A Note From New President & CEO, Michele Russo

Michele RussoI am immensely honored and excited to lead this great organization. When I first became part of Young Audiences in 2001, I was filled with enthusiasm and drive to provide children with exceptional arts education experiences that nurture their creativity and learning. The ten years I spent working at Young Audiences only strengthened my passion and commitment. As Senior Education Associate, I was responsible for bringing programs to schools across New Jersey, and saw firsthand the undeniable impact of the arts on children, teachers, parents, and school communities.

When I left YA to join The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation’s nationally recognized Poetry Program and Festival, YA remained in my heart. I return to the organization with a broad view of the arts education field, a refined perspective from the foundation world, and a renewed passion to build upon the current success of YA.

I am proud to have worked for Larry and learned from him. Even while away from YA, I have watched with wonder as the organization has grown, deepened its impact in the region, and contributed to the national network of YA affiliates.  I am committed to lead YA into an ever-evolving and exciting future as we continue toward our goal of reaching every child in New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania.

I invite you to join me on this journey as we work to ensure that our students are nurtured, engaged, and inspired by exceptional arts experiences. In this time of constant cultural change and increasing educational pressure, this work is essential.