Expanded Arts Access & Healing Arts For Kids

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Extending the Reach of Arts Education

Expanded Arts Access and Healing Arts For Kids Programs bring accessible and inspiring arts learning opportunities to young people who would otherwise not be reached, from special needs populations included hospitals; hospital schools and homeless shelters; to under-served schools unable to afford day-time arts instructors. YAMA staff works closely with site-partners to select, adapt, and/or develop programming that meets the unique needs of the student population.

Our free and subsidized programming includes:

  • Performance Programs – Our standard offerings for schools and other learning centers tailored for special needs learners
  • Year-long Residency Programs – Weekly, hour-long, hands-on workshops for sites that lack access to regular in-school arts programming
  • Custom Residencies – A series of progressive, hands-on workshops building toward a culminating event or completed work, an arts learning residency can be customized to introduce a specific art form or as a special project to use the arts to meet a specific learning objective.


Expanding Horizons Through MusicOur literacy-through-music residency program which helps to close the kindergarten-preparedness gap for homeless and impoverished children attending urban preschools.





Friday Arts Showcase at the Gardner Pilot Academy

Friday Arts at Gardner Pilot Academy – A series of yearlong, weekly arts learning residencies in dance, music, theater and storytelling that provide standards-based, student-centered, direct arts instruction for the entire student body of this Title I Boston Public School in Allston with no full-time arts instructors on staff.



Healing Arts For Kids –  The founding initiative of Healing Arts for Kids provides residencies, workshops, and performances for acutely and chronically ill children, physically and cognitively challenged children, disadvantaged children, and special education populations in schools, hospital schools, hospitals and other healing centers.





StoriesLive Story Slam Storytelling program for schools in Massachusetts

StoriesLive Story Slam Storytelling program for schools in Massachusetts

StoriesLiveAn artist-in-residency program in which high school students at under-served schools learn to perform true personal stories from their lives for their peers. Residencies culminate in school-wide “Story Slam” competitions, and winners go on to compete at the citywide level. This program prepares students to write personal essays and perform strongly in job interviews. Now available for middle school students throughout Massachusetts.






Yearlong Arts Learning Residencies Our yearlong arts learning residency programs at underserved schools bring weekly, hour-long, sequential, fully-inclusive workshop sessions and performance opportunities to students at risk.


Together We Can Fly –  Elementary school students join hospital school students as audience members for arts learning residencies and performance programs.

For more information, including how to bring Arts For Health and Care to students at your healing center, please contact Gail Zarren, Director, Healing Arts for Kids and Expanded Arts Access at 617-629-9262 x 302 or gzarren@yamass.org.

All Healing Arts for Kids and Expanded Arts Access programs are supported through the generosity of foundations and individual donors. Help us expand arts access in Massachusetts. DONATE.