Young Audiences of New Jersey, Inc.

Initiative: United We Discover
Grant years: 2022–23

United We Discover is a school-based arts residency for Disabled students and their classmates, educators, and families. Five participating schools will experience school-wide performances, in-depth workshops, teacher professional learning, and family programming. The program aims to increase positive perceptions of Disabled identities, increase inclusion and equitable educational experiences in schools, and build connected communities.

United We Discover addresses:

  • The lack of arts opportunities for disabled students, by bringing the arts directly to disabled students in their schools
  • Negative perceptions of disabled people, by delivering programs designed to foster respect, understanding, and connection
  • Low self-esteem often experienced by disabled students, by providing opportunities for self-expression, new skill development, and feelings of accomplishment.
  • Separation of self-contained/special education classrooms and general education classrooms, by providing programs in which disabled and non-disabled students co-create art
  • Social isolation experienced by disabled students, by fostering empathy and a sense of community among participants
McKinley School teacher and student look at each other, smiling
Three members of Hip-Hop Fundamentals performing on a stage
School children, grade 1, take pictures with a Polaroid camera