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Expanding Our Reach: Youth Arts Education In Our Community

Recorded on: May 6th, 2016

Air Date: May 9th, 2016

Expanding Our Reach: Youth Arts Education in Our Community


  • Holly Spencer, Eugene-Springfield Youth Orchestras
  • Dody Hansen, Oregon Children’s Choir
  • Jenny Ulum, Rose Children’s Theatre
  • Al Villanueva, Eugene Opera

Coordinator: Mary Leighton
Arts education brings countless benefits to students of all ages.  Contemporary neuroscience continues to confirm that performance experiences in music and theater develop and enhance a wide variety of academic and personal skills. Despite this, most students receive relatively little arts instruction in school.  And many children’s families find private lessons and extracurricular activities to be unfeasible, due to cost and location, among other things. However, several local organizations that provide arts instruction to youth have found ways to reach more students.  They offer scholarships and develop new program offerings in order to include more students who might not otherwise be able to participate. Representatives from Eugene-Springfield Youth Orchestras, Oregon Children's Choir, Rose Children's Theater, and Eugene Opera will discuss some of their goals, challenges, and strategies for boosting inclusiveness and widening access.

Holly Spencer is the Executive Director of ESYO. Dody Hansen is the Executive Music Director of the Oregon Children’s Choir. Jenny Ulum serves on the board of directors at the Rose Children’s Theatre. Al Villanueva retired from his position as performing arts teacher at Churchill High School and now sings regularly with the Eugene Opera and acts with Radio Redux.

copyright, 2016 KLCC