Gift From BGE Helps Young Audiences Lower Barriers to Arts Experiences in Rural Maryland Schools


Program Extends Young Audiences’ Programs to Schools outside Baltimore-Washington Corridor

Young Audiences, Maryland’s largest arts-in-education provider, announced today a three year, $75,000 gift from BGE to support its Rural Access For All grant program. Rural Access For All helps schools in 18 counties outside the Baltimore-Washington corridor with limited resources offer students Young Audiences’ high quality arts programs.

Over the next three years, BGE support will provide professional artist residencies and high quality arts learning experiences to more than 31,500 students in Carroll, Frederick and Harford counties at up to 60% off the typical cost. So far in 2016, Rural Access has awarded 35 schools artist residency or assembly programming support.

“At Young Audiences, we believe the arts can transform our schools, breathing joy and creativity into learning,” said Stacie Sanders Evans, Young Audiences Executive Director. “National surveys show that opportunities for kids to learn in, about and through the arts have declined as school budgets tighten. In many situations, children in high poverty urban areas and in rural areas are hit the hardest. Yet 89% of Americans believe the arts are part of a well-rounded K-12 education. We know parents, teachers, and our young people want more of these opportunities. We are so thankful for BGE’s generous support to help us spread these wonderful experiences throughout the state of Maryland to schools which otherwise may not have this opportunity.”

Rural Access For All funds a wide variety of art forms and performers. In 2016 alone, Rural Access For All programs reached 20,984 students in 54 schools across 14 counties. Through these programs, students had opportunities including learning the basics of playing a steel drum, creating electromechanical creatures, and creating a theater scenes to tackle subjects. BGE’s generous support will help increase the number of students reached.

“All students in Maryland deserve the best opportunity for a complete education,” said Valencia McClure, BGE’s vice president of Governmental, External Affairs and Corporate Relations.

“Organizations like Young Audiences and the Rural Access For All program help make that happen and we are proud to lend our support.”

Every year, Young Audiences identifies, prepares and connects more than 7,000 arts integration learning experiences to more than 190,000 students throughout the state of Maryland. Young Audiences trains teaching artists and connect them with schools, classrooms and students to expand the learning experience and inspires children.

About Young Audiences/Arts for Learning

Young Audiences is the nation’s largest arts-in-education provider and started in Baltimore in 1950. As a Young Audiences affiliate, Young Audiences/Arts for Learning (YA) is a nonprofit organization devoted to enriching the lives and education of Maryland’s youth through educational and culturally diverse arts programs for more than 65 years. Each year, YA reaches more than 190,000 students through over 7,000 arts learning experiences by partnering professional artists from all disciplines with schools throughout Maryland for hands-on arts learning experiences. We envision a Maryland where the arts are valued for their capacity to transform lives, and where every student is immersed in opportunities to imagine, to create, and to realize their full potential through the arts. For more information, contact YA at

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