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San Diego, CA –January 20, 2011—Young Audiences of San Diego and The Salvation Army Kroc Center will host a free Family Arts and Literacy Night this Thursday, January 27th at 6:30 pm. Hundreds of families will gather in the Kroc Center Multipurpose Room-Education Building for an evening of fun for the “Build your own Global Village” event and each child will take home a brand new book.


Young Audiences visual artists Stacie Birky Greene, Sylvia Mejia, Thia Nevius, Susan Rothman and Tara Opitz will show families how to define community and create their own colorful global village. Families will design and create homes representing Mexico, Europe, Africa, Asia and the U.S. constructed out of paper bags and a variety of art media. The free event is made possible by the support of Target, First Book, The San Diego Unified School District Community Service Association and the Samuel French Fund.


The event is part of the Family Arts and Literacy Connection program which started in 2003. The purpose is to provide and promote arts performances and hands-on arts activities as elevating and enriching experiences for underserved San Diego families. Young Audiences and Kroc Center staff go into local schools to teach a literacy based art project and the in-class component culminates with a multi-cultural themed event at the Kroc Center.

Rolando Park Elementary School Teacher Patrice Johnson says, “I am really grateful that we have Young Audiences at our school. The kids benefit greatly. I've noticed that my students who participate in the art program have increased their awareness to concepts, broader thinking and are able to risk take more. They are confident in sharing their thinking, their artwork and feeling good about themselves. I've noticed that this confidence transfers over to their reading and math abilities which ties to their test scores.”


There are currently six themed evening events per year between October and May. The events invite families to experience the arts together and projects include all ages from toddler to grandparent. Young Audiences roster of artists for this program is culturally diverse and provides 30-minute performance and a 50-minute interactive or “hands-on” workshop linked by a theme during each Free Family Arts and Literacy Night Event.


Young Audiences is the oldest and largest nonprofit in San Diego County solely devoted to arts education. Affiliated with a 32-chapter national network, YA provides arts education for students preschool through high school, bringing performing, visual and literary arts into young lives.


YA presents in-school and after-school workshops and artist residencies, interactive school assemblies featuring music, dance, theater and storytelling, professional development in arts education for teachers and school administrators and family arts programs, connecting schools, community and families through the arts.


The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center is a 12.4-acre family support, education, recreation, and cultural arts center, made possible by a generous gift by the late philanthropist Mrs. Joan Kroc. The Kroc Center provides opportunities that facilitate positive, life-changing experiences through: art, athletics, personal development, spiritual discovery and community service.


Kroc Center is located at 6845 University Avenue in San Diego. For more information, visit

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