History, mission and vision of Young Audiences

Arts education–it’s who we are and what we do.

History Mission Vision

Since 1973, Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania has inspired and expanded the learning of nearly 10 million children and educators across the state with innovative, curriculum-rich, arts education programming.

As the region’s largest arts education organization, we are passionate in our belief that early exposure to the arts and creativity can transform a child’s life. Each year, we put that passion into practice, bringing nearly 4,000 dynamic performances and hands-on, art-making residencies and workshops to nearly 400,000 children throughout New Jersey and Eastern PA.

We ask ourselves the important question, “What are we leaving behind?”  Every day we help children to better understand themselves and the world around them and we know that the learning must continue after our artists leave the classroom.  Consequently, an essential component of what we do is Teacher Professional Development.  In workshops all over the state we help classroom teachers understand how the arts can enrich other learning and provide them with dynamic teaching tools and strategies they can use for generations.


Young Audiences’ mission is to inspire young people and to expand their learning through the arts. Our vision and goal is to foster the creativity of every child, and to encourage productive and caring human beings. Our music, dance, theatre, literary, media and visual arts programs are culturally diverse, curriculum-based and measurably effective.

Best of all, these profound arts experiences inspire young people to discover new talents, believe in their abilities, and view themselves—and the world—in a new light.


We envision a future in which all young people have ongoing and sustained access to see and participate in quality arts learning that nurtures creativity, promotes cultural awareness, and helps children develop critical thinking and learning skills.

Our programs play a vital role in shaping today’s children into the future leaders and thinkers of tomorrow. What kind of people do we want our children to become? Our interactive workshops and performances help to create young people who are:

  • Self-aware and able to positively express their thoughts and feelings
  • Innovative, creative and adaptive
  • Nimble and rigorous thinkers
  • Engaged citizens who are aware of their community and the world
  • Involved in the arts as an essential part of lifelong learning
  • Able to nurture these qualities in others


Like you, we believe that children learn best when they’re truly engaged in the process. That’s why each child-centered, outcome-driven and measurably effective Young Audiences’ program is designed to meet our four guiding core principles, below.  So whichever program you choose, you can feel confident that children have the opportunity to:

  • EXPERIENCE inspiring professional working artists of the highest quality
  • UNDERSTAND the art forms and why they are important in the role and context they play in the world
  • CREATE their own original works of art and expand their imagination and innovation
  • CONNECT the arts and the creative process to their lives and other learning


We believe that every child deserves the right to an education that fosters their creativity and allows them to experience and explore the arts.  As a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization,  Young Audiences New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania  raises over a million dollars each year to support thousands of under-served children to experience the joy of live performance, connect with professional artists, and see brilliant sparks of possibility.

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