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To educate and inspire children through the arts, to make the arts an integral part of the school curriculum, and to advance the field of arts in education through teacher professional development training and community partnerships.


Young Audiences, Inc. of Houston, a Texas nonprofit corporation founded in 1956, is an independent chapter of Young Audiences, Inc., the nation’s leading arts-in-education nonprofit organization, and first organization to be awarded the National Medal of Arts.


On March 2, 1956, Young Audiences of Houston began a pilot program funded by the National Office of Young Audiences with presentations by the New York Quintet at Peck and River Oaks Elementary schools. Upon the success of the presentations, violinist and Young Audiences of Houston founder, Fredell Lack, organized a committee to obtain funding to begin a regular series of music programs in Houston schools for the 1956-57 school year. Major supporters included Ima Hogg and Mrs. Oveta Culp, wife of William P. Hobby.


As educators increasingly recognized the value of integrating the arts into classrooms, the demand of Young Audiences of Houston programs grew with program development focused on meeting the educational needs of schools. During the 1950s, Young Audiences of Houston focused on performances and presentations by the Lyric Art Quartet. In the 1960s, Young Audiences of Houston added jazz, folk, and multi-cultural groups to the roster, as well as dance ensembles. Theatre and opera programs were offered to local students beginning in the 1970s, while storytellers and visual artists joined the roster in the 1980s. Supporting the educational trends and legislation from the 1990s to the present, Young Audiences of Houston further developed its programs by presenting workshops and residencies, which uses the arts to support core-curriculum skills and allows individual artists to work more effectively with small groups through “hands-on” projects. As an approved Texas State Board for Continuing Professional Educator Certification provider, Young Audiences of Houston provides professional development training for educators, which equips teachers with the tools needed to integrate the arts into the classroom. All Young audiences of Houston programs are aligned to the current mandated Texas State curriculum and standardized tests.


Now in its 68th year, Young Audiences of Houston implements over 3,918 programs each year with 186 talented artists that reach over 254,670 students and teachers annually at schools, libraries, community centers, and hospitals with limited programming for college and adult continuing education programs, Young Audiences of Houston primarily serves children Early Childhood through the 12th grade within the boundaries of the greater Houston area school districts, including counties of Harris, Montgomery, Liberty, Waller, Brazoria, Matagorda, Fort Bend, Jefferson, Polk, Galveston, Orange, Wharton, Jeff Davis, and Jackson.

We are at the forefront of arts education in Houston, pursuing equitable access to the arts through systems change efforts, sharing our expertise, and supporting programs and resources to our communities most in need across the Texas region. 

why is yah so important to our community?


There is a huge demand for high-quality art programs for children and young adults. YAH increases the number of quality of art programs available to children all over Houston and surrounding counties.

Studies show that participation in the arts deters youth from engaging in criminal activity. Children involved in art programs are more likely to stay in school and graduate. Unfortunately, art programs are often unavailable to youth who could benefit the most due to limited financial resources.


Studies have proven that early exposure to the arts leads to improvement in the student’s academic performance in school.

As a result of Young Audiences of Houston’s efforts, the dropout rate has decreased, attendance has increased, and there has been an increase in skills critical to the students’ long-term success. These include the ability to work well in groups, develop confidence and improve problem-solving skills.


Young Audiences of Houston has expanded the focus on the arts and provided over 297,832 students with fun and engaging arts-focused programming.

Young Audiences of Houston programs allow children to express themselves in the visual arts, media arts, and performance arts.

There have been countless testimonies demonstrating the significance and need for an organization to communicate to children the importance of the arts.


As more people recognize the positivity and effectiveness that corresponds to the arts, the more lives the organization will impact.

the national young audiences arts for learning network

Young Audiences of Houston is affiliated with the national Young Audiences Arts for Learning network. Founded in 1956, the mission of Young Audiences Arts for Learning is to inspire young people and expand their learning through the arts. Our network is made up of local affiliated nonprofits that collectively impact over 5 million young people each year. The national Young Audiences Arts for Learning network works collaboratively to advance arts in education through advocacy, communications, fundraising, program development, professional learning, and other support.


To explore our national network, please visit:

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