Press Release: Bucks AIR Merges Into Prominent Arts Education Organization Young Audiences Arts for Learning

Young Audiences - 45 Years Logo


 Bucks AIR Merges Into Prominent Arts Education Organization Young Audiences Arts for Learning


Young Audiences will provide more arts programming in the region, with streamlined operations and new artist programs.


PRINCETON, NJ; November 2, 2018 — In a strategic move designed to efficiently provide a greater range of arts education programming to children throughout Eastern Pennsylvania, Bucks AIR (AIR) has merged into Young Audiences Arts for Learning (YA).


Every student, teacher and staff member at Hillcrest Elementary School created and contributed a ceramic tile to a mural displaying the theme, “Reach for the Stars,” to commemorate the school’s 25th anniversary celebration.

Bucks AIR, a decades old volunteer-led organization, was looking for a more sustainable way to continue bringing the arts to children.  “We’re excited to announce that Bucks AIR will be transitioning our work to Young Audiences Arts for Learning,” shared Bucks AIR’s Board Chair Terri Herring. “Bucks AIR’s work will now become part of this respected organization which has professional staff, a wide variety of arts education programs and services, relationships with schools all over New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, and access to grant opportunities and partnerships.”


Young Audiences, the leading provider of arts education in the region, has delivered transformative arts experiences to over 12.5 million children for over 45 years. Bucks AIR has offered innovative arts programming to over 5,000 students in nearly 50 schools throughout Bucks County and surrounding communities for the last 20 years. They have left an indelible impact on the schools they have worked with—many of their projects were large-scale murals that become beloved in the school community. As AIR formally closes their doors, YA will continue to provide extraordinary hands-on arts experiences to schoolchildren in all 21 counties in New Jersey, as well as in seven counties in Eastern Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, Bucks, Berks, Lehigh.


“We are thrilled to continue the good work AIR has done over the years. Building on their success, we are better positioned to meet our ultimate goal of reaching every child with diverse and transformative arts experiences,” said Michele Russo, President & CEO of Young Audiences.


“Our two organizations are closely linked geographically and in mission, that this made perfect sense for us,” said Tanuja Dehne, Chair of Young Audiences Board of Trustees. “We know that this strategic opportunity will be a benefit to the children of Eastern Pennsylvania.


Artists from Buck AIR that are joining the Young Audiences’ roster of professional teaching artists include mural artist Carrie Kingsbury, interactive visual artist Karina Raude, and April Zay, a visual artist teaching paper quilling and origami.

April Zay

Teaching Artist April Zay

Carrie Kingsbury

Teaching Artist Carrie Kingsbury

Karina Raude

Teaching Artist Karina Raude


Young Audiences is offering Arts Education Scholarships of up to $2,000 to fund arts education programming in schools in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Young Audiences Bucks County Scholarships are targeted to the schools who previously received scholarships from Bucks AIR. This funding opportunity demonstrates YA’s commitment to sustain, strengthen, and expand the relationship Bucks AIR established with Bucks County school partners.


“We are thrilled to continue that tradition with schools previously serviced by Bucks AIR,” shared School Relationship Coordinator and YA Teaching Artist, TAHIRA. “Each Young Audiences program is developed to maximize students’ experiences with quality arts programs and to provide opportunities to understand the cultural importance of the arts and creativity.”


Photo of YA Arts Eduation Scholaships LogoThe Bucks County PA Scholarships will be given on a first-come-first-served basis with priority given to schools who received financial assistance from Bucks AIR in the past two years. The deadline for applying is December 7, 2018 at 3:00 pm. Scholarship recipients will be posted on YA’s website,, by December 14, 2018.


“We have an amazing opportunity to reach more children in Pennsylvania with unique, creative, and award winning arts programming that lights up a child’s life and inspires them to dream, discover, and grow,” shared Young Audiences Trustee and Bucks County resident, Michelle Thompkins. “I’m excited about our path forward working together and proud to be a part of this wonderful organization.”


About Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania


Founded in 1973, Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania is the premier arts-in-education resource in the region, providing high-quality performances and artist-in-residence programs to schools in all 21 counties of New Jersey and the 7 easternmost counties of Pennsylvania. Young Audiences’ extensive professional artist roster represents all art forms—from dance and theater to music, language and visual arts. Since its founding, the organization has reached over 13 million children with essential arts education experiences.


A not-for-profit organization, Young Audiences’ programs are accessible to all socio-economic, ethnic, cultural, and geographic communities, and are designed to strengthen the arts in schools, meet local and state curriculum standards, involve families in arts activities, and enrich cultural life in New Jersey and Pennsylvania communities.


Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania is the first arts education organization designated as a major service organization by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and, as part of the national network of Young Audiences, Inc., was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton. Young Audiences programs are made possible in part through a grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State and Pennsylvania Council of the Arts. Additional funding comes from foundations, corporations and generous individuals. To learn more, To be “social” with us, join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @YANJEPA and on Instagram @young_audiences_njepa.



Denyce Mylson

Director of Public Relations & Marketing

Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania

609-243-9000 x202

[email protected]