ASTEP’s Arts Camp in India!

SB_2013_Camp Theme

A team of ASTEP Volunteer Artists recently spent three weeks in India to deliver a multi-week arts camp for the children of Shanti Bhavan! They are Francesca Betancourt, Lotte Crayton, Andrea DeLonis, Jonny Duennebier, Allison Gibbons, JJ Krehbiel, Kelcie Miles, and Danielle Mooney, led by ASTEP’s Director of Programs Abby Gerdts.

The volunteers created a series of arts-specific events, including the Color Cup, and led art classes that focused on dance, visual arts, even film. Check out the special short film that was written, directed, filmed, and edited by the students — they also got to indulge in a favorite past time…consuming candy!
_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

What’s been going on at our arts program in the Bronx?

ASTEP Volunteer Artist Lucie Baker, Adam Miller, and Kyle Netzeband spent the fall and spring semester leading after-school arts programming at Claremont International High School in the Bronx — visual art, dance, and drumming classes. Since the majority of the students are English Language Learners, the focus of our classes is to engage the students in language development through creative expressions as well as build their self-confidence and critical thinking skills.

This video shares the final project for the visual art class — screen-printing! Check it out!










Volunteer artists are the key to our success!

ASTEP is always looking for dedicated and passionate artists who want to use the arts to transform children’s lives. There are many ways for you to get involved!

So that you’re prepared, follow these simple steps:

    • Learn more about our volunteer programs by visiting Where We Work.

 

    • Then fill out an Inquiry Form. An ASTEP staff member will contact you to guide you through the application process.

 

 

  • Complete a General Volunteer Training session. Then receive your volunteer placement and be on your way to changing lives through the arts!

_______________________________________________________________________________

Check out our current volunteer needs:

+ Join our team of volunteer artists for ASTEP on STAGE! in New York City

+ Volunteer with ASTEP’s new partnership with Teach for India in Pune, India 

+ Volunteer at Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project in Bangalore, India 

+ Volunteer with ASTEP at Project CREO in Quito, Ecuador 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

“Working with ASTEP is truly invaluable—the feeling you get when you know you are simultaneously doing what you love while being able to help and inspire others is one that has only strengthened my connection to my art and my connection to the world.” — Renee Richard, Emerson College

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

ASTEP Child Protection Policy ]

As a child-focused organization, ASTEP creates circumstances in which children and adults regularly come into contact with each other. To that end, our policy is intended to guide the organization and individuals associated with it (volunteers, staff members, board members, interns, partners, and others, hereafter referred to as associates) on appropriate interactions with children. The goal of this policy is to promote the safety and well-being of children participating in ASTEP programs and activities and to provide clear guidance to ASTEP associates on safer ways of working with children. We have a responsibility to promote the protection and safety of children while they are in contact with staff. A child or minor is defined as a person under 18 years of age.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Volunteer with ASTEP! Current openings!

 

Check out our current volunteer needs:

+ Two dancers needed to join our Refugee Youth Summer Academy in NYC

+ A variety of artists needed at our Art-in-Action summer camp in South Florida


ASTEP is always looking for dedicated and passionate artists who want to use the arts to transform children’s lives. There are many ways for you to get involved!

So that you’re prepared, follow these simple steps:

  • Learn more about our volunteer programs by visiting Where We Work.
  • Then fill out an Inquiry Form. An ASTEP staff member will contact you to guide you through the application process.
  • When you’re ready, fill out our Volunteer Application and interview with a Program Director.
  • Complete a General Volunteer Training session. Then receive your volunteer placement and be on your way to changing lives through the arts!




“Working with ASTEP is truly invaluable—the feeling you get when you know you are simultaneously doing what you love while being able to help and inspire others is one that has only strengthened my connection to my art and my connection to the world.” — Renee Richard, Emerson College






________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 

ASTEP Child Protection Policy ]

As a child-focused organization, ASTEP creates circumstances in which children and adults regularly come into contact with each other. To that end, our policy is intended to guide the organization and individuals associated with it (volunteers, staff members, board members, interns, partners, and others, hereafter referred to as associates) on appropriate interactions with children. The goal of this policy is to promote the safety and well-being of children participating in ASTEP programs and activities and to provide clear guidance to ASTEP associates on safer ways of working with children. We have a responsibility to promote the protection and safety of children while they are in contact with staff. A child or minor is defined as a person under 18 years of age.
 
________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 

ASTEP and Kennedy Center Fellows announced!

ASTEP Fellow Victor Colon and ASTEP Volunteer Artist Nick Dalton



ASTEP and the Kennedy Center are thrilled to announce the 2013 ASTEP Fellow scholarship recipients:

Victor Colon from University of Puerto Rico
National Scholar – will volunteer at ASTEP’s program in Quito, Ecuador

Kelcie Miles from Oklahoma University
Regional Scholar – will volunteer at ASTEP’s program in South Florida

Molly Page from Louisiana Tech University
Regional Scholar – will volunteer at ASTEP’s program in NYC

Maria Arvanitakis from Kansas State University
Regional Scholar – will volunteer at ASTEP’s program in south Florida

JJ Krehbiel from BridgeWater College
Regional Scholar – will volunteer at ASTEP’s program in India


ASTEP Fellows will receive a stipend to cover their travel costs and meals when they volunteer with ASTEP. They were selected based on their exemplary leadership and dedication to using the arts to empower communities, and ASTEP is excited to have them join our community of artists. Special thanks to Gregg Henry, Artistic Director at Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, for his continued commitment to supporting and collaborating with ASTEP.

To learn more about ASTEP and our volunteer opportunities, visit our homepage today!






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!

 

Creating a safe space for refugee youth in NYC

 

All of the ASTEP programs I’ve worked for are truly remarkable, but the Refugee Youth Summer Academy (RYSA) holds a special place in my heart. Each summer, ASTEP volunteer artists partner with the International Rescue Committee and a team of New York City teachers to create a unique summer-school experience for recently-arrived refugee youth.

The goal on paper is clear and direct: strengthen language-skills and self-confidence, and prepare these youth for schooling in the United States. On the ground, however, things are far less cut-and-dry, and far more surprising and wonderful.

With refugees and asylees representing dozens of countries around the world, the teachers end up learning about as much as the students! A group of Nepalese boys performed traditional songs for us from Nepal, a young man from Sierra Leone gave me a chilling history of the diamond trade that no Hollywood film could ever match, and I was taught to count to ten in Japanese.

In return, these students learned about painters like Monet and Rothko and the movements in art they represented, they were introduced to break-dancing and Judo, and they created original poems and dances that told of their journies to the U.S., the challenges they were facing here, or simply the joy they felt at being able to work together and create. And, yes, English skills were improved – through telling stories in Drama class, learning lyrics in Music or simply via casual conversations out in the hallway.

But, it struck me one day as I watched an older boy from Guinea help a younger Tibetan girl with her still-life painting in Art class—that what we do at RYSA goes beyond preparing students for school. We create a safe space that, after six weeks, these students come to think of as home. That sense of belonging, I think, for kids who’ve only just gotten to this country, is truly a gift of immeasurable value.

– Alejandro Rodriguez, ASTEP Volunteer Artist

 

+ Visit Get Involved to learn about becoming an ASTEP Volunteer Artist!

 

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




Second year partnering with The Kennedy Center!

ASTEP is thrilled to partner for a second 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, “Artist as Citizen” and “Devising with ASTEP”, and joining a prestigious panel of judges for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship. (Check out our 2012 experience!)

Artist as Citizen

Do you believe in the power of Art to transform communities? This interactive workshop will focus on how we can delve beyond our technical training to harness our collective power and begin to build a space where everyone’s stories can be heard. Together, we will explore how we can use our craft as a means of ensuring the strength of our communities, our culture, and the future of the American theater. Come and reclaim ownership of your own artistic fulfillment.

Devising with ASTEP

ASTEP artists live at the intersection of the Arts and Global Justice. In this workshop, we’ll be building original pieces of Devised Theater using ASTEP’s unique process-oriented approach. Drawing from your own personal experiences and ideas, a few inspiring prompts, and techniques for devising that an ASTEP facilitator will guide you through, participants will create pieces around a common theme.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

We’re mid-way through the festival! Sharing updates from each of the eight regions visited so far are returning ASTEP team members:


Abby Gerdts, ASTEP’s Director of International Programs

* Saginaw Valley State University – Region 3 highlights

* American River College – Region 7 highlights

_____________________________________________________________________________


Mauricio Salgado, ASTEP’s Director of Domestic Programs

* University of Nebraska-Lincoln – Region 5 highlights

* Cape Cod Community College – Region 1 highlights

* Los Angeles Theater Center – Region 8 highlights

_____________________________________________________________________________


Nick Dalton, ASTEP Volunteer

* Towson University – Region 2 highlights

* Darton College – Region 4 highlights

_____________________________________________________________________________


Alejandro Rodriguez, an ASTEP Volunteer Artist

* Centenary College of Louisiana – Region 6 highlights

_____________________________________________________________________________