Valley Youth House is proud to announce our 2019 Youth Artists in Residence (YAIR)

Valley Youth House 2019 youth artist in residence

Since 2013, the Martin Guitar Charitable Foundation has funded Valley Youth House’s Youth Artist in Residence (YAIR) program. Through the YAIR program, artistically talented Valley Youth House clients are selected to perform for other youthin agency programs. Attendance at the performances is also open to staff and to the general community. Applicants for the YAIR program participate in an interview and an audition conducted by the YAIR committee comprised of Valley Youth House staff representing all regions. After their selection, the committee selects local professional artists and musicians who then mentor the youth and are featured with the youth artists at all performances.

The outcome goals of the Youth Artist in Residence Program are to:
• Give youth the opportunity to interact positively with peers
• Engage youth in creative arts as a means for self-expression and collaboration with adult role models
• Use performance and social interaction as the basis of teaching valuable life skills (e.g. engagement, problem-solving, self expression, perseverance, self-advocacy)
• Foster creative expression as a foundation for personal, interpersonal, and community engagement
• Create opportunities for youth to explore and understand practical approaches to art careers

Imani, a senior at the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts, studies multiple music and theatrical genres, with a focus on jazz and contemporary music.  With a true passion for the arts, she has been dancing, singing, and acting for 16 years.  Imani has performed in countless events such as Musikfest, Miller Symphony Hall, the IronPigs, and the Mayor of Easton’s birthday party. Originally from California, she moved to the Lehigh Valley at age 13. Imani participates in Valley Youth House’s Northampton County Adolescents Achieving Independence (AAI) program, which allows current or recently released foster care youth to complete their education, locate permanent housing, and learn life skills. Imani aspires to change the world through art.  Her proudest achievement was receiving the California Young Artist Achievement Award.  Imani is excited to share work with Valley Youth House and the community through this program!

Nova is a 20-year-old poet, model, and painter.  Nova has been performing for the past six years including at open mic nights, The Backpack Challenge, and the youth summit. Nova’s talent is original and described by others as “deep” and “insightful.”  Nova is a young person in Valley Youth House’s Supervised Independent Living (SIL) program which allows youth to live independently while working on their life goals.  Nova is a youth advocate for young people in foster care, as well as participates in Youth Move Philly and the Youth Advisory Board (YAB).  Nova is a resilient individual who is extremely determined.  Nova is excited to expand their amazing talent on a larger scale through the Youth Artist in Residence program!

Valley Youth House is proud to announce that another VYH youth, Cassidy, has been chosen as the recipient of a scholarship to Lehigh Valley Girls Rock Camp! Cassidy has been performing for five years and is currently in high school.  Cassidy is a singer and plays several instruments. She has performed at school chorus, women’s ensemble, and in church band.  She hopes that this experience pushes her out of her comfort zone and gives her more experience. Cassidy has been described by others as “very talented, a gifted musician, and a tremendous musician who can play the guitar and uke!”  Cassidy will be attending the Lehigh Valley Girls Rock Camp this summer which is a week long women’s empowerment camp that is based on being part of a real rock band. Campers will play instruments, form a band, and perform in a live concert at the end of the week! It’s a week-long journey of team building, making friends, and collaboration. We are so excited to help support Cassidy in her musical journey!