Project Philippines 2014

Project Philippines 2014_8w

In 2008, a group of six dancers from The Juilliard School journeyed to the Philippines for four weeks, performing, teaching in schools, and creating new pieces with students in several different communities. Project Philippines returned in 2012, adding music and visual arts to the programming and in 2014, began a collaboration with ASTEP. A team of 8 Volunteer Artists are currently on the ground for five weeks and will serve communities on two separate islands and teach at four different schools: Catarman National High School, Philippine High School for the Arts, Cultural Center of the Philippines Dance School, and University of the Philippines Los Baños.

Through contemporary dance and improvisation, students engage in workshops to express themselves through movement.

“Dance has enabled me to be disciplined and focused today … I can communicate better with others and am a better person because of dance.” – Student, Project Philippines 2012

Through a variety of music workshops, students concentrate on different techniques and individual training through private lessons, master classes, a cross cultural-exchange, and performance technique.

Visual arts focus on journals and a large community project specific to each site. Everyday the students are asked to reflect and draw about their day. Visual arts incorporates self portraits, line contour drawing, painting and set design. Understanding that some students communicate best through the visual art form, these projects allow students to become more confident in their individual talents and connect to their peers through a collaborative art project.

“You could see it in their faces, writing, and drawing, that this freedom of expression was bringing a flow and light into their lives. Whether they were a part of a family or community or group of friends, they were coming closer together with smiles and laughter and encouragement.”
-Tighe Kellner, Volunteer Artist | Project Philippines 2012

Drama is incorporated in every art class through theater games and exercises. By focusing on performance, improvisation, and vocal training, drama supports each student on their journey to the stage. The training also uplifts each student in their self confidence, individual voice and community building skills off the stage.

Thank you to the 2014 Volunteer Artist Team! Chelsea Ainsworth, Kyle Netzeband, Tyner Dumortier, Allison Gibbons, Blake Wales, Brian Gnojek, Midori Samson, and Francesca Betancourt — you help make it happen!

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


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!

Student Showcase: Refugee Youth Art Program, Spring Semester 2012

As our semester with the IRC’s Refugee Youth Program came to a close, ASTEP volunteer artists helped the students present their artwork to their families and communities during a final performance and ceremony. The evening was a celebration of creativity, full of proud moments and feelings of accomplishment!

ASTEP Art Class at PS199. This class focused on a creative writing component, composing a poem about Tyler the Mouse, who moved to NYC with his family. Led by their ASTEP Volunteer Artists, Alyssa Bothman and Catherine Hancock, they presented their poem to the audience.


This visual arts class created SuperHeroes by drawing their superhuman on one side and their secret identity on the other. Led by ASTEP Volunteer Artists, Kyle Netzeband and Tajh Rust.
ASTEP Visual Arts Class at Brooklyn International High School


ASTEP Visual Art Class at the Saturday Learning Series, led by ASTEP Volunteer Artists, Priya Patel, Susanna Brock, and Alli Job. Watch this video to hear from the volunteers!


The ASTEP visual arts class at the Saturday Learning Series focused on fashion and design, emphasizing what fashion and identity meant to each student since the majority of the students come from diverse backgrounds.