Seeking Volunteers for Art-in-Action Summer Camp!

AIA 2013_Week4_5w

Are you a visual artist with a heart for changing lives?

ASTEP is currently recruiting 2 visual artists to teach at the Art-In-Action Summer Camp in sunny South Florida. The volunteer teaching artists will work collaboratively with 12 other teaching artists to facilitate a life changing experience for 100 youth from farm-working families.

  • Room, meals and stipend provided
  • Artists must enjoy thinking outside the box, working with others, and warm weather!
  • The program runs from June 7-July 20

Fill out our inquiry form to learn more!

Want to find out more about Art-in-Action and our partnership with enFAMILIA?

Check out our blog from Art-in-Action 2013!

ASTEP student Josh Flores describes his transformation through the arts!

Every year, ASTEP artists head to South Florida for the Arts-in-Action Summer Camp. Every year for the past four years, student Josh Flores has participated at those camps.

ASTEP volunteer Samip Raval created this video to share Josh’s transformative journey with all of us.

Experience Josh's Story here!

Josh is just one of many students whose lives have been transformed by the arts. We can’t wait to see where he will go from here!

Art-in-Action 2013 Camp Blog!

Hey everyone!

Welcome to our Arts-in-Action 2013 camp blog!

Led by a team of 21 Volunteer Artists, ASTEP and our partner, enFAMILIA, delivered Art-in-Action, a 6-week arts camp that brought a dynamic visual and performing arts experience to 120 youth from the immigrant and migrant communities of Deep South Miami-Dade. Art-in-Action is all about providing a safe space for high school and middle school youth so they can come together to create, develop artistic skills, and grow personally and emotionally.

Students signed up for a variety of classes, including Music, Drama, Dance, Visual Art, and Musical Theater. A few of the elective classes that were offered featured Screen Printing, Clowning, Poetry, and Breakdancing. Enjoy the photos, videos, and testimonials!


Week 1


Week 2


Week 3


Week 4


Week 5


Week 6


** None of this would be possible without dedication and talent of our amazing Volunteer Artist Team: Linnell Truchon (Theatre), Maria Arvanitakis (Theatre), Kelcie Miles (Theatre), Bronte Velez (Dance), Lili Froehlich (Dance), Kentaley McCurdy (Dance), Jess Bush (Music), Elise Conklin (Music), Luz De La Cruz (Music), Vera Johnson (Visual Art), Khaled Hassan (Visual Art), Emma Johnson (Visual Art), Sebastian Acosta (Culinary Arts), Samip Raval (Guest Artist), Andrew Cohen (Guest Artist), Oscar Trujillo (Guest Artist), Brendan Spieth (Guest Artist), Kyle Netzeband (Guest Artist), Maria Avonce, (On-Site Administrator), Allison Gibbons (On-Site Administrator), Blake Wales (On-Site Administrator), Abby Gerdts (ASTEP Program Director)

AIA 2013_Orientation1ASTEP Volunteer Artist Team


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.

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


The arts on stage at PS199 in Queens

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The students who participated in our Creative Arts at PS199 through the Refugee Youth Program this past fall launched the holiday season with an energetic medley of skits and presentation of their projects. Led by ASTEP Volunteer Artist Autumn Potter, who returned for her second program with the children from the Refugee Youth Program, the students created poetry, various visual art projects, and journaled, all with the focus on their journeys to the U.S.–where they had come from and their hopes for the future. Below are samples of their creativity!

Backstage for Christmas with Broadway’s best!

The holiday season is in full swing, thanks to all who participated in our annual holiday benefit, which was a huge success!

The lineup featured — Tituss Burgess (Jersey Boys, The Little Mermaid, Guys and Dolls), Tom Kitt (Next to Normal, American Idiot, Everyday Rapture), Derek Klena (Carrie, Dogfight, “American Idol” Hollywood Week Finalist), Andrew Lippa (Wild Party, You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, The Addams Family), Lindsay Mendez (Godspell, Everyday Rapture, Grease), Julia Murney (Wicked, The Wild Party), Seth Numrich (War Horse, Golden Boy, The Merchant of Venice), and Ali Stroker (“Glee Project”), with Olivia Hardy — performing our favorite holiday songs and several special pieces. Accompanying pianist Mary-Mitchell Campbell, ASTEP’s Founder and Executive Director, was Damien Bassman on drums/percussion.

ASTEP would also like to thank Havana Central Restaurant and Bar for donating food for our guests!

Check out Playbill’s coverage of the event!



Highlighted by Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS

ASTEP will always be inspired by the work of our funder and partner, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, which highlighted ASTEP in their recent Fall 2012 Newsletter, Behind the Scenes.

The article focuses on ASTEP Volunteer Artists, Elizabeth Stanley and Summer Boggess, Broadway artists who volunteered with our program at Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project this summer!


Tickets on sale now! Backstage for Christmas: A Holiday Cabaret benefit concert, 12/17 at 6:30pm!

Celebrate the holiday season at an intimate concert to benefit Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP)!

The up-close cabaret — featuring Tituss Burgess (Jersey Boys, The Little Mermaid, Guys and Dolls), Tom Kitt (Next to Normal, American Idiot, Everyday Rapture), Derek Klena (Carrie, Dogfight, “American Idol” Hollywood Week Finalist), Andrew Lippa (Wild Party, You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, The Addams Family), Lindsay Mendez (Godspell, Everyday Rapture, Grease), Julia Murney (Wicked, The Wild Party), Seth Numrich (War Horse, Golden Boy, The Merchant of Venice), and Ali Stroker (“Glee Project”), with Olivia Hardy — will take guests to a private performance space within Broadway’s Foxwoods Theatre; access is through the Stage Door. Expect your favorite holiday songs, and some musical surprises.

Backstage for Christmas: A Holiday Cabaret is produced and music-directed by Drama Desk Award-winning orchestrator Mary-Mitchell Campbell, who is also the Founder and Executive Director of ASTEP. Appearing with pianist Campbell will be Damien Bassman (drums/percussion).

$75 – Admission

$100 – Admission + free copy of ASTEP’s New York City Christmas CD*

All proceeds from tickets to the show and album sales go to supporting ASTEP’s mission to use the power of the arts to transform the lives of underserved youth. PURCHASE TICKETS!

*ASTEP’s New York City Christmas album is a collection of fresh, original approaches–pop, soul, R&B, rock and more–of holiday songs created by Drama Desk nominated orchestrator, Lynne Shankel, and performed by the best musicians and singers from Broadway, including Little Mermaid star Sierra Boggess, Tony Winner Raul Esparza, American Idol star Constatine Maroulis, and many more!

Wine and light hors d’oeuvres will be served, and a silent auction will be held.

For questions, email


Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP) was conceived by Broadway Musical Director Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Juilliard students to transform the lives of youth using the most powerful tool they had—their art. Today, ASTEP connects performing and visual artists with underserved youth in the U.S. and around the world to awaken their imaginations, foster critical thinking, and help them break the cycle of poverty.