On Monday, October 1, 2018 Young Audiences Arts for Learning of Northeast Texas began its first ever, and Tyler ISD’s only, Arts Based After School Program.
Thanks to a grant from Texas Women for the Arts, a program of the Texas Cultural Trust, Young Audiences is able to fulfill a critical need at Tyler ISD’s Bonner Elementary. Approximately 96% of the students on this campus are considered economically disadvantaged, giving them few options for arts enrichment activities outside of the school day. Young Audiences and the Bonner administration are committed to providing, at no cost to families, full access to enhanced arts experiences for these students.
The program design is a 2 hour and 20-minute program 4 days per week during the entire school year. The program runs from 3:10 – 5:30 Monday through Thursday beginning with a snack, homework and tutoring, and opening focus activity. Students will then move to one of two intense arts workshops. Sessions are offered in multiple art forms to include movement/dance, visual arts, digital arts, theatre and music. After exploring all arts disciplines, students select two arts disciplines that most interest them for the second semester. Art sessions are led by qualified Young Audiences teaching artists and Tyler ISD Fine Arts teachers contracted to work with the program. Twice a year there is a culminating event where students share their work with their parents and the community.
The program includes several guest artist visits, providing students unparalleled access to many professional artists and their work. Guest Artist visits offer students the opportunity to interact with a professional artist at a deeper level, with substantial question and answer time and an up-close artistic demonstration.
Research has shown that students without structured after-school activities or parental supervision are more likely to engage in high risk activities. The campus administration and district Arts Director are committed to providing full access to arts learning for their students and appreciate Young Audiences partnering with them to make that a reality.