Volunteer in India

Engage in the transforming power of the arts!

 

ASTEP is currently recruiting musicians, dancers, and visual artists for our three-week arts camp at Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project, a school and home for economically and socially disadvantaged children outside Bangalore, India. With a team of 5-10 volunteer artists, ASTEP’s arts camp transform the school into a place of creativity, performance and ol’ fashioned silliness for the 300+ students at who live there.

Application deadline: July 17, 2015
Dates: September 6 – 23, 2015

Email Lizzy Rainer at lizzy@asteponline.org to learn more!

+ Want to find out more about our partnership with Shanti Bhavan?

+ Check out photos from our most recent camp in May!

 

There should be no dividing line between artistic excellence and social consciousness.

For 59 young artists interested in combing their artistic practice with their pursuit of a better world, ASTEP presented our 2nd annual Artist as Citizen Conference from June 7 – 12, 2015 at The Juilliard School.

At ASTEP, we work with children. We put artists in classrooms around the world to share their passion with kids.

In a larger sense, we’re part of an evolving, nationwide conversation on the role of the artist in society. There are articles published on the subject everyday – the landscape of the arts is changing and so are the opportunities available to artists. Meanwhile, the social emotional skills the arts help to develop are increasingly viewed as essential for success in today’s knowledge-based economy.

The Artist as Citizen Conference is an opportunity for ASTEP to help spread this powerful ideal nationwide — and with it, the remarkable culture of service it represents.

It’s been talked about for years. Innumerable blogs have discussed it. The New York Times recently chimed in. There is a movement afoot. A return to meaning in the arts. A return to impact. As one curator put it, “Marcel Duchamp’s toilet is being returned to the bathroom.”

The Conference is about putting the riches of the first network at the disposal of the second. Its mission is to celebrate, connect, and develop young leaders in the arts by providing them with a transformative artistic and educational experience in the heart of New York City.

Why? Because developing motivated young leaders in communities across America is a way for ASTEP to expand the reach of its mission exponentially.

Which means more kids. Exposed to more art.

Celebrate. Explore. Create!

SB Camp_May 2015_1w
Thank you to our incomparable team of Volunteer Artists who led our May 2015 Art Camp at Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project: Kalee Burrows, Gabby Deede, Carolyn Fry, Harrison Fry, Brian Gnojek, JJ Krehbiel, Lauren Morris, Lizzy Rainer, Midori Samson, Aaron Umsted! Working together for three weeks in May, these volunteers helped wind down the academic year by transforming the school into a place of play, creativity, and ol’ fashioned silliness for the 300+ students at Shanti Bhavan, a school and home for children of the lowest caste, located south of Bangalore.

The camp theme: Celebrate, Explore, Create!

The volunteers taught classes in the visual arts, music, dance and theatre with concentrations in areas such as musical theatre and even comic-book creation class! In addition to the classes, there was a focus on “camp-fun activities” such as scavenger hunts, water balloon fights, and even roasting s’mores, a first for the kids!

Beyond simply teaching artistic skills, the focus of ASTEP’s Art Camps provide the children with a safe space to develop important life skills such as creative problem solving, self-confidence, leadership, and collaboration — skills that will help them on and off the stage. Plus, a chance for a child to truly be carefree and play will do so much for their overall health and wellbeing.

The art camp culminated with Shanti Bhavan’s graduation ceremony where the students showcased their artwork and special performances for the community of staff, family, friends and supporters!

Last minute recruiting: 1 dancer for the Refugee Youth Summer Academy!

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Do you want to have a life changing experience this summer?

ASTEP is currently recruiting one dancer to join our Volunteer Team to teach at the 6-week Refugee Youth Summer Academy in NYC, presented in collaboration by ASTEP and the International Rescue Committee. Volunteer Teaching Artists will work collaboratively to create and implement a unique curriculum that uses the arts to build English language proficiency and social emotional skills.

  • Volunteers need to be comfortable working with English Language Learners.
  • Volunteers are on-site two days a week, 3 hours a week, from 12PM-3:30PM for 6 weeks.
  • Training takes place June 30 – July 2
  • The program runs from July 6 – August 20

Email Abby Gerdts at abby@asteponline.org to learn more!

+ Want to find out more about our partnership with The IRC?

+ Check out our blog from RYSA 2014!








Apply to the 2015 Artist as Citizen Conference TODAY!

June 7 – June 12, 2015

at

The Juilliard School, NYC

The Artist as Citizen Conference aims to identify and support young, motivated artists with a demonstrated capacity to take on leadership positions within their communities. Applicants must be between 18 and 25 years old to apply.

The artist’s specific skill-set can be in any discipline–we welcome applications from actors, dancers, writers, visual artists, filmmakers, musicians, designers, administrators, educators, and more.

The application is in three parts — “Basic Info”, “Video Statement” and “Original Work” — each described below and all due by April 22, 2015. You should fill out the Basic Info form first, and then send all supplemental materials to apply@artistascitizen.com

You’ll receive an official response from apply@artistascitizen.com regarding your application no later than May 1, 2015.

Check out the Artist as Citizen Conference website for more testimonials and how to apply!

ASTEP + Kennedy Center

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ASTEP is thrilled to partner for a fourth 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, “Serving and Leading with ASTEP” and “Owning Your Artistic Identity”, and joining a prestigious panel of judges for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship. (Check out our 2013 experience!)

Presenting at the eight regions are ASTEP’s incomparable: Abby Gerdts, Ali Dachis, Aaron Rossini, and Alejandro Rodriguez

Serving and Leading with ASTEP

Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP) is a New York City based non-profit that provides artists with opportunities to share their passion with underserved kids, in the US and abroad. ASTEP places volunteer artists all over the world and maintains the Future Leaders Network, a support system for young leaders in the arts, which hosts the annual Artist as Citizen Conference at Juilliard each summer and supports the efforts of ASTEP Chapters around the country. Come talk to an official ASTEP representative to find out more about how ASTEP can help you pursue your dreams of changing the world through art.

 

Owning Your Artistic Identity

What are you passionate about? What are you good at? What could the world use more of? Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP) wants to help you locate the perfect intersection between your unique passion and the needs of your community. We’ll veer away from the straight-and-narrow to consider non-traditional career paths, and to help you find what resonates deepest with you in order to use it to shape your life, your art, and the world around you.

 

 

Need a holiday gift? Purchase two new releases in support of ASTEP!

Makes for a great stocking stuffer!

Available for purchase on iTunes!

Two new special releases are also available for purchase: ”I Got All I Need (This Christmas)” an original song written by Lynne Shankel and Jon Hartmere sung by Lindsay Mendez (Wicked, Godspell, Everyday Rapture) and Derek Klena (The Bridges of Madison County, Wicked, Carrie, Dogfight) and a hip-hop version of “’Twas The Night Before Christmas” (music by Shankel) sung by Aurelia Williams (Sistas, The Musical, Papermill’s Once On This Island), Kenita Miller (Merrily We Roll Along, Ragtime) and Kay Trinidad (The Little Mermaid, Bare) based on the traditional poem. The two songs were recorded on Yellow Sound Label are available on iTunes and wherever digital music is sold. All proceeds go to benefit ASTEP.

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New York City Christmas: A Benefit Album for ASTEP, on the Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight label, is a special labor of love created by the incomparable music director, orchestrator and arranger Lynne Shankel (Bare, Altar Boyz, Cry-Baby, Summer of ’42, Paper Mill’s Once On This Island). Over the years, in several venues in Manhattan, Lynne brought together some of the best musicians and singers in the Broadway community, including Tony Nominee Raul Esparza (Company, Speed the Plow), Tony nominee Orfeh (Legally Blonde, Saturday Night Fever), Sierra Boggess (Love Never Dies, Master Class, The Little Mermaid), Chester Gregory (Sister Act, Dreamgirls, Cry-Baby), Lindsay Mendez (Wicked, Godspell, Everyday Rapture), Andy Karl (Wicked, Altar Boyz, 9 to 5), Sally Wilfert (Make Me A Song, Assassins, Tom Sawyer), recording artist Anya Singleton, David Josefsberg (The Wedding Singer, Altar Boyz), Tony nominee and “American Idol” star Constantine Maroulis (Rock of Ages), Drama Desk nominee Tyler Maynard (Altar Boyz, Mamma Mia) and many more!

All proceeds go to benefit ASTEP. The album is available for purchase through iTunes, Amazon.com, and sh-k-boom.com.

Wow. It was spectacular!

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Featuring an original script and Broadway composed music, The Maya Musical has been a life-changing experience for the 100 low-income students involved. Maya, a partnership between ASTEP and Teach for India, tells the story of Princess Maya’s journey. Tasked to bring light back into her Kingdom, Maya and her friends use the values of courage, compassion and wisdom to lift 3 curses that have been cast on the world.

Like Maya, these children have discovered their brightest light. Thanks to an extensive team of dedicated ASTEP Volunteer Artists, Teach for India staff and scores of supporters, the show opened this month to thunderous applause.

“Maya gives me the power to live my life.
Maya is an inspiration that helps me to help others.
Maya is a song that encourages me to sing out my own voice.”
– Priyanka, 14 years old


THE MAYA MUSICAL — TRAILER



The list of individuals who helped make this possible is inspiring!

From the ASTEP Team:

Allison Gibbons, Andrea DeLonis, Anna Jacobs, Asavari Thatte, August Eriksmoen, Ben Campbell, Callie Tepper, Charlie Sohne, Christopher Behmke, Cicily Daniels, Coty Cockrell, Danielle Mooney, David Goldsmith, Elle Sullivan, Enrico De Trizio, Francesca Betancourt, Garen McRoberts, George Abud, Georgia Stitt, James Sasser, Jane Pfitsch, Jay Mack, Jeremy King, Julianne Merrill, Kelcie Miles, Kendal Sparks, Lotte Crayton, Lynne Shankel, Maggie McNeill, Martyn Axe, Michael Sample, Michael Shawn Lewis, Natalie Silverlieb, Nick Dalton, Nieva Acoba, Paul Loesel, Rona Siddiqui, Russ Kaplan, Sam Davis, Sara Wordsworth, Shannon O’Bryan, Taylor Williams, Tim Rosser, Tony Fuemmeler, Trent Jeffords, Tricia Berry, and Wendy Wheeler

We will be forever grateful!








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 events@asteponline.org

***

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.

For Yeshwini, a student at Shanti Bhavan in India, playing piano is magic!

 

When Mary Mitchell first came to Shanti Bhavan, she played us songs from Dhoom Machale and Titanic. I loved her way of playing the piano. I loved the way the music that she played kept my friends happy, interactive, and excited.

In my mind I thought one day, I will get to play the piano and I will be like Mary.

In the 5th grade I said to myself, “You will never get to play the piano,” and then I heard the word “piano” which distracted me from my negative thoughts. It was Mrs. Ruth asking us who wants to learn the piano. Eighteen hands shot into the air. All eighteen hands restlessly waiting to be chosen.

Then Mrs. Ruth saw me and asked, “Yeshwini, do you want to play the piano?”

My heartbeat was 5X more than the normal heartbeat. All seventeen eyes looked at me eagerly waiting for my answer.

With an excited voice, I said, “Yes!”

Then Mrs. Ruth smiled at me and wrote my name on the board. I was full of mixed feelings. I wondered how easy or difficult it is to play the piano. At 4:00 pm, Mrs. Ruth called me and told me that ASTEP Volunteer Artist Katherine would be my teacher. After my first lesson, I thought playing the piano is not as easy as you think. I walked out of the music room with a tired mind. Till now, I try my best to get to the level Mary Mitchell plays and I know I will.

— Yeshwini (7th grade SB student)

 

+ Visit Get Involved to learn more about our arts programs in India and how to become an ASTEP Volunteer Artist!

 

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