and at a refugee center. I was living my best teaching-artist life, and constantly fell back on the training I got as an ASTEP teaching artist and facilitator. 

My ASTEP experiences continue to influence all parts of my career, musicianship, and life. I co-founded my own organization, Trade Winds Ensemble and our music curriculum is very much inspired by ASTEP teaching philosophies. In addition, I just travelled to China to perform and teach with Yo-Yo Ma, where he asked us to always use our child-like imaginations to perform music (a skill I feel I’m an expert at thanks to ASTEP!) Currently, I’m working on a doctorate degree in bassoon, and I’m minoring in social work, to help me improve even more what I can contribute in an ASTEP classroom. 

Through moving all over the country and changing situations so frequently, ASTEP has been one of the few constants in my life. Because of ASTEP, I have internalized the value that my music has in the world. I love myself for what I can offer with my art form!


Thank you, Midori for volunteering with ASTEP!
We could not do our work without incredible people like you.

To learn more about ways YOU can get involved with ASTEP,
email our Manager of Programs, Sami Manfredi, at sami@asteponline.org 

 

 

Volunteer Spotlight: Nate Rothermel

 

This week, our Volunteer Spotlight is on Nate Rothermel!

Why do you volunteer with ASTEP?
My impulse to volunteer with ASTEP has a lot to do with the fact that I identify with and champion its mission: to provide opportunity and experiences in the arts to communities and places which are impoverished of such. There is a genuine care and purpose at the core of each ASTEP program, and being a part of that and of service to that is an absolute honor.

How long have you been volunteering with ASTEP?
I have been volunteering with ASTEP for 5 years: I started volunteering with my ASTEP Chapter at Albright College my freshman year, and have continued volunteering to today!

What programs have you been a part of with ASTEP?
I have volunteered with and been the Artistic Director of ASTEP at Albright, taught in ASTEP’s Teach for India program, and am currently the President of ASTEP’s National Chapter Committee.

What is your favorite memory from an ASTEP program?
Each morning at Teach for India my students and I would walk to the classroom we utilized in their village, and along the walk we would share conversations about our days, about the differences and commonalities between India and the United States, and about our lives–hopes, dreams, stories. There’s something special about these walks and conversations, because they illuminate for me how vital it is to foster meaningfully shared experiences, and hopefully bring us one step closer to breaking the cycle of poverty existing in our world. 


Thank you, Nate, for volunteering with us at ASTEP! The initiative you take to do amazing work does not go unnoticed, and we cannot do our work without you!

To learn more about ways YOU can get involved with ASTEP, email Sami Manfredi at sami@asteponline.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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.







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.




Actors! Are you interested in doing an Equity Showcase with ASTEP?

Unpacking Home_2

Unpacking “Home”

ASTEP has partnered with La Guardia Performing Arts Center and Kingsborough Community College on a service-learning project that will culminate in an interactive performance on November 6-9, 2013 in NYC. The project is called Unpacking “Home” and will include volunteer experiences at NYC homeless shelters for a cast of 16 artists between the ages of 20-30 years old.

The ensemble will volunteer at partnering homeless shelters in NYC to explore and better understand the meaning of “home” and why we choose to be without it; or what it feels like to have it taken away. The ensemble will then devise a play using material gained from their volunteer experiences.

Ensemble members will co-create the play so ASTEP is recruiting artists who enjoy improvisation and collaboration.


Dates: September 27 – November 9, 2013

Rehearsals:

  • September – November
  • Location: La Guardia Community College and Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn

Volunteering:

  • Tuesday or Wednesday (once a week) in Manhattan and Brooklyn

Performances:

  • November 6-9, 2013
  • Location: TBD

Audition Workshop:

  • September 19, 2013 from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
  • Location: La Guardia Community College, 31-10 Thomson Ave, C Building, Room 401, Long Island City, NY. (Last building before the walking bridge to Court Square.)


This is an Equity Showcase contract. Stipend included.

Please email Mauricio Salgado, ASTEP Program Director, at mauricio@asteponline.org for more details.

Unpacking Home_1




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!






A new Student Chapter opens at Temple University

Temple Student Chapter

ASTEP@Temple University Co-Presidents Linnell Truchon and Anna Snapp

 

We welcome the newest ASTEP Student Chapter which has formed at Temple University. Led by Co-Presidents Linnell Truchon and Anna Snapp, the chapter hopes to visit various local schools and host a series of arts workshops that connect with a show that is being performed either at their school or at Temple University. They plan to establish this as a continual program to develop a strong relationship with the students so that they are further encouraged to engage with the arts. They also aim to create a partnering program for parents so that the creative exploration and subsequent conversations can continue in the home.

Exciting and inspiring work — welcome to the ASTEP Community!




Introducing a new ASTEP Student Chapter at Troy University!

Casey Kroeger, President, and Emmie Phelps, Vice-President

 

Welcome to the ASTEP Community!

We’re excited to introduce the newest ASTEP Student Chapter, founded at Troy University in Troy, Alabama! The chapter hopes to unify the College of Fine Art by connecting the performing and visual arts with underserved youth in the city of Troy. They’ve been busy organizing a fundraiser in April for ASTEP and developing arts programming for their community.

When asked why they want to start an ASTEP Student Chapter, they stated: “The two of us have seen how big of an impact the arts can make in a child’s life through our own lives as well as our experiences working with children through the two initiatives our university participates in.” — Casey Kroeger, President, and Emmie Phelps, Vice-President of ASTEP@Troy University




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