Youth Advancement through Music & Arts (YATMA) was founded in 1992 in Seattle, WA. YATMA developed strong partnerships with diverse Seattle organizations including Seattle Children’s Home, Seattle Art Museum, Southwest Youth & Family Services, Harborview Medical Center, and the Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center.
Unrivaled in their approach, this program extends a long-term commitment to their students, blending instruction in the visual and performing arts with educational and human services and addressing the underlying emotional, social and family issues of their students. This unique approach and curriculum which Bill Rossi developed clearly makes a lasting impact artistically, educationally and developmentally in the lives of children. Jeff Hauser, Executive Director, Raynier Institute & Foundation
During my 21 years as a pediatrician I have never seen a youth program that turns around lives as well as this one does. Dr. Elinor Graham, Medical Director, Children and Teens Clinic, Harborview Medical Center.
In 1999 YATMA expanded to Albany, NY on a 4-year contract with Parsons Child and Family Center which provides therapeutic, educational, and residential services to emotionally- and learning- challenged children and youth, many of whom suffer from PTSD and Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD) . YATMA became an integral part of the children’s Therapeutic Treatment Plan.
In 2003 YATMA received an award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to create a model arts program in Albany’s St. Anne Institute, a secular residential and community based preventive service agency. That program was highly successful and St. Anne Institute assumed program management in 2006.
The organization, commitment, and creativity of the staff have had a significant impact, not only on the girls but on our agency staff as well – your implementation of the arts with such a high degree of professionalism and excellence has had an effect on us all. Richard C. Riccio, Executive Director, St. Anne Institute, Albany, NY.
Perhaps it’s the relationship which develops between student and teacher that’s key to their success. Perhaps it’s the way they work in-depth with the arts, or how they focus on the children’s strengths instead of their pathology. Whatever the reason or combination thereof, I do know that the program is impressive and could potentially contribute to reform on a national level. Robin B. Siegal, PhD, Executive Director, Albany County Department of Mental Health, Albany, NY
In 2006, after serving approximately 2,500 young people, YATMA changed its name to Educational Mentoring through the Arts & Humanities (EMTAH) and began to curtail direct service so its principals (Bill and Mary Helen Rossi) could develop a comprehensive system for dissemination of their program and teaching approach. This system, now complete, includes instructional manuals, curricula, and evaluation software.
In 2008 EMTAH transitioned to replicate in West Chester, PA where it developed and delivered a Chester County model program. The name was then changed back to YATMA in order to begin to partner with other organizations to disseminate the Rossi Teaching Approach.
In 2013 YATMA began a new program Danbury Arts in Action in Danbury, CT to implement the program at the Center. DAIA’s program director Jill Hancock is now a co-director of YATMA.