Children’s book proceeds to benefit ASTEP — great gift idea!

Congratulations to ASTEP Supporter, Karina Medina, who recently published her first children’s book! Karina works with us through our Creative Arts at PS199 program, and her book, which focuses on a child  forced to leave his home and then emigrates to NYC, was inspired through her experiences working with the same population of immigrant/refugee children that we work with. It’s beautifully written and illustrated, and the story is being used in our after-school classes to engage our students in discussing their own journeys to the U.S.

The book launch is scheduled for May 5, 2013 at The Museum of Tolerance New York from 11:30am-1:30pm, free admission.

Proceeds from the sale of the book will go to support ASTEP — thank you, Karina, for your tireless support of the children we work with at PS199 in Queens!

The eBook version is available for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Print version is available through the Xlibris.

We encourage you to buy a copy — a great gift idea for the young ones in your life!


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

Student-led play raises money to support ASTEP!

Even after graduating from Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts, where they led an ASTEP Student Chapter, this dynamic and inspiring group of students continues to champion ASTEP’s mission. While navigating their first few months as freshman at several different Boston colleges and conservatories, these students knew they wanted to stay involved with our work. They created a play and performed it as a fundraiser for ASTEP. Estrogen & Testosterone debuted with two shows on January 12, 2013 at the 45th Street Theater Jewel Box in NYC, raising over $1,400  to benefit ASTEP’s programming! We are so proud of their commitment to using the arts as a force for social change. For your talent, dedication, and creativity– Jake Evans, Daniel Hutchins, Serena Kassow, Alynn Parola, and Renee Richard — we thank you for being leaders in the ASTEP community!  

Supporting hearts and “soles” with shoes!

Thanks to ASTEP Board Members Sheryl Calabro and Jerry Steichen for organizing a shoe-drive for the students we work with in India. 40 pairs!

And a big thank you to ASTEP Volunteer Artist Rebecca Wolf who will be brining these shoes with her when she travels to Shanti Bhavan next week.

These shoes will definitely be cherished.

If you are interested in supporting ASTEP’s programs through a fundraiser or organizing your own supply-drive, please contact Davinia Troughton at


Seniors from the Walnut Hill School for the Arts raised over $1,000 for ASTEP!

Congratulations to the 2012 graduating class at Walnut Hill School for the Arts and thank you to everyone who participated in the Senior Showcase, which raised over $1,000 for ASTEP!

We have all had such a good time working closely with the ASTEP@WalnutHill student chapter, especially Co-Presidents Renee Richard and Jake Evans, both graduating seniors. We wish you all the best as you head to college and hope that we keep in touch. And we’re looking forward to getting to know the new Co-Presidents, Courtney McCain and Owen Alderson, who will take over the leadership position in the fall.

A big thank you to Meg O’Brien and Kyle Brown, members of the ASTEP community, for speaking about ASTEP at the event!




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



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.