Who We Are

The Mission of Young Audiences of Massachusetts (YAMA) 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 students of all backgrounds, talents, and abilities deserve access to the rich educational opportunities inherent to arts learning.

A non-profit established in 1962, YAMA was founded on an 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 National Young Audiences, Arts For Learning network, is comprised of 30 affiliates nationwide, making it the largest arts education network in the country. Our affiliation with this network gives us access to training, research, advocacy tools, and more.

The Young Audiences, Arts for Learning, Inc. network was founded in 1952 with a mission to inspire young people and expand their learning through the arts. The network is made up of local affiliated nonprofits that collectively impact over 5 million young people each year. The national Young Audiences Arts for Learning network works collaboratively to advance arts in education through advocacy, communications, fundraising, program development, professional learning, and other support. To explore our national network, please visit: www.youngaudiences.org/YA-network-map.

Young Audiences of Massachusetts is committed to anti-racism.

Black Lives Matter.

YAMA's offices are located on the stolen land of the Pawtucket and Massa-adchu-es-et people. 

Digital Land Acknowledgement (from producer and artist, Adrienne Wong)
Since our activities are shared digitally to the internet, let's take a moment to consider the legacy of colonization embedded within the technology, structures, and ways of thinking we use every day. We are using equipment and high-speed internet, not available in many Indigenous communities. Even the technologies that are central to much of the art we make, leaves significant carbon footprints, contributing to changing climates that disproportionately affect Indigenous people worldwide. I invite you to join us in acknowledging all this, as well as our shared responsibility to make good of this time and for each of us to consider our roles in reconciliation, decolonization, and ally-ship.

Staff & Board Join Our Team

What We Do

YAMA brings learning-focused arts programming directly to preK–12 grade students in schools, libraries, community centers, museums, hospitals, homeless shelters and other centers of learning and healing. We develop, promote and coordinate programming that introduces traditional and contemporary art forms from cultures around the world to:

  • bring curriculum vibrantly to life
  • strengthen learning and social skills
  • inspire imagination and develop creativity
  • promote cultural understanding
  • introduce students to powerful modes of self-expression
  • encourage students to create, risk, explore, and discover their unique potential

OUR MORE THAN 100 PROGRAM OFFERINGS 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 and in-depth residencies, in which a series of progressive, skill-building workshops culminates in a final student performance or project. Many of these programs are avaible as virtual programs for remote learning online.

OUR 135 PERFORMING AND TEACHING ARTISTS represent a diverse spectrum of cultures, traditions and artistic approaches. This roster includes multiple award-winners and many artists affiliated with educational institutions such as Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, Leslie University and the Museum of Fine Arts School. Artists are chosen for their mastery in their forms, their rapport with young people and their ability to clearly articulate learning objectives.

OUR EXPANDED ARTS ACCESS PROGRAMMING brings adaptive arts learning experiences to those who face the greatest barriers to access and yet often have the most to gain, including students at risk, and students learning hospital schools and other special needs environments. 

About Our Artists About Our Programs

How We Do It

YAMA works closely with arts coordinators at all of our sites to select, adapt or develop programming that meets their learning goals and accommodates the needs of their students.

Partnerships with school districts, community foundations and arts and cultural councils help us to identify students who are in need of access and current issues that can best be addressed through arts programming.

Our volunteer Program Committee, comprised of former arts coordinators and educators, helps us to identify vet and improve programs for our roster.

Program Fees charged for our programs help support our roster of the region’s best performing and teaching artists. Administrative fees cover only a portion of our work in finding, vetting, developing, promoting, coordinating and evaluating more than 100 arts learning programs for PreK-12 students of all backgrounds and abilities throughout Massachusetts. Our work depends on the generosity of donors who share our commitment to youth and our understanding of the power of arts to transform lives. 

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