Exciting ASTEP announcement!

 

Dear Friend,

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,

 

 

Mary-Mitchell Campbell
Founder and Executive Director

 

 

 

 

Announcing the 2021 Jennifer Saltzstein Kaffenberger Fellowship Recipients

Morgan McGhee
Morgan McGhee
Zahra Budhwani
Zahra Budhwani

For a fourth year, ASTEP is honored to select two stellar Teaching Artists as recipients of the Jennifer Saltzstein Kaffenberger Fellowship for their work with ASTEP Arts at the Newcomer Youth Summer Academy 2021. We are thrilled to announce this year’s fellows – Morgan McGhee & Zahra Budhwani. 

ASTEP provides the arts component of The International Rescue Committee’s Newcomer Youth Summer Academy (NYSA), a five-week summer camp supporting the personal growth, cultural adjustment, and education for young people who have recently resettled in New York City (ages 4-22) and helps them successfully transition into the US school system. 

Due to the current global pandemic, NYSA will be held virtually for the second consecutive year. Our incredible team of Teaching Artists, including Morgan and Zahra, have created a digital space that empowers young people with a sense of community, courage, and creative capacity. Through the arts, our Teaching Artists focus their lessons on nurturing English language and coping skills, as well as school readiness. 

The Jennifer Saltzstein Kaffenberger Fellowship is a unique opportunity for individuals who closely model Jennifer’s passion for utilizing the arts to celebrate a young person’s strengths and build up their unique areas for growth. With this fellowship, we honor Jennifer’s legacy by celebrating Morgan and Zahra’s outstanding contributions to the ASTEP classroom. 

 

 

 

#artathome: Try these ASTEP games!

Need some game-spiration for your time inside? Look no further! We are happy to share some of our favorite activities from the ASTEP Games Guide, courtesy of our incredible Volunteer Teaching Artists! We will be adding to this list, so stay tuned for more on the ASTEP blog, as well as on our social media pages!

 

∴Word Connect
Listening, Improvisation, Creativity, Quick Thinking Storytelling

Requirements: ​2 or more players.

  1. Start this activity in a circle
  2. The activity begins with one person saying any random word.
  3. Turn by turn every person says another word which is related to the previous one.

For example: if someone says red, the next person can say apple or blood etc. It is wise to give content parameters around this game so that it remains appropriate for all students.

This game allows the students’ impulses to fly. It’s a great way to not overthink and just say the first thing that comes to your mind. Certain choices made by the student can help us understand their unconscious thoughts/likes/dislikes/fears.

 

∴Move the Hat
Imagination, Creativity, Use of Space, Storytelling

Requirements:​ This activity is great for any age group and size.

  1. Establish a “start” and “stop” line around 10 feet apart, or just enough room for them to work with!
  2. Students Individually or in small groups are told there is an object in front of them on the floor, in this case: a hat. For the purposes of the exercise, it can be any manageable object that is around or even invisible/imaginary.
  3. The student is then instructed that they are to move the hat from the start line to the stop line, but they have to move it according to the prompt the teacher gives.
    a. Some examples: it weighs 500lbs, it’s on fire, it smells very bad, etc. Anything the instructor can come up with! Optional addition: rather than announcing the prompt out loud, the teacher can tell only the active student the prompt and the students in the audience guess what it was! There is no “wrong answer” to this game, and it can be adapted in a variety of ways depending on the students’ needs.

∴Zombie:
Silliness, Teamwork, Silliness Storytelling, Character work

Materials:​ 1 chair per student. Requirements: ​4 players or more Similar to Musical Chairs

  1. Everyone begins sitting in a chair. To start the game we need one volunteer. Place the volunteer some distance away from their chair in the room. (Remind kids to be safe!) 
  2. The zombie wants to sit in an empty chair and everyone else wants to prevent the zombie from getting to an empty chair. The only way to prevent the zombie from getting to an empty chair is to sit in the chair yourself, thus creating a new empty chair!
  3. Once you get up, you MUST find a new chair. Zombies must move like a zombie (slow shuffle, low moaning etc), but all other players may move freely at whatever speed they wish. 
  4. If the zombie reaches and sits in a chair, he becomes human again. Anyone remaining standing becomes the new zombie. If there are multiple people standing, the last person standing must be the new zombie.
  5. All new zombies MUST get down on the ground in body or spirit and pretend to come back to life.

 

Additional Resources:

Check out more of ASTEP’s go-to games! 

“Learning from Home: NYC DOE Aligned Curriculum”

“11 Tips for Starting to Homeschool in a Hurry”

 

What are your favorite games right now?

Share them with us by tagging us on social media!

 

 

 

VOLUNTEER WITH US AT ART-IN-ACTION!

Come be a part of ASTEP’s longest partnership! 

 ASTEP is proud to partner with enFAMILIA – a community organization that builds healthy family relationships among immigrant, migrant, and farm worker communities of South Florida – for more than 15 years! ASTEP Volunteer Teaching Artists will join a local team to support a 4 week arts-based summer camp in Homestead, Florida! Camp activities have included everything from making ice cream to staging a mini-production of Annie to collaborating on amazing murals! An AIA camp day is a day full of fun! ASTEP Artists will lead classes and large group activities, assist in camp management, and truly be a part of the life of this Florida community. Being a part of this camp is an opportunity to be a part of a new family. Share your art, and share in the AIA love!

APPLY NOW!

Dates: June 12 – July 13

Application Deadline: April 1, 2019

Location: Homestead, Florida

Who: You! All artists with a passion for making a difference!

People of color, LGBTQ+, those with disabilities, and anyone excited to work with us are strongly encouraged to apply.

** Housing, flights, and food are provided for all Volunteer Teaching Artists ** Email Sami Manfredi at sami@asteponline.org or give us a ring at 212.921.1227 to learn more!