Bridge Arts Ensemble (BAE) is a musical outreach organization that invites students into a world where the Arts are accessible and relevant.
Our aim is to partner our versatile musicians with schools to create an experience which not only benefits music students, but impacts the school’s community at large.
By sharing what inspires us, via interactive concerts and workshops, we hope to open the eyes and broaden the perspectives of all we encounter, thereby encouraging a culture of critical thinking which will ultimately uncover creativity, deepen empathy and enrich humanity.
Bridge Arts Ensemble is a Teaching Artist organization that brings interactive concerts and workshops to over 50 school districts upstate New York, and impacts 55,000+ students annually.
BAE artists travel from New York City in ensembles of 6 (2 singers, a pianist, a percussionist and 2 additional instrumentalists) for residencies in each school district, ranging between three and five days. Working with individual schools, Bridge Arts Ensemble artists aim to tailor their activities to best support a school’s curriculum and arts education needs.
Each ensemble consists of a variety of diverse musicians, exposing students to musical styles including Broadway, Classical, Jazz and World music.
Board of Trustees
In 2011, an innovative Arts ‘n Ed program was being considered at the BOCES complex in Saratoga Springs. Dr. Byron Evans, a former superintendent at that facility, was tinkering with an idea to bring highly trained teaching artists from New York City up to the remote school districts of the Adirondack region. His experience at BOCES made him aware that a private investment in school district’s Arts ‘n Ed could be reimbursable as BOCES aid in the following school year. Such a provision made it possible to blend private and public funding to bring music artistry to remote areas. The school district would never have to pay for the program and needed only to show an interest and some organizational effort.
Dr. Evans spent more than six decades as a remarkable educator at all levels. That summer, his tinkering focused on connecting the dots that brought philanthropy, musicianship and this unusual BOCES opportunity together. By fall, the first concerts and workshops were offered in a small district 12 miles south of the Canadian border. Twenty more concert outings were provided that first school year by a group called Associated Solo Artists. A costly program bringing top talent on week-long outings to school districts 150 miles north of NYC proved attainable and sustainable.
Each year this program has expanded beyond the Park boundaries into suburban and urban districts, surrounding the Park. In 2015, a new group was created to facilitate these changes. Bridge Arts Ensemble was formed with nearly fifty teaching artists and a new awareness that they would be evaluated solely by the reaction of the students they served. And the tinkering continues . . .