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Young Audiences of Rochester Wins Best Practice Award

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Rochester, NY, December 2, 2013. Young Audiences of Rochester (YA) was recently recognized by national Young Audiences Inc. as the recipient of a $250 Best Practice award at the Young Audiences 2013 Leadership Conference, November 21-23, 2013. Inspirational ideas from network affiliates in Kansas, Indiana, New Jersey, Texas, and Georgia were also shared at the Network Assembly on Friday, November 22 at the Princeton Club.

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Best Practices Awards are way to recognize successful YA affiliate programs and projects and to encourage idea sharing throughout the network. The best marketing ideas, new approaches to fund raising, new looks at program pricing, are some of the ways affiliates measure success in their respective communities and earn grants by sharing that success among their peers.

YA submitted its 50th and Beyond anniversary, "A Big Hit for YA" as an example of a replicable, successful fund raising and celebration practice. The culminating 50th anniversary event, was held 8.23.13 at Frontier Field in conjunction with Rochester’s local baseball franchise (Rochester Red Wings) and RochesterWORKS! (RW) six-week (July 15-August 23) Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). Forty diverse at-risk youth ages 14-19 and teaching artist-entrepreneurs, showcased their respective arts expressions as employees of SYEP, and were directly engaged in all event planning, coordination and implementation activities. The celebratory community event also provided a broad multi media to launch ArtWORKS Rochester! (Now known as CypherWORKS!), YA’s creative ARTtrepreneur initiative. Since the Red Wings were contenders for the Playoffs, YA was exposed to the maximum attendance of the stadium (10, 400). Highlights of the event included:
Youth teams, guided by professional teaching artists-entrepreneurs, participated in or contributed their respective talents to the culminating event, created businesses by participating in business and marketing plan development, including, but not limited to such activities as branding, public relations, event planning and coordination, budgetpreparation, fund raising and sales (tickets & retail).
Youth businesses were presented to family, friends, and the public at the event and their originally designed and produced merchandise sold, including silk screened t-shirts, artwork and photography, jewelry and handmade notecards, photo booth, and CD’s of original music, beats and poetry.
Youth chalked the sidewalks with adult TA’s artist-entrepreneurs at the stadium entrance and youth-produced PSA’s were displayed on stadium video screens following the game’s closing fireworks.
One participant threw the game opening pitch; another sang the opening anthem.
Youth were involved and supported a silent auction of player-autographed regulation baseballs donated by RCB and decorated by area artists and students. Over $1500 was raised, and plans are underway to make this an annual fund raising event for YA.
Event tickets included an all you can eat buffet for guests in a reserved on site picnic shelter.
Cross promotion and the support of RochesterWORKS!, the funding source for SYEP, elevated attendance and community exposure. The Red Wings promoted the auction in all social media and publicity in conjunction with YA’s efforts.
The annual Young Audiences Leadership conference is especially designed for affiliate staff and board members as a means to build and grow the capacity of their organizations to do the very best work possible. The two-day meeting offers opportunities for affiliate leaders to meet in informal job like sessions, participate in interactive workshops, and share their YA knowledge.

About Young Audiences of Rochester, NY: For over 50 years, Young Audiences of Rochester, NY (YA), the largest, most comprehensive, multi-modal nonprofit arts learning organization in upstate NY, has been the premier resource and provider of award-winning, innovative, quality arts learning experiences for children and youth from cradle to college/careers. As the center for ArtPeace's teen-centered programs and the regional axis for the national Wolf Trap Program/Early Learning Through the Arts, YA is a respected leader and catalyst for arts integration, inspiring and connecting artists, cultural and educational organizations and providing innovative teaching and learning opportunities. YA is one of 30 self-supporting affiliates in the national Young Audiences, Inc. network. Our primary mission is to use the arts for life-long learning, with a vision of preparing generations of critical thinkers, innovators, and responsible citizens, prepared for life and work in the 21st Century global marketplace. At present, no other nonprofit organization in the greater Rochester region exists that moves forward the integration of the arts into core curricula and learning and life skills like YA. As the premier, go-to arts for learning organization providing comprehensive arts programming on a multidisciplinary level with professional teaching artists as partners, services are aligned with NYS Learning Standards & Common Core, and national Young Audiences foundational goals to “Create, Experience, Understand, and Connect.” In 2012-13, our programs and services included 162 multidisciplinary teaching artists, 110 schools in 13 counties, providing 221 performances and 1,169 workshops, resulting in 75,064 student/artist experiences delivered to culturally and socio-economically diverse audiences. Find us on Facebook & YouTube.

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