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Young Audiences’ Dobrzynski
Wins Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio

On March 21, 2007 at a luncheon ceremony hosted by the Ohio Arts Council and Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation in downtown Columbus, Marsha Dobrzynski, Executive Director of Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio (YANEO), received the 2007 Governor’s Award for the Arts, Arts Administration category.

Since 1994, she has been executive director of YANEO, an organization dedicated to incorporating the arts and arts-based instruction into the daily classroom experience of all children.

Photo: Gary Adams   

In that time, Young Audiences has grown from a grassroots $150,000 operation to a regionally and nationally recognized force in arts education with a $1.5 million budget. Much of the credit for this turnaround rests on the shoulders of Dobrzynski. Despite a hard-hit educational environment, Dobrzynski helped grow the organization over the last decade by 800 percent in scheduled programs (from 963 to more than 8,000) and increased earned revenues 700 percent (from $56,000 to more than $400,000).

In addition, Dobrzynski is credited with securing prestigious grants from The Ford Foundation in 2004 and 2005 to form and implement a community collaborative to provide arts education to every child in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Only six other communities nationwide were invited to participate in the comprehensive initiative.

“It has been an honor for me to witness Marsha’s indomitable commitment to Young Audiences and the youth of our community,” noted Leonard Young, YANEO Board Chairperson. “She has made a positive impact in the lives of so many children in Northeast Ohio. Marsha is a very deserving winner of this award.”

Marsha Dobrzynski with students at Roxboro Elementary School
Photo: Alyce Hrabak

About Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio

Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio (YANEO) enriches the lives of children and promotes creative learning by uniting arts and education. Organized in 1953, the Northeast Ohio chapter of Young Audiences is the only multi-arts resource for schools in the region whose primary purpose is to make learning through the arts an essential part of young people’s education. Programs take place in public, private, and parochial schools, reaching over 265,000 young people each year. Website


Webkeeper's note: Young Audiences is part of the fabric that makes Shaker Square much more than a place for shopping and dining. Its offices are on the second floor in the Southwest quadrant. In the past two summers their Art Works event has brought art and enthusiastic youngsters to the Square. To see our page on Artworks 2005 click here.

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