× Tonight's Program Welcome from the CEO Curtains up! Season at a Glance Community Outreach Program Thank you to our Sponsors Leadership, Staff & Volunteers Our Supporters Cultural Alliance of York County Centennial Capital Campaign Learning & Engagement More to Know Upcoming Events Past Events
Image for Learning & Engagement
Learning & Engagement
Appell Center For The Performing Arts
Spotlight on Learning & Engagement

This season, the Appell Center continues its focus on bringing the very best entertainment to diverse audiences of all ages… but wait, there’s more!

In addition to planning the shows on our stages, we are committed as an organization to recognize and celebrate the artistic talent of our community in many ways. 

Learning Workshops for All Ages

Acting... dance... singing... storytelling... jazz... improvisation... even circus arts! These are just a few of the focus areas that are available for students age 3 and up to explore. PLUS, we have added Tot Rock, an early learning program for our youngest friends age 0-2! Most workshops are "pick your price," with a suggested $15 per student, in order to increase access to arts learning for all!

Here are a few photo highlights...



SONGWRITING 101 with Amanda D'Archangelis

WHAP-AMA-PHONE Instrument Building at Keystone Kidspace

This fall, we launched "Third Saturday Worshops" - all with a "pick your price" model in order to increase access to arts learning for all. Each third Saturday features a workshop for our young ones and their families, and another for our pre-teens (age 8-13). 

In mid-September, Angel Nuñez led two fun, interactive workshops for students in puppet making (age 4-7) and set design (age 8-13).

In October, Jasmine “PAN” Taylor introduced students to the world of poetry with and "Stories That Rhyme" for our young ones, and "Spoken Word: Writing and Performing" for our 8- to 13-year-olds.

In November Krystal Younglove, an award winning artist and circus sweetheart based here in York, led a unique Circus Arts experience building hula hoops and learn introductory skills in the art of hula hooping. 


Third Saturday Workshops continue in 2024 - reserve your spot for these amazing learning opportunities!

January 20

10AM - Relative Laughter Hour - Family Workshop
The family that plays together, stays together! Bring your tots, teens and Great-Aunt Maggie to participate in a playful hour chock full of light-hearted improv games and big ole belly laughs! Families will learn and play games that theater actors use to get their creativity flowing.

1PM - Intro to Improv Comedy (ages 8-13)
Improvisational activities sharpen listening skills, encourage mindfulness, develop resourcefulness and build self-confidence… and are loads of fun! In this workshop, kids will have a hoot playing improv games, building stories and creating characters, both individually and with others. Oh, yes, there will be laughter – and lots of it!

February 17

10AM - Ballet for Everyone - Family Workshop
1PM - Ballet for Everyone - Ages 8-13
Athletes have used ballet as a way to stay in shape and improve their performance for years. Families will join REACH! Founder and Juilliard graduate Jason Reed for an opportunity to learn about the benefits of dancing for everyone, and your chance to try it out. A great chance for anyone who has been thinking about starting dance classes to get their feet wet!

March 16

10AM - Music Composition and Improvisation - Family Workshop
1PM - Music Composition and Improvisation - Ages 8-13
Making music is fun – making music together even more so! Come join local pianist and composer Matt Monticchio and see how making music spontaneously can lead to writing entire songs! No prior music experience necessary – just come ready to learn.


Audition season is coming up! Whether you’re preparing for school musicals, District Band or college auditions, the ability to prepare yourself mentally, arrive in the right headspace, and reaching a state of flow is invaluable. On January 20, Peter Matthew Smith will lead a masterclass in musical theater, where aspiring performers can learn the ins and outs of preparing a song, nailing an audition, and life as part of some of Broadway’s biggest hit shows. Most recently King George in the Angelica Touring Company of Hamilton, Peter Matthew Smith’s career on Broadway includes roles in the original productions of RENT, Mamma Mia, Hairspray and the revival of Fiddler on the Roof. 


Our Teaching Artists and Staff did not stop there... 

In spring 2023, Appell Center Teaching Artists visited 55 classrooms across nine elementary school, working in different art forms with over 1,000 students to reinforce themes from April's Stage the Page performance of The Gruffalo. Additionally, the Appell Center partnered with York City School District’s 21st Century After School Program to provide an arts enrichment program throughout the month of May. This program has expanded to six schools in the district for the 2023-24 school year.


Community Engagement 

In July 2022 the Appell Center began a collaboration with Creative Generation, a group committed to pioneering projects in the arts and cultural, education and social change fields to support those organizations driving systemic change in their communities. This work produced an actionable plan elevating knowledge within our community to help inform a set of tools to create a societal hub for arts and cultural education in York County, PA. Listening sessions with key partners and their constituents were conducted, and information gathered from those sessions has helped inform the next steps of our strategic plan in this area.

At the completion of the active phase of this collaboration, the following statement was crafted and made public on our website:

The Appell Center for the Performing Arts seeks to be a cultural hub for the community in York.

We play a vital role in the local ecosystem, collaborating with educational, civic and other cultural organizations, informal networks, and individual artists to create experiences as outlets for healthy, creative expression.

Together, we believe in connecting the arts with education, personal wellbeing and family life.

We seek to build meaningful pathways in arts, cultural and creative learning for the York community through consistent, reliable opportunities which provide

  • engagement with a diversity of artistic and cultural forms;
  • multi-generational creative participation; and
  • transformative experiences for creative youth.

We strive to be a relationship-builder, convener and host.


There are many ways to join us in partnership, but here are some common starting points:

Click HERE to learn more about our Discovery Sessions and Community Engagement initiatives, and how you might work with us in partnership to bring one of your ideas to the community at large!