Yes! And... Collaborative Arts equips children and young people with the tools to be better learners, to believe in themselves and to realize their dreams through the work of creating collaboratively with peers and professional artists.
As educators, we practice and teach a different way of interacting with kids, with each other, and with the world. We believe that children learn best when they are given the opportunity to engage with one another, classroom content, and their own ideas in the context of a safe, affirming, and specific environment – we call it Tribe Centered Learning.
We operate collaboratively. We work together, drawing on the strengths and insights of everyone in the room, to create and support our shared vision. Though there is a hierarchy within YACA (Executive Director, Program Directors, Board of Directors etc.), we endeavor in both the artistic and administrative work to make decisions collaboratively.
We are tribal. A tribe is a group of people brought together and transformed by a common goal (imagined or otherwise). We foster the tribe, teach through the tribe and honor the tribe. Each tribe looks different (from the messy/mystical camp tribe to the formal and administrative Board tribe) but each has its own culture, history, desires and internal validity.
We are about imagination. Thinking and creating imaginatively is always a part of the process, in the collaboration, education and artistic moment.
We are about diversity. We are dedicated to operating as an all inclusive organization. We work with a range of communities and with children with varied needs. Our staff and Board reflect this commitment.
We commit to creative problem solving and continuing relationships with children, staff and families. We want to always go above and beyond in each situation, always looking for new, different, and creative solutions. We hope and strive for collaborative relationships that change but do not end.
We are committed to our own "unnecessary" playfulness. We will engage ourselves artistically and playfully. We might spend a significant amount of our time as a staff and Board of Directors doing the work that enables programs to flourish, teaching educators and artists about Tribe Centered Learning, but we commit to jumping into the play with children whenever possible.
We work with kids. Children and youth centered programs will always be at the core of our organization. We stay committed to removing any barriers that would prevent a child or family from participation. Although this makes the work harder, longer and more expensive, all children and communities are worth the risk and investment.
We are committed to internal professional development. We work toward the development and refinement of our pedagogy, Tribe Centered Learning. Yes! And... Collaborative Arts will always be looking for aspects of our curriculum, program models and teaching styles that we can improve.
We believe that process takes precedence over product. End of Program presentations, be it a full length play, a movie, a mural, or a book of stories, is the celebration of the work to be shared with the broader community; it is not a measure of the work. Our hope is that our products will be excellent, but we believe that the most valuable mark of success is in the quality of the process.
We are committed to organizational and financial transparancy. Download our financial documents here:
Yes! And... Collaborative Arts offers communities a variety of programs, shaping and designing each one to meet the needs of the specific communities we serve.
Yes! And… Collaborative Arts operates as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. IRS identification:
We spend most of our time with kids living in diverse neighborhoods in and around the Philadelphia area, but we believe that collaborative arts education is important for all ages, everywhere.
Our name comes from a theatre game, where an individual starts a story and the next person picks up the telling by responding, “Yes! And…” then adding their part of the story, and so on.
Collaboration is a vital skill for children to learn. It is much more powerful than compromise. Collaboration creates a space where vision, ideas, and desires are affirmed and can be acheived because people are working together.
When children understand that "Yes!" Their ideas are supported. "And..." there are people to partner with them, they have a stronger sense of self-worth.