Our Mission,

Young Audiences of Western New York’s mission is to inspire, expand learning, and strengthen our community through engagement with the arts.


We offer assembly, workshop and long term residency programs with professional artists, committed to their craft, and using it as a tool for creative learning. Art forms include music, multi-media arts, theater, dance, and visual and literary arts. We provide services in the eight counties of Western New York, including Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming.


Today, Young Audiences of Western New York presents hundreds of individual programs, plus dozens of residencies, wherein teaching artists provide schoolchildren, their educators and families, with multi-disciplinary, multi-session education through the arts. These residencies create meaningful connections between artists and young people that might otherwise not be exposed to the arts—especially arts integrated into school curricula.

The artists on the Young Audiences of Western New York's roster are committed to their art, and using it as a tool for learning. Art forms include many genres of music, multi-media arts, theater, dance, and visual and literary arts. Students may be encouraged to write a story or a rap based on their own experience; to build and fly a kite and experience both science and fun; to write, perform or see a play; to sing, dance, play an instrument; and to delve into the history of our region (i.e., Erie Canal, Underground Railroad) in hands on workshops with artists.

Reaching over 7 million school children every year, the Young Audiences network received the National Medal of Arts in 1994. In 2002, Young Audiences of WNY was the recipient of the National Conference for Community and Justice Brother/Sisterhood Award in the Arts and the Commitment to Education Award from the Buffalo Alliance for Education. Young Audiences designated Young Audiences WNY as Affiliate of the Year for 2003. This year, the Association of Teaching Artists, an international resource to the field, recognized Young Audiences WNY for our service to teaching artists.

While the mission of Young Audiences of Western New York, to bring the arts to all the young people in our area, has not changed, the ways and means have; we see a not-so-subtle shift from simply inspiring young people to see and appreciate art, to also participating and understanding the arts in context of the world in general, and their lives specifically.

About Us