Please join us in raising funds for the Yocum Institute. Donors like you make it possible for arts education programs to continue to transform lives in Berks County and beyond. Your support is an investment in our community and helps us enrich lives through the arts!
Since 1934 generations of families and individuals have been a part of “The Institute” and its education legacy. Initially housed in the first high school for the new community of Wyomissing as the Wyomissing Institute of Fine Arts, and now serving at an expanded state-of-the-art facility in Sinking Spring, the Yocum Institute for Arts
Education is a critical anchor in our community.
Tens of thousands of students have been nurtured in preschool, inspired through music and dance, explored the fine arts and developed confidence in theater programs.
While we don’t know what the future holds, we hope that you will continue to help us meet new challenges and foster new generations of creative thinkers. We will continue to engage with our students and community members, staying true to our mission to connect and enrich our community through arts education, creative performance, and innovative programs.
Executive Director, Yocum Institute for Arts Education
Why Education In And Through The Arts?
- In 201, $35,000 in STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS were awarded to students for on-site programming.
- 89% OF INCOME TO THE YOCUM INSTITUTE goes directly towards Program Services.
- In a continued partnership with Berks Mental Health, the TEEN THEATER SCHOLARSHIP ENSEMBLE has a piece on Teen Suicide Prevention that has been by seen by over 10,000 Middle and High School students and faculty.
- Since 2008, thousands of 3rd & 4th grade students in the Reading School District have participated in NEIGHBORHOOD BRIDGES, a critical literacy program, co-taught each week by a teaching artist and the classroom teacher. Supported in part through a partnership with Ready, Set. READ! They redesigned the program to continue in a limited capacity through the virtual learning module.
- The Institute provides arts programs and training onsite in Dance, Visual Arts, Music, and Theater.
- ART GOES TO SCHOOL, a program sponsored by the Institute and facilitated by trained volunteers, takes art appreciation directly into the classroom. In fact, 3,800 elementary school students participated in the 2017-18 school year alone.
- For over 14 years, Yocum Institute has partnered with JOHN PAUL II CENTER FOR SPECIAL LEARNING to provide weekly Visual Arts and/or Drama classes to their students.
- Specialty ensembles for talented students across the county participate in the BERKS PIANO QUARTET, JUNIOR THEATER ENSEMBLE, and the SCHOLARSHIP TEEN THEATER ENSEMBLE perform at churches, retirement communities, libraries, schools, and other venues in the county.
Donations of any size have a big impact.
Here are examples of several ways you can show your support:
- Donate through your retirement account and designate your Required Minimum Distribution as a tax-free gift to the Yocum Institute.
- With a few simple steps, you can direct a small percentage of your Amazon purchases to the Yocum Institute through Amazon Smile.
- Set-up a planned gift to the Yocum Institute through your will or estate plan.
- Many companies match charitable donations made by their employees and, in some cases, also retirees. Contact your employer to determine if your contribution is eligible for a match!
- Become a volunteer
- Sponsor a production
- Contribute to our Scholarship Fund
To learn more contact the Yocum Institute’s Executive Director, Susan Rohn, at 610.376.1576 ext. 203 or SRohn@YocumInstitute.org
Let some of our current families and past students tell you in their own words what Yocum Institute means to them.
“I remember taking a theater arts class—we did dramatic exercises and had a final recital, and it helped me overcome some of my shyness.”Susan Burns
“We worked on improv, special workshops with experts in their respective fields, and even got to take on challenging social justice theatre projects. It was an experience like no other.”Jada Butler
“We are always looking to encourage unique experiences in the forest for our Nolde Forest visitors. Working with the Yocum Institute enabled us to integrate the ‘A for Art’ for STEAM-based education in a fun, collaborative, experience for everyone involved. Yocum’s team used their skills to coax intricate puppet creations and a dynamic group performance script from the minds of our student participants which allowed our Nolde staff to focus on teaching about the forest setting of our story.”Sarah Presogna
“The Yocum Institute was the lifeline our family needed for our daughter as we navigated the pandemic. With my wife and I working as non-health related essential workers in our community, we needed a high-quality early learning center that could support our needs and provide our daughter the educational enrichment she needed. From their committed adherence to CDC protocols to keep my daughter healthy and safe to the flexibility they provided us as parents when needed, the team at Yocum has been there for our family every step of the way!”Mike Toledo
“Maya, Yani and Lian all took ballet and hip-hop dance classes along with sculpture and photography classes plus flute lessons and summer art camps. The art classes at the Institute formed a foundation that got them into taking more art classes at other schools as they grew up.”H. Najarian
“At Yocum’s program at the Oley Valley Community Library, the children were so focused on the storytelling and the audience participation. Children today need to learn to be an audience; they need to learn to be focused and involved. Yocum’s programs give children an opportunity to work on those life-long skills which are necessary building blocks for all ages.”Bobbi Bressler
“The Institute more or less was always in my life in some sort of way. Growing up I took ballet and art classes—Carolyn Auman
figure drawing I think—plus summer classes. My daughter started preschool there and took many different
art classes, and my granddaughter Maggie went there for nursery school for 2 years. The Institute keeps culture vibrant in the community. Culture and the arts are the foundation for children as they grow into adulthood.”