artsINSIDEOUT 2014

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For a fourth year this summer, artsINSIDEOUT spent two weeks in Johannesburg, South Africa serving the children of Nkosi’s Haven, a center that offers holistic care and support for destitute mothers living with HIV/AIDS and their children, including orphans. Through acting, singing, dancing and storytelling techniques, a team of 14 Volunteer Artists inspired the children to unleash their creative energy, empowering them to communicate their own experiences. There was even a special stagecraft workshop where the students built a permanent stage that can be dismantled and stored so we can use it every year!

A huge THANK YOU to each of the Volunteer Artists who dedicated their time and talent to this inspiring experience — Riegerdt Deetlefs, Yazmany Arboleda, Coby Getzug, JoAnn Hunter, Victoria Pollack, Alison Green, Rachel Haas, Roberto Pombo, Víctor Geraldo Rodríguez, Ezra Lowrey, Stompie Selibe, Jeremy Huntington, Timothy Connell and Dick Scanlan.




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!

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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!

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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 

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“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

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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.

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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!

                               

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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!

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Get your tickets to the Celebration Benefit, November 12 at the Waldorf=Astoria

We’re thrilled to announce our participation in the 2012 A Celebration to Benefit New York Kids gala event.  For a second year in a row, ASTEP is being honored along with 13 other youth-serving nonprofits at the Waldorf=Astoria on November 12, 2012 for a spectacular night of music and celebration, bringing together hundreds of supporters.

We all know how important it is to ensure that young people have the opportunities they need to thrive in today’s society. Since 2003, ASTEP has connected underserved youth with performing and visual artists who use the strongest tool they have—their art—to deliver arts education programs that demonstrate the power of the arts to inspire youth and strengthen communities.

For the Benefit, ASTEP has the chance to raise $30,000 for our programs by selling tickets and sponsorships to the event. Last year, we set a goal of $25,000 and surpassed it by raising over $28,000! Your contribution will enable us to fulfill our ultimate goals: to serve more children in more areas of the U.S. and the world, and to recruit and train more volunteer artists who are the lifeblood of our programs.

To learn more please visit the event website or to support our efforts with an online ticket purchase, click on the Support Now button below.

We would love to celebrate together at this fun and inspiring evening!

 

 

Who we are: a video snapshot!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAPvdumfOrQ&feature=youtu.be

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!!












Discussing the artist’s role as citizen with the Justice and the Arts Initiative at Santa Clara University

By: Mauricio Salgado, Director of Domestic Programs

From April 16-April 21 2012, I had the honor of being an artist in residence with the Justice and the Arts Initiative (JAI) at Santa Clara University. For the fifth year, JAI Co-directors and SCU Dance faculty members, Kristin Kusanovich and Carolyn Silberman (pictured left), invited me to connect with their community, which seeks to create an intellectual frame of reference for examining and fostering artistic processes that are critically bound to issues of social justice, and to support practices and methods of developing artist-activists at SCU. As usual, the experience was uniquely invigorating! Aside from the workshops I presented, I witnessed performances affirming the power of art and many one on one conversations considering the artist’s role as a citizen.

On my first morning there, I witnessed SCU’s production of “What Strangers May Know,” a play commemorating the 32 victims of the shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007. The outdoor event involved  76 members of the SCU community ( students, staff, alums and faculty members), focusing on 32 separate one act plays memorializing each of the victims. Aside from immersing myself in the 32 stories, I also found myself reflecting on the culture of mourning; a thought that I continued to explore while visiting class reflections and in personal conversations with students and faculty. From the beginning, I found myself enlivened by a community that is processing profound social issues.

The next day, I led the first of two workshops exploring the empathic process and its use in community development. About 40 students participated in the workshops, where we also discussed ASTEP’s practice of using Arts Education to develop empathy in students. Most importantly, the workshops provided a space for students to consider what it means to pursue justice for the oppressed and impoverished, and how artist activists should prepare for that pursuit.

While at SCU, I also attended the 2012 Bannan Fellow Lecture by Dr. Maeve Heaney. Entitled, “Beauty and Beast; the role of the arts in Jesuit higher education,” the performance landed the importance of the arts in higher education in order to broaden intellectual capacity. I specify that the event was more of a performance than a lecture, because it included scenes, music, dance pieces, and painting. As Maeve demonstrated, singing about beauty lands the point more effectively than speaking about it – and if so, it is equally more effective at relating social injustice.

As happens each time I visit SCU, I left inspired to deepen my own understanding and pursuit of Justice and eager to relate the stories that moved me. I left ready to take the next step in helping artists strive to end poverty.

 

ICC students claim victory during the 2012 Slamin’ Olympics!

On April 10 & 12, 2012, ASTEP hosted the 3rd annual ICC Slamin’ Olympics at the Incarnation Children’s Center in Washington Heights, New York City. The Residents triumphed over the Staff this year, although the score was neck and neck throughout the competition!A favorite among the art-based events was “Ready-Set-Slow”, a race (always run with “Chariots of Fire” playing in the background) in which the last competitor to cross the finish line is the winner! But perhaps the most memorable moments came from the “Create A Story” event, where teams have just 10 minutes to create a story with a beginning, middle, and end, but for extra points, they must try to include moments of slow-motion, singing, repetition, and an element of surprise.

Of course, players can always earn extra points for their team by coming up with inventive dance moves during the “Lord of the Dance”, an ongoing event throughout the Olympics and a huge source of entertainment for all spectators. However, the most popular way of gaining the extra points comes from supporting and cheering on the opposing team! Thanks to all who participated and to all of the volunteers who came out for the Olympics! A great time was had by all and we’ll see you next year when the Staff will have their chance at redemption!

A big thanks to Tanesha Ross, an ASTEP volunteer, who coordinated the event and to our volunteer judges: Krystle Armstrong, Michael Liscio, Gabrielle Reid, Anne Markt, Yazmany Arboleda.

One of the final competitions involved creating a piece of art using elements found during a scavenger hunt!