Young Audiences Professional Learning Workshops

CLN is proud to partner with Young Audiences Arts for Learning to bring more professional learning opportunities and support to teaching artists in Southwestern PA.

Each of the three sessions can be found on our calendar page. Alternatively, click here to register for the sessions on the Young Audiences website.

Young Audiences Workshops will take place on Zoom and will focus on:

  • Planning and Preparation – Design a High-Quality Lesson Plan! (8/5 4-6pm)
  • Best Practices for Arts Instruction (8/12 4-6pm)
  • Teaching Artist Community Chat – connect, share stories (8/13 4:30pm)
  • Mentoring! 3 hrs. with a YA Credentialed Teaching Artist (Sept.-Nov. 2021)
  • Learn how to apply for the Teaching Artist Credential – participation stipend for SWPA TA’s


Laura Marchese
Laura Marchese
Laura Marchese is a dancer and teaching artist working with arts organizations and schools throughout New Jersey, conducting residencies and workshops for students, arts educators, and classroom teachers. As co-author of Dance to Learn, a developmental dance curriculum in use throughout NJ, Laura serves as a mentor and educational consultant to teaching artists and dance companies.

Laura has presented at conferences including NDEO, Young Audiences National, the NJ Education Association statewide, and the Early Learning Institute STEAM Conference (keynote). She was recognized with a 2016 NJ Governor’s Arts in Education Distinguished Teaching Artist Award and a Young Audiences NJ & Eastern PA Artist of the Year Award in 2015.

Sharon DuBois
Sharon DuBois
Sharon DuBois has been performing, producing, and recording for over three decades, and is passionate about keeping Jazz Music alive.

In her residencies, Sharon combines knowledge and experience gleaned from her BA degree in Anthropology/American Indian Studies, her two Associates degrees in Music, and her 20-year mentorship with jazz maestro Daniel Jackson. She honors each student by exploring and incorporating relevant cultural references and experiences in an inclusionary way, setting up a safe environment where all can explore and create.

Renee Benson
Renee Benson
Renee Benson is a New Orleans-based singer, songwriter, poet, and composer who has toured and performed in over 15 countries. She was featured at the Glastonbury Music Festival, as part of the Austrian entry for Eurovision, and at Vienna’s LifeBall. Most recently, Renee completed a residency at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, in collaboration with Vagabond Inventions on Requiem for a Stranger.
Valerie Branch
Valerie Branch
Valerie Branch graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maryland College Park with a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance (2008).

She has experience touring as a performing and teaching artist, as well as a lecturer and a mentor both nationally and internationally. In her capacity as a teaching artist, Valerie has brought dance into local schools throughout the US, South Africa, India, France, and Grenada. Valerie has had the opportunity to dance with notable choreographers and dance companies such as: Daniel Burkholder/The Playground, alight dance theater, Dance Box Theater, Trajectory Dance Project and Lesole’s Dance Project.

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