The Art Corridor's Newest Addition: Kansas City Young Audiences
View driving southbound on Main Street
Coming Soon to Main Street - Kansas City Young Audiences! We want to welcome KCYA to our community as they wrap up the final phase of their redevelopment at 3732 Main. Having them here helps us strengthen and identify Main Street as an Arts Corridor, and continue to make Main Street a place for everybody.
KCYA was founded back in 1961 with the desire to provide children the opportunity to see and hear classical musical performances. They are a member of Young Audiences Arts for Learning, which is a national organization out of New York. Over time, their mission has changed, and now it is "to engage all youth in the arts, promote creativity, and inspire success in education." They believe that integrating art into a child's learning helps create skills that prepare them for the future and teach them the value of innovation and creativity.
They are very excited to be on Main Street because of the location and visibility. Before, they were located in Saint Theresa's Academy, which was a wonderful experience, but lacked the kind of exposure Main Street can provide. Many kids thought they took dance at St. Theresa's, not recognizing that KCYA is its own organization. Being in their new location on Main Street gives them more opportunity to brand themselves and serve more kids. Marty Arvizu, Director of Marketing and Business Development said, "The more people that know about us, the more kids that can come and participate in a program." As part of their capital campaign, they are also incorporating a larger scholarship fund for students with financial need to have access to the arts.
What's so special about KCYA is a combination of the people involved with the organization. From their dedicated staff, to the amazing and talented teaching artists who work with the kids and make a difference in their lives, to the kids and families who recognize that participating the arts opens new doors and opportunities for learning and growth.
Family lounge area with Tile Wall and butterfly puppets
They have three different program styles: Community School of the Arts, School and Community Programs, and Kansas City Arts Partners. These styles represent their two forms of teaching, arts integration curriculum and community classes. The arts integration, which is done through both School and Community programs and Kansas City Art Partners, is their core offering and pairs art teachers or local artists with schools. These can be large all school events in auditoriums, or small individual classes that repeat throughout the year. The idea is to use arts to help teach a curriculum. For example STEM classes, which focus on science, technology, engineering, and math, have partnered with KCYA to create STEAM classes that include the arts. The arts are used as a way to make some of these challenging subjects more comprehensible to students, through art and emphasize that art is just as important as these other subjects when it comes to innovation and thinking creatively. The Community School of the Arts are the classes they teach from their building.
Garage Band Studio - Click photo to sign up for classes
Classes are taught in seasons, with fall and spring lasting 13 weeks and summer having both a 9 week option and week long camps. The classes are held after school and on the weekends. Children from 2-18 years old can take dance, music, singing, theatre, visual art, and creative writing classes. Classes for the spring season will begin on January 30th, and a list of classes available can be found here
We are so excited to have them as new members of our community. They will have a Grand Opening celebration and open house on Saturday, January 21st from 10am-2pm. Teaching artists will be performing and leading workshops for guests. Current and potential students are more than welcome to participate. The Main Stage will have information and announcements, and then guests can break into workshops in the classrooms. Workshops will range all the way from hip-hop to improv. It is an open house, so multiple workshops will happen through the event and you are more than welcome to stop by at anytime. The following Monday, January 23rd, there is an open house for educators to learn more about the arts integration programs and how to become involved. Any and all educators are welcome from 4:30 - 5:30pm. It will be followed by an open house for the public until 6:30pm.
We hope you and your children will all be able to attend one of these events and meet our new neighbors personally. If you don't have children, but still want to learn more, please attend our January Luncheon, where they will be guests!