ASTEP has been on an incredible journey

This year, ASTEP set out to highlight the stories of the children we serve worldwide, and we chose a fun and creative way to do it — a music video!

This video  features ASTEP students in Ecuador, India, South Florida and NYC, performing Carole King’s “Where You Lead”, accompanied by the amazing talent of ASTEP Volunteers and Supporters such as Kristin Chenoweth, Jonathan Groff, Debra Monk, Tituss Burgess, and many more!

It captures the children from each of our programs celebrating the transforming power of the arts as they perform Carole King’s “Where You Lead” and clearly demonstrates how art crosses all border and unites us together.

Like the video? Here are six easy ways you can join the ASTEP movement!

  • Share! Spread the word by sharing this video and use #ASTEPsings or @asteponline.
  • Connect! Sign up for our newsletter, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Volunteer! Apply to work with us as a teaching artist.
  • Learn! Bring us to your campus through the College Campaign.
  • Collaborate! Get involved in planning or attending ASTEP events.
  • Support! Help us change the lives of children across the globe through the arts by donating to us.

Thank you for being a part of our journey. Together we can make a difference!


Summer art programs in Quito, Ecuador!

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A team of 7 Volunteer Artists delivered arts programming from June – August in Quito’s central historic district in partnership with Project CREO, focusing on at-risk youth ages 7-16 while simultaneously working with local parents and school teachers within the community.

Thank you to the stellar Volunteer Team who brought a variety of art disciplines and instruction, including visual art, drama, and movement: Andrew Cohen, Ali Dachis, Jordan Ferranto, Sasha Hernandez, Meera Kumbhani, Lucia Modesto, and Aaron Rossini! This was ASTEP’s first time assisting with Project CREO’s arts summer camp so it was a great opportunity to lend our expertise on providing day-long, engaging arts classes.

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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.


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!

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!


Kennedy Center scholarship recipients reflect on their ASTEP experience

This year, The Kennedy Center and ASTEP awarded two (2) scholarships at the Kennedy Center American College Theater National Festival for students to participate, fully-funded, in one of ASTEP’s programs in the U.S. and around the world. This year’s recipients were playwright Louisa Hill and actor, Michael Pfeiffer. Check out their updates: 


Louisa is currently volunteering in our program in Quito, Ecuador through partner organization, Project CREO, where we provide in-school and after-school art programs for at-risk youth living in the Central Historic District of Quito.

“Greetings from Quito! I’m writing to extend an enormous thank you…for the grant to work with Artists Striving to End Poverty. I arrived in Quito several weeks ago to work with CREO Arte, an organization that seeks to inspire and empower kids through artistic expression. I’ve been honored to be a witness to the important work CREO Arte is doing and to make global connections with so many others who see the importance of art education. I hope that this is the start of many other collaborations with them and with ASTEP.

Thank you for recognizing the important work that ASTEP is doing and for offering me the chance to join them. I’m immensely grateful for this opportunity.”


volunteered this summer in our Art-in-Action summer camp in south Florida, through partner organization, enFAMILIA, where we provide a six-week arts summer camp for immigrant and migrant youth.

“Volunteering with ASTEP and Art-in-Action this summer truly was life changing for me. ASTEP prepares you to ‘learn as much as you have to give,’ and I feel as though I learned a lot more than what I gave to the youth we worked with. … Many of the kids I worked with had amazing and troubling journeys, and Art-in-Action gave them a chance to dance, sing, act, and paint out their stories. It became a way of expressing and bonding in a very safe and nurturing environment. You as the volunteer artist become a vehicle for all of the youth to play, discover, and grow through the arts.

I would recommend any passionate artist, no matter what your discipline, take the time to experience what ASTEP has to offer. It sincerely is one of the most challenging and gratifying experiences of a lifetime.”




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


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!