Welcome to season 2, episode 48 of the Today is the Day Changemakers Podcast.
This week my guest is Michele Russo, President & CEO of Young Audiences NJ & Eastern PA.
We start off the interview with Michele talking about her connection to the arts and the conversation moves on to how her career continues to help support so many others on their performing arts journey.
Under Michele's leadership, Young Audiences has embraced a comprehensive Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access plan, “Arts United,” touching every aspect of programming, operations and field leadership. Michele co-chaired the YA National Teaching Artist Credential project, and has served on YA National board committees.
During the COVID pandemic, Michele served on Governor Murphy’s Arts and Culture Recovery Working Group, and continues to play an important role as a Committee Member of ArtPrideNJ.
Michele came to Young Audiences from The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, where she managed the Biennial Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival and the Poetry in the Schools Program from 2011-2015. Prior to her time at the Dodge Foundation, she served as a Senior Education Associate at Young Audiences for 10 years, collaborating and managing long-term arts education initiatives in pre-school, elementary and middle schools.
Michele chaired the New Jersey Arts Education Collective from 2008-2011 and was a member of the LeadNJ class of 2014. Michele has published articles on early childhood education and the arts, has presented locally and nationally about non-profit equity strategy, and has traveled nationally as a trainer of arts education programs. Michele serves on the board of The NJ Center for Non-Profits, and Trenton Circus Squad.
During the interview Michele speaks strongly about arts education and the importance of advocating for arts programming. The more arts advocates in a community, the better.
Listen in to hear the footprint that Michele is creating now that she wants to leave behind.
Next week, we highlight three young entrepreneurs, Jack, Sienna, and Hudson. They all created a little business for themselves as an outlet for their creative side and to help bring in money for the things they want. Listen in to three Young Changemakers in the making.
Today is the Day
The Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation
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Have a great week everyone!