PLATINUM2023

Arts for Learning Massachusetts, formerly Young Audiences of Massachusetts, Inc.

Creative Expression Opens Worlds

Boston, MA   |  www.artsforlearningma.org

Mission

The Mission of Arts for Learning Massachusetts is to educate, inspire, and empower the youth of Massachusetts through the arts. We believe that the arts are an essential component of both formal education and youth development, and that creative expression opens worlds. We recognize the transformational power of the arts for social justice and healing. We are committed to providing youth of all abilities, identities, and backgrounds access to the rich educational opportunities and sense of belonging inherent in arts learning. We have music, theater, dance, storytelling and visual arts programs for PreK-12 grade students in schools, libraries, community centers, museums, hospitals, shelters and adaptive learning environments.

Ruling year info

1964

Executive Director

Ms. Julie F. McConchie

Main address

89 South Street, Suite 603

Boston, MA 02111 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

04-6065276

NTEE code info

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Students who have art in their lives do better in school – and in life – outperforming their peers by every academic and social measurement. Yet quality, diverse, standards-driven arts learning is not guaranteed as an essential component of education in MA—a national leader in education and a center of arts and culture. Lacking the respect afforded to traditional academics, arts continue to be vulnerable to budget cuts and the increasing demands of standardized testing. Arts for Learning MA brings meaningful arts learning opportunities directly to students who would otherwise lack access, whether due to school budget constraints, lack of proximity to cultural centers, or special needs. Our Expanded Arts Access programming focuses on those who face the greatest barriers to access including: PreK students experiencing houselessness or extreme poverty, at risk students in under-resourced districts and students with disabilities and chronic illnesses.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Arts For Learning (100 offerings from 135 artists)

Since 1962, we have collaborated with artists, educators, and community partners to develop programs that harness the many powers of the arts to build skills, bring curriculum vibrantly to life, and introduce youth to new cultures and new means of self-expression. Programs for PreK–12 grade students include inspiring performances, hands-on workshops, and in-depth artist residencies.
Our donor-supported, Expanded Arts Access (EAA) programs provide adaptive arts learning to youth in under-resourced schools, hospitals and shelters. Our partners recognize the arts as a crucial component of a holistic education but lack full-time teachers dedicated to arts instruction. The EAA curriculum bridges this gap, the immediacy of the art forms often cut through language barriers and the qualities of play, imagination, and expression engage youth in learning that is energizing and therapeutic. Teaching artists are trained in trauma informed teaching practices and Social and Emotional Learning.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

This nationally recognized program provides performances, workshops and residencies for acutely and chronically ill children, physically and emotionally challenged children and other special education populations in hospitals, hospital schools and special needs schools.

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses
People with physical disabilities

Since 2011, EHTM teaching artists have used group-music-making activities to teach foundational literacy and Social Emotional Learning skills to preschool students who are experiencing houselessness and extreme poverty. This literacy-through-music residency program helps to close the kindergarten-preparedness gap with weekly classroom music lessons, family engagement, and classroom teacher professional development. Currently serving 24 classrooms of early learners in Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Cambridge, and Lynn.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Homeless people

This year-long, weekly arts learning residency program brings residencies in dance, music, storytelling and theater to the entire student body of a Title I, K-8 public school in Allston, which values arts as a vital component of a holistic education but lacks classroom teachers in arts disciplines. All residencies are comprised of progressive, skill-building workshop sessions, are fully inclusive, use multiple means of engagement to reach all learners, and culminate in Showcase performances that cement learning and build community. The Friday Arts program also includes performances by professional arts ensembles to provide context and inspiration for what can be achieved through dedicated training and practice.

Population(s) Served

Our custom arts learning residency programs bring sequential, workshops, and performance opportunities to students who would otherwise lack access. All programs are designed with our partners to meet the learning goals of their students and vary from 12 weeks to year-long instruction in dance, theater, music, storytelling and visual arts.
All residencies: build artistic skills, reveal new talent and affinities; develop transferable social-emotional skills from listening and collaboration to patience and time management; culminate in showcase performances that allow students to cement and demonstrate learning, gaining a tremendous feeling of accomplishment; and are accessible and inclusive for students with special needs.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth
Children and youth
At-risk youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of children served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Arts For Learning (100 offerings from 135 artists)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We track the number of youth engaged in our arts learning programs. This past year, F23 we engaged 93,729 young people.

Number of youth programs offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth, Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Expanded Arts Access Residencies

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Engaging more young people in under resourced communities with our Expanded Arts Access programming is a priority. In FY23 we had 24 EAA music, dance, storytelling, visual arts & theater residencies.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Arts for Learning MA works to ensure that students of all backgrounds, talents and special needs have access to meaningful encounters with the arts during school, that help to:
• bring curriculum vibrantly to life
• inspire imagination and develop creativity
• strengthen learning and social skills
• promote cultural understanding
• introduce students to powerful modes of self-expression
• encourage students to create, risk, explore and discover their unique potential
For schools that include arts departments, we work to supplement arts curriculum with programming that introduces students to new traditions, approaches skills or learning connections.

For schools that lack arts departments, we work to ensure that students have access to a minimum of 1 of hour of direct arts instruction each week throughout the year.

For hospital schools and special needs schools, we work to provide fully accessible programming to
• initiate artistic, social, cultural, and academic engagement
• facilitate creativity, imagination, empowerment, and laughter
• cultivate feelings of hope, often hidden when children are critically ill, faced with crisis, or chronic dysfunction
• provide respite from discomfort and pain
• initiate connections among children, families, artists, and staff through programs that foster education and well-being

For the most vulnerable students in our community, preschool students experiencing houselessness and extreme poverty, we work to improve kindergarten preparedness through our holistic literacy-through-music program.

Arts for Learning MA seeks out the region’s best teaching and performing artists, vets, evaluates and customize their programs, and works with schools and other learning centers to bring them directly to PreK–12 grade students. Through outreach and close partnerships, we select, adapt or develop programming that meets the learning goals and special needs of each educational partner.

Our roster of 135 performing and teaching artists represents a diverse spectrum of cultures, traditions and artistic approaches. This roster includes multiple award-winners, many affiliated with educational institutions such as Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, Leslie University and the Museum of Fine Arts School, and many affiliated with cultural institutions such as Boston Ballet and ImprovBoston. Artists are chosen for their abilities to represent excellence in their arts genres, their abilities to clearly articulate learning goals for their programs, and for their rapport with youth of all backgrounds.

Our more than 100 program offerings for PreK–12 graders include:
• inspiring performances that introduce large audiences to an art form, its cultural context and its applications to school curriculum
• hands-on workshops in which small groups of students practice an art form with the guidance of a teaching artist in a focused environment
• in-depth residencies, in which a series of progressive, skill-building workshops culminates in a final student performance or project
• Year-long partnerships, which can include: weekly classroom instruction, student performances, visiting performers, professional development, arts integration and family engagement.

Our Expanded Arts Access Programming brings adaptive arts learning to those who face the greatest barriers to arts access, yet often have the most to gain from them, including youth at risk and youth with physical and mental disabilities and challenges.

Our Expanding Horizons Through Music Program strategies include:
- Students participate in weekly interactive music sessions led by EHTM teaching artists using simple percussion instruments and original songs. Young learners also delight in interactive performance programs from AFLMA artists and from students from the New England Conservatory of Music.
- Classroom Teachers participate in the classroom sessions led by our teaching artists and in professional development sessions and conferences to learn how to effectively integrate music into their classroom.
- Parents and Guardians are engaged through special events, multilingual e-newsletters, and customized, bi-lingual songbooks and recordings featuring musical learning activities they can do with their kids.
- Site Partners are engaged throughout the planning, implementation and evaluation process, working toward the goal of running the program themselves more and more autonomously until our direct, weekly

AFLMA was founded in 1962, one of the first affiliates of the Young Audiences, Arts for Learning, Inc. network which was established in 1952 with a mission to inspire young people and expand their learning through the arts. Today, the network is made up of local affiliated nonprofits that collectively impact over 5 million young people each year.
Understanding of the transformational power of the arts, and in response to an enduring concern that arts were considered an ancillary enrichment opportunity, disposable during lean budgeting times, rather than an indispensable component of educating the whole child, our reach and programming expanded from presenting only classical music performances in our early years to include a full range of educational arts programming in multiple disciplines and cultures. Arts for Learning MA has brought quality arts programming to Massachusetts students since 1962. We have contacts and relationships with schools and other learning centers throughout the Commonwealth. Our organization has a strong reputation in the educational community for quality, diversity of offerings, service and expertise. Our staff has experience not only in arts administration, but also in performing, teaching, and social work. Our Board of Directors represent a cross section of the education, legal, tech, business, and philanthropic communities.

Arts for Learning artists engage PreK–12 grade students in 350 schools/learning centers in 187 Massachusetts communities annually. Included in those numbers are 441 preschool students experiencing homelessness or extreme poverty, and 276 students learning in hospitals or special needs schools. More than a thousand students in underserved communities received weekly arts instruction in our Year-long Residencies. In recent years, we have expanded our programming to serve residents of public housing through MassHousing’s Tenant Assistance Program. During the pandemic school shutdown, AFLMA artists adapted their programs for remote learning environments in order to bring the arts to students no matter what school looked like- remote, hybrid, outdoors, in person.

In recent post-performance surveys of partnering youth arts coordinators:
• 94% said our artists demonstrated mastery in their art form
• 97% said that learning take-aways were taught effectively
• 92% said that take-aways were relevant to curriculum or filled-in gaps in curriculum.

Arts for Learning currently offers more than 100 program options in dance, music, storytelling, theater and visual arts, representing a broad spectrum of cultures, traditions and approaches. Each year, we work to recruit, adapt, and develop new programming in response to community needs and learning goals.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time

Financials

Arts for Learning Massachusetts, formerly Young Audiences of Massachusetts, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Arts for Learning Massachusetts, formerly Young Audiences of Massachusetts, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 08/29/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Mark Haas

Cambridge Health Alliance

Term: 2023 - 2024

David Jewett

TA Associates

Caren Connelly

Winchester Foundation For Educational Excellence

Nancy Gittelson

Tufts Medical Center

Mark H. Kadar

The Newton Strategy Group

Nickki Dawes

Lasell College

Mark Haas

Cambridge Health Alliance

Lisa Hillenbrand

The Jim Stengel Company

Mirko Chardin

Novak Consulting

Carole Jabbawy

The Internship Connection

Amy Iseppi

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation

David Reiffel

Berklee College of Music

Maya Peretzman

Dean College

Sarah Krasin

CCS Fundraising

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes