Kansas City Young Audiences Names Jaisson Taylor Recipient of the Lighton Prize for Teaching Artist Excellence


Kansas City, MO: Kansas City Young Audiences (KCYA), presented their prestigious Lighton Prize for Teaching Artist Excellence at a private ceremony just prior to their spooktacular benefit: SPIRITS OF FOLLY on Saturday, November 4th. The Lighton Prize for Teaching Artist Excellence was awarded to Jaisson Taylor. In memory of Gertrude W. Lighton, this award recognizes excellence by KCYA teaching artists who provide interactive arts education programs to students. Lighton Prize winners provide programs that exhibit high artistic quality and a strong connection to school curriculum.


C. Jaisson H. Taylor lives in Kansas City, with its rich musical heritage. This journeyman musician has taken advantage of many opportunities to play around the world, visiting Africa, Europe, Asia, North America, South America and even the North Pole. These experiences permeate every rhythm he plays.


Taylor is both a percussionist and a singer-songwriter. His love of children guides his forays into education and music therapy. Through his relationship with KCYA, Jaisson continues to help influence the musical growth of area youth, through a variety of programs. He has created an interactive approach to teaching young people. The Urban Bucket Brigade Boot Camp is one of the popular programs being offered in area schools. Taylor has been working with KCYA for nearly 30 years and his programs have reached nearly 60,000 students over that time. 


“I love it when I see the light come on behind children’s eyes” said Taylor. 


In addition to this recent acknowledgment by the local Young Audiences affiliate, Taylor has also been accredited by Young Audiences Arts for Learning, the national parent organization in New York. Accredited teaching artist are seasoned professionals and have proven skill in implementing school-based residencies. Committed to the ongoing development of their teaching practice, nationally accredited teaching artists seek professional learning opportunities in their art form and around topics that are important to the educational field, staying current so as to better serve all students equitably. 


About KCYA
Kansas City Young Audiences (KCYA), a non-profit organization, has been at the forefront of arts education since 1961. During its rich history, 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, KCYA is part of one of the largest arts education organizations in the country.


KCYA 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 in partnership with local school districts to offer arts for learning programs within school district, ensuring equal access for every student.


3732 Main Street in Kansas City, Missouri, is the KCYA administrative center and home to the Community School of the Arts, offering 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.


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