Stern Foundation Donates Matching Gift to KCYA Teaching Artist Emergency Fund


April 3, 2020


Kansas City, MO - Kansas City Young Audiences is pleased to announce a $10,000 matching gift from the Richard J Stern Foundation for the Arts, Commerce Bank, Trustee, to support the Teaching Artist Emergency Fund established to aid KCYA’s professional teaching artists who have lost work because of COVID-19 closures and cancellations.


During the crisis, many visual and performing artists affiliated with KCYA have lost significant income because of Community School of the Arts and school closings. We know that the majority of area schools will be out through the end of the school year, and the rest may follow. The total impact is as yet unknown, but we expect more than 70 teaching artists will lose a combined total of more than $58,000 by the end of May. As freelancers and independent contractors, if teaching artists don't work, they can’t earn the money they need to live.


Stern Foundation Director Charlotte Kemper commented, “The Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts has been a longtime supporter of KCYA, but KCYA can’t develop the next generation of artists and audiences without teachers and performers to inspire the children. We encourage those who are able to help to support these artists during this difficult time.”


The matching gift from the Stern Foundation will help KCYA leverage more donations for the Teaching Artist Emergency Fund between now and April 15. KCYA will distribute 100% of the funds directly to affected teaching artists


In addition, KCYA will host Band Together: A Virtual Showcase to Support the Teaching Artist Emergency Fund on Saturday, April 11th. Some of KCYA’s teaching artists will take over the KCYA Facebook account and share great music, arts activities, dance classes, and lots of encouraging words. A specific time schedule of family friendly acts will be published soon.





About KCYA

Kansas City Young Audiences, a non-profit organization, has been at the forefront of arts education since 1961.  KCYA has used the arts to expand the minds of more than 6 million children in the Kansas City area. As an affiliate of the nationwide Young Audiences Arts for Learning network, we are part of one of the largest arts education organizations in the country.


KCYA’s In-School Programs ignite learning in the classroom through the power of the arts. Professional teaching artists visit schools, libraries, and community centers to deliver arts-integrated workshops, performances, and residencies that are aligned to academic curriculum. Building on that, the Arts Partners program adds the resources of 14 premier arts organizations and specific school districts to offer arts for learning programs across the school district, ensuring equal access for every student.


At KCYA’s home at 3732 Main in Kansas City, Missouri, the Community School of the Arts offers children a place to learn, explore, and develop their own creative interests and talents. Classes and camps in music, dance, theatre, and visual art are available for all ages and abilities, all year round. While KCYA offers a broad array of programs it is singularly and fiercely focused on its mission to engage all youth in the arts, promote creativity, and inspire success in education.