ASTEP Volunteer Artists star in new Broadway play

ASTEP is proud to give a shout out to Dion Mucciacito and Seth Numrich, two of our amazing Volunteer Artists, who are both starring in the Lincoln Center Theater’s Broadway revival of Clifford Odet’s Golden Boy. Read the Playbill article below:

Clifford Odets’ Golden Boy, Starring Seth Numrich, Tony Shalhoub, Danny Burstein, to Play the Belasco

By Adam Hetrick
08 Aug 2012

Tony Shalhoub, Danny Burstein,Jonathan Hadary, Daniel Jenkins and Seth Numrich will star in Lincoln Center Theater’s Broadway revival of Clifford Odets’ Golden Boy, which begins previews Nov. 8 at the Belasco Theatre.

Tony Award-winning LCT resident director Bartlett Sher (South Pacific, The Light in the Piazza, Women on the Verge…), who also helmed the 2006 revival of Odets’ Awake and Sing! for LCT, will stage Golden Boy. Opening is Dec. 6.

The Belasco is where LCT presentedAwake and Sing! as well as its musical adaptation of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown in recent seasons. The Judy Garland play with music, End of the Rainbow, will end its run there Aug. 19.

Numrich, who originated the role of Albert Narraccott in LCT’s Broadway production of War Horse will take on the central role of Joe Bonaparte. He is joined by Shalboub (Lend Me A Tenor), Burstein (Follies, South Pacific), Hadary (Awake and Sing!, Gypsy), Jenkins (Big River), Michael Aronov (Blood and Gifts), Bill Camp (Death of a Salesman), Sean Cullen (South Pacific), Dagmara Dominczyk (The Violet Hour), Ned Eisenberg (Awake and Sing!), Brad Fleischer (Coram Boy), Karl Glusman (Seagull), Danny Mastrogiorgio (Stunning), Dion Mucciacito (Apple Cove), Lucas Caleb Rooney (Henry IV), Yvonne Strahovski (Finn City) and David Wohl(Dinner at Eight).

Additional casting is expected.

According to LCT, “Golden Boy is the story of Joe Bonaparte (to be played by Seth Numrich), a young, gifted violinist who is torn between pursuing a career in music and earning big money as a prize fighter.”

The production will have will have sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Donald Holder and sound by Peter John Still and Marc Salzberg.

Tickets will go on sale Sept. 23 at or at A limited number of tickets priced at $32 are available at every performance through LincTix, LCT’s program for 21 to 35 year olds. For information and to enroll, visit

Click here for the complete article.


What’s Kendal up to in Quito? Project CREO updates.

Our longtime volunteer, Kendal Sparks, has arrived in Quito, Ecuador as the first ASTEP Volunteer Artist to support our new partner, Project CREO. Check out Kendal’s video updates about his first few days on the ground! We’re excited to introduce ASTEP’s mission and vision to the community in Quito and thrilled to work with the amazing Project CREO.


The volunteers’ accommodations are in this beautiful plaza!

Check out this video about Kendal’s first day volunteering at Project CREO


The children take part in a visual art activity


The Project CREO team!


A video about a typical day at Project CREO

A visual art exercise

ASTEP Volunteer Artist, Kendal Sparks, with Project CREO students


Keeping cool at the Refugee Youth Summer Academy. Updates!

Let the good times roll!

We’re happy to announce that the 2012 Refugee Youth Summer Academy (RYSA) launched last week and that we have a stellar team of Volunteer Teaching Artists in place. This is ASTEP’s third summer providing performing and visual arts programming for all student levels at RYSA, which is a program of the International Rescue Committee’s Refugee Youth Program. As program partners, ASTEP and IRC aim to support the personal growth, cultural adjustment, and education of multicultural refugee youth and help them successfully transition into the US school system. Stay tuned for updates!


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Art-in-Action 2012 Camp Blog!

Hey everyone!

Welcome to our Arts-in-Action 2012 camp blog!

We are super excited about all the things that are going down this summer. Through this blog we can keep you all updated on performances, projects, and the daily happenings here in Homestead, Florida. There’s some beautiful creativitiy happening, and this is our way of sharing it with you all.

As a team, the volunteers and on site administrators came up with a mission statement using individual goals that represents what we hope to accomplish with the campers while we are here:

We, Arts in Action, will strive to use artistic creation to share, inspire, and supoport the lives in this community and beyond. This mission of embarking on a new journey has been at times intimidating, but together we work hard each day to make sure that these campers gain a rich understanding of what it means to be entrenched in the arts.


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Week 6 – Final Week 

ASTEP launches new partnership with Project CREO in Ecuador!

Visual and Performing Artist opportunities with Project Creo in Quito, Ecuador!

ASTEP is currently recruiting volunteer artists year-round for multi-week or multi-month commitments to work with students of all ages at Project CREO in Quito, Ecuador. Volunteer artists will be working in a beautiful creative arts facility and in the public school system in the heart of Ecuador’s capital city, bringing arts education to children in the community. Applicants can expect to be working along side the staff of Project Creo 5 days a week and 7-8 hours a day. Applicants are responsible for fundraising the cost of transportation to and from Quito, room/board, and food costs, and must be at least 21 years of age. Applications are now being accepted.

Fill out our inquiry form to learn more!

Want to find out more about our partnership with Project CREO?

Check out one of our volunteer’s blog on their experience in Quito!


Kristen Chenoweth shares her love of ASTEP!

In rehearsals for her big 2012 concert tour, Kristen Chenoweth shares her love of ASTEP in this video with Mary-Mitchell Campbell, ASTEP’s founder and executive director, who also happens to be the music director for the tour!

Kristen has been a long-time supporter of ASTEP, joining our Honorary Board and sharing our vision of using the arts to transform the lives of children worldwide. Thanks for all the support, Kristen!



Who we are: a video snapshot!

A huge thank you to Yazmany Arboleda, an ASTEP volunteer and multimedia artist extraordinaire, for creating this colorful and enthusiastic video highlighting our programs over the years. For some of you, this will be a trip down memory lane since some of the images captured here are from the very beginning of ASTEP! Enjoy!!

Catherine Hancock, ASTEP volunteer, using music to promote social change

Hello ASTEP Family!

As an active ASTEP volunteer artist for a number of years, I’m writing to let you know about an exciting group that I am involved with called the Moirae Ensemble.

The Moirae Ensemble is a Chamber Music group that flutist Fiona Kelly, harpist, Caroline Cole and I founded while pursuing our Masters of Music at The Juilliard School.  The three of us discovered that we had similar ideals and beliefs in what we wanted to accomplish through our musical careers and as active members in our community.  Not only are we dedicated chamber musicians, we are also women who deeply care about supporting fellow women worldwide. We decided to start an ensemble that would embrace these two concepts by forming the Moirae Ensemble.

I was introduced to the International Rescue Committee through ASTEP and have worked with their domestic office in NYC for almost a year as an art teacher at PS199, and have been inspired by this amazing organization since I started my work with them and wanted to collaborate with the IRC on this project.  We are currently scheduling a concert series for the 2012/2013 season that will raise awareness for women’s issues and funds for the International Rescue Committee’s domestic office in NYC, with the long term goal of creating a fund for women refugees in NYC to receive counseling. In addition, we have commissioned several new works for this project including a donation from world renowned composer, Libby Larsen.  Please keep an eye out for our upcoming concerts and feel free to visit our website at

— Catherine Hancock | ASTEP Volunteer Artist



Launching the ASTEP Leadership Seminar. Get empowered!

ASTEP’s volunteer artists are the key to our success. We believe in cultivating a community of artists who use their gifts to inspire youth and in providing ongoing professional development opportunities for our volunteers. Starting this year, we’re excited to begin offering the ASTEP Leadership Seminar series for active ASTEP volunteers.  During the two-day intensives, we will explore the skills and strategies necessary to be an effective facilitator and leader when using the arts for social change. Focusing primarily on communication and organizational skills, the seminar will prepare individuals to be ASTEP On-Site Administrators, key leaders who help us manage the partner and volunteer experience. Most importantly, the seminar provides a space for like-minded artists to share their ideas about, experiences with, and challenges on leadership.

Our first ASTEP Leadership Seminar took place on March 1-2, 2012 in NYC. In attendance were 9 volunteer artists, ranging from dancers to actors to musicians to visual artists. We covered topics such as communication, conflict mediation, and evaluation—we were lucky to have a special presentation by Annika Sheaf, a Pilobolus dancer, who led the group through movement exercises that explored movement and how it relates to quick thinking, group productivity, awareness, trust, and communication.

Over the course of these two days, everyone involved not only grew closer as a volunteer community but also strengthened their leadership abilities and personal connection to this work.

Hear from several of the participants:


“Thank you so much for including me in the ASTEP Leadership Seminar. I really can’t tell you enough what a meaningful time I had. I feel so lucky to be a part of such an incredible community. I really look at ASTEP as a defining part of my life–the ideals of the organization and of the people within it are ones that I constantly push myself to strive for. And attending this seminar only made me believe this even more. I treasure my time spent with ASTEP and look forward to many, many, more years as part of the ASTEP family.”

–Alli Job, ASTEP volunteer | bassist and visual artist

What’s it like to Walk in Your Shoes?

In the summer of ’96, thirteen-year-old Max Depaula, an ASTEP Alum, was asked by one of his summer camp counselors what it was like to walk in his shoes. In response, Max took off his shoes and tossed them at the counselor. The counselor tossed the shoes back and said, “You know that’s not what I mean. What’s your story, Max?”

Although Max didn’t respond initially, he went home later that day and free-wrote a six-page narrative about his journey. When he finished, he was surprised to realize that sharing his story felt good and wondered, what will happen next in my story?

Over the span of four weeks this fall, the ASTEP student and volunteer community participated in the A Story per Step Campaign by responding to different prompts and questions, including: What’s it like to walk in my shoes?

We appreciate everyone who participated, and we invite you to watch the final video from Alejandro Rodriquez, an ASTEP Volunteer. It includes a compilation of the voices and stories shared by the ASTEP community.


• • • •

Below are several stories from volunteers and students who participated in the A Story Per Step Campaign. They were responding to certain questions and prompts, such as “When is the first time art rocked your life?” or “Tell us a super funny ASTEP story”. More stories and accompanying videos will be posted in the weeks to come!

The first time art rocked my life was, well, always. I do remember a specific moment, when I was about three, that I got a new pair of dress shoes. I remember they were very shiny, but more importantly that they made noise whenever I walked. I wore these new shoes to church one day, and the church had wooden planks on the floor. I’m not sure how I made my way there, but I ended up standing in the center row between the pews during the service, and I just tapped for all I was worth. I was so excited that my shoes made noise that I would not stop, and my aunt had to scoop me up and run out of the church with me under her arm. My mom always tells me that this was the day she realized she’d have to pay for me to take dance lessons so that I would stop ruining new shoes and church floors.   — Elisabeth Rainer, ASTEP Volunteer

When art rocked my world it was literally my first day of Art in Action 2006. I remember like if it was yesterday. I was put in a group with four other students and a facilitator (Johnny). Our group had to come up with a group name and a dance (mind you, as a child I loved coming up with my own songs and dances), but the song and dance my group came up with was a silly one: we named our group “tiki bananas” inspired by the “Traketeo” and the bananas sitting on the Traketeo. Our dance was a mixture of air guitar (Manny’s idea) and monkey arms…LOL. At first I thought it was all wrong and that we would be made fun of when we shared it with the camp. Turned out I was wrong. Everyone loved it, and I then realized we made art.  — Erica Morillo, ASTEP Art-in-Action student

It was 8 pm, and we had dancing class. Allie and Ashley were teaching us. We started our class with practicing and getting funky. We were going to dance to “Thriller.” Babu, the eldest member of the class, was just too excited to dance. He thought to himself that he could become the next M.J. He had high hopes that he would master this dance. We started learning the dance. Babu was in the first row. Allie and Ashley lifted one leg straight up in the air and told us to do it. Babu forgot that his pants were too tight for him and were made of very thin material. He lifted his leg as high as he could. Suddenly something tore! Everyone looked down to see Babu’s pant torn, and Babu lying flat on the ground groaning in pain! For the rest of that class, Babu had to sit and look at everyone else dancing, and we could see the sadness on Babu’s face.  — Vijay Kumar, ASTEP student at Shanti Bhavan, 10th grade 

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