By Cynnie Gaasch, Executive Director of Young Audiences WNY:
Were you one of those kids who struggled with the periodic table in chemistry class but loved discussing a novel in english class? Did you enjoy the creativity of trigonometry but yawn over the dates set to memory in social studies? I was, and if you were anything like me, you’re likely terrified and distrustful of today’s “teaching towards the tests,” which seems to emphasize rote memorization over the creativity and passion that have made us who we are today.
However, whether you are a parent, a new grad, or just someone invested in the state of education today, you can breathe a sigh of relief. There are ways to engage young people in their education and encourage their passion for life long learning. The arts give young people opportunities to be creative, to examine the world around them, and to engage in relevant, hands on learning in all subjects. And studies show that work in the arts (and it is work) gives students skills that 21st Century employers are looking for: collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and problem solving. That’s where Young Audiences WNY comes in. As the lead arts-in-education organization in the region, we are invested in making sure that children in Western New York work with professional artists to become better learners and develop skills and aspirations for the future.
Young Audiences WNY is celebrating our work with artists and young people next week with a great new fundraising event at the Town Ballroom on Wednesday October 12. “Young Audiences Goes To Town” honors the accomplishments of two leaders in the field of arts in education: Lorna C. Hill, founder and artistic director of Ujima Company, and Helga MacKinnon, former executive director of Young Audiences WNY. The event is in two acts. The first act includes silent auction, raffles, a classical music performance by Nancy Baun, and the awards celebration. The second is a dynamic performance with world beat performance group N’Dias (The Mix).
Consider joining us just for the amazing deals you will find in our Silent Auction: Joan Baez gave us tickets for her November 4 performance at Kleinhans that includes a backstage pass for a family of four. We have tickets for Sabres, Bills, and Bisons games, and a signed Thomas Vanek jersey. Pick up some Buffalo Philharmonic tickets and Grammy winning CDs, or, if you’re in a travelling mood, bid for a 7-night stay in Florida or a weekend getaway in Ellicottville. Pick up passes to ski, golf, or play Lasertron with the kids. Host a style party for 12 at a trendy salon. And thanks to the generosity of Buffalo restaurants, we have gift certificates from Daniels, Left Bank, Oliver’s, Rue Franklin, Sea Bar, and many more.
You can help us to continue connecting young people with our region’s most outstanding artists by just having fun. Join us for a lively evening, and make the connection between young people and the arts.