What a year it has been! 2021 marked not only a significant milestone for ASTEP as we celebrated our 15th anniversary, but also a year of significant growth for the organization fueled by critical reflection of our past and strategic planning for the future. ASTEP supporters are unique. You show up for young people. This past year has been an opportunity for growth that has led to a leap towards great change, and I am blown away by the resilience of the ASTEP community and the incredible young people we serve! I am especially grateful for your unwavering support of our work through these uncertain times.
ASTEP was a spark of an idea that came to life with a group of artists dedicated to making a difference in the lives of young people. For years, ASTEP volunteers were running in and out of my New York City apartment – our first ASTEP office – at all hours! We were eager, dedicated, and aching to support young people who sought a creative outlet. After 15 years, ASTEP is now a self-sustaining enterprise and the organization is ready for the next phase.
We at ASTEP believe the arts are a human right and have committed ourselves to accessibility, equity, and anti-oppression throughout our work. We also acknowledge that the best opportunities for growth and change arise when people in power are willing to make room for more to join the table. It has been a great honor to be a part of ASTEP’s growth from a grassroots nonprofit in 2006 into the international arts organization it is today. I am excited to announce that I will be stepping down as Executive Director to take on a new role within the organization as President. In early 2022, we will welcome a new Executive Director as a partner and leader in elevating this organization and the voices of young people all around the world.
I am filled with enthusiasm to know that our new Executive Director will be stepping into a community of wonderful people like you! Your generosity and commitment opens young people’s minds to new possibilities with the belief that if you can see it, you can be it. You are showing our young people that you believe in them, that their voices and stories are important, and that they can be heard. Thanks to your support, we are able to celebrate accomplishments like our commitment to compensate professional teaching artists and the expansion of our programs!
Please give today to ensure that we continue to deepen our current partnerships, pilot new programs, and empower more young people through the arts. Your donation matters to the organization and to the young people we serve. By investing in ASTEP today, you are paving the way for tomorrow’s thinkers and leaders. The future of ASTEP is bright thanks to you, and I cannot wait to step into our exciting new chapter together.
With optimism & gratitude,