Introducing Arts Ignite!


I am so thrilled to share that we’ve changed our name from ASTEP to Arts Ignite! 

This renaming is a more accurate expression of our identity and purpose as an organization, deepening our connection to our mission. We develop agency in young people through the arts by supporting the creative capacity, community, and courage they need to thrive. At Arts Ignite, we see artistic expression as a spark that ignites purpose, passion, imagination, and confidence—creating a ripple effect of hope and positive change within ourselves, our communities, and society.  

So, what’s changed and why?

We’ve done a deep dive into who we are and why we’re here. The way we tell our story has changed alongside our understanding of how our work impacts the lives of young people. You’ll see and hear some updated language, which is also connected to a vibrant new logo, website, and social media presence. This is all an outward reflection of deeper changes we’ve made internally in collaboration with our community partners, teaching artists, and supporters. In our arts curriculum, we are more committed now than ever before to centering culturally relevant arts education, anti-racism, diversity, equity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging for our youth. Although we were Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP) for 15 years, we are ready to move away from the negative connotations and power division implied by the word “poverty” to more accurately reflect the brilliance, curiosity, and experience of the young people we serve.

What is my role at Arts Ignite moving forward?

I am so excited to be taking on a new staff role as President! As I look ahead and sharpen our vision for the future, it is crucial to me that we continue to heighten our impact by seeking out leaders who hold a shared vision of equity and excellence. I saw an opportunity to invite new voices and perspectives that will elevate the organization to better serve young people. With the support of the Board-led search committee and a specialized search firm, we thoughtfully and thoroughly searched for an Executive Director who is a forward-thinking, collaborative leader with a strategic vision to make a broader impact through the arts. We were thrilled to meet Carl Sylvestre, who embodies all of these wonderful qualities and more. Carl is a veteran arts administrator who recently served as the Director of Development at Theatre Forward, providing fundraising and program services to a network of the United States leading regional theatres. I am beyond delighted to be working closely with Carl as we welcome Arts Ignite into the world! 

Join us, dream with us, and help us build an enduring community of joy and possibility for future generations. Take a look around our website to explore all of the exciting things that are happening. Carl and I are looking forward to working together toward Arts Ignite’s bright future. Thank you for being a part of our journey! 

With gratitude,

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