Young Audiences - Arts for Learning - Virginia first brought arts-in-education programs to Virginia in 1955. From its humble beginnings with a single string ensemble and a handful of volunteers, the organization has grown to one with more than 180 professional artists in various artistic disciplines. In our first decade we worked in the Hampton Roads area with the Feldman String Quartet. In the 1960's the "Norfolk" Chapter of Young Audiences was independently incorporated and our programming increased to 90 hours per year.
During our third decade, the 1970's, we hired our first professional staff and our programs doubled. YAV changed its name to reflect our entire service area, becoming the Virginia Chapter of Young Audiences, Inc.
In the 1980's, our programs expanded extensively into Central, Southwestern, and Northern Virginia, as well as North Carolina and West Virginia. During this productive decade, our board of directors elected to change its name to Young Audiences of Virginia, Inc.
By the 1990's, the organization had expanded significantly and we were doing over 900 hours of programming in schools throughout the state. As part of a national network, Young Audiences received the National Medal of Arts, which was presented by President Bill Clinton to one of our national board members, Yo Yo Ma, at the White House. During this critical decade of our history, we began to integrate our programming fully into the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) mandated by the State Department of Education.
Now in our 54th year, we are the largest arts-in-education organization in Virginia. We provided over 1750 program hours last year and reached nearly a quarter of a million children (235,001). A significant amount of our service hours now include in-depth, in-school and after-school artist in residence programs, impacting the creative development of students in a profound way. We are also expanding our commitment to systemic change by providing quality arts integration teacher training in partnership with school systems and universities. To better reflect this change, in 2006 we added "Arts for Learning" to our name, becoming Young Audiences - Arts for Learning - Virginia.
In 2008, YAV was honored to receive the Batten Endowment Challenge from the Norfolk Foundation. This $1,000,000 endowment grant is accompanied by a $500,000 matching endowment grant. In addition, YAV received the Safe Harbor Award for impacting the lives of children in Hampton Roads. YAV was also chosen to host the 2008 Arts for Learning Conference in Norfolk, Virginia. YAV is expanding capacity, refining its mission and training staff and artists in innovative new programs that target literacy skills in children.
420 North Center Drive, Suite 239
Norfolk, Virginia 23502
Phone: 757-466-7555, Fax: 757-455-9859
Toll Free (Outside Hampton Roads) 1-800-314-ARTS (2787)