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We're Taking Our Arts-integrated Programs Online

Published: April 17, 2020

While faced with heavy times, Young Audiences of Louisiana (YALA) is working ardently to continue our programs in a manner that will support not only YALA teaching artists, but all of our New Orleans stakeholders and partners as well.

Mid-March marked a very significant change for students, families, educators, and artists in the Greater New Orleans Area, as Gov. John Bel Edwards announced statewide school closures. Despite these circumstances, we found ourselves uniquely positioned to make a positive impact on the New Orleans community, and build upon our previous work in the distance-learning arena, by extending our resources to the community at large.

Several funders worked quickly to assist in the revision of grant deliverables to allow us to shift many of our programs online, allowing the YALA to compensate both salaried and contract teaching artists for work they expected to complete during the closures. Thanks to the generosity of The Helis Foundation, Institute of Mental Hygiene, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education, YALA is poised to produce extensive home-based and virtual lesson plans for students and early learners, crafted in partnership with educators and YALA teaching artists. Meanwhile, YALA Baby Artsplay!™ at Home will connect young children and their families to the online collections of local arts and cultural institutions, while also fostering cognitive and emotional development through the performing arts.


Additionally, our Art to Heart Workshops are designed to help New Orleanians through uncertain times brought on by major disruptions, such as the current COVID-19 crisis. These workshops allow families to assess the social and emotional well-being of their children, prepare educators to navigate new pathways toward learning, and simply bring the joy of art into homes across the city.


Due to high rates of limited internet access among local students, YALA teaching artists will work with educators at partner schools in Jefferson Parish to provide arts enhancement projects that teachers can easily share with all students. While the current circumstances were unimaginable one month ago, we are equipped with a spirit of undeniable resilience and innovation. We look forward to the ways we can connect with our community in these nontraditional times.

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