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Buffalo Co-Lab

skyline of Buffalo

Buffalo Co-Lab advances an equitable economy and democratic community, collaboratively integrating scholarly and practical understanding to strengthen civic action.

Rachel Chen

Photo: Rachel Chen
Cleveland, OH
Young Audiences of WNY

Young Audiences (YAWNY) is a dynamic and growing provider of arts learning opportunities, providing services within eight counties of Western New York. Its mission is to make the visual, performing, and literary arts a part of young people’s lives in order to enhance their development as creative and productive human beings. Over the years, YAWNY has demonstrated expertise in helping young people develop the essential skills—from collaborative engagement and leadership to critical thinking and communication—necessary for the 21st century workplace.

Work Highlights

  • Lead workshops for the ArtWorks apprentices (ages 14-21) focusing on aspects of economic development such as job readiness and college prep skills.  
  • Developed a PowerPoint presentation regarding the role of community arts education in economic development through creative placemaking strategies.  
  • Assisted with coordinating and executing public programming on Buffalo’s waterfront at CanalSide that featured interactive performances and hands-on workshops that emphasized the diverse history and culture of Buffalo.    

In their words

“This summer I learned what it means to be part of a community. From a work perspective, I was amazed by the collaborations between organizations in the social sector. The community atmosphere of helping each other out in Buffalo was enlightening to see and to be a part of. Throughout the summer, I furthered my interest in education. My experience in Buffalo has now spurred my interest in getting involved in my hometown. I want to learn and participate in the communities of Cleveland and Ithaca as much as I can.”


“Rachel had wonderful ideas and was able to contribute to ArtWorks, the students she served, the team she served with, and the organization as a whole. Rachel directly impacted 20 ArtWorks apprentices as well as 299 public programming participants through her assistance at Canalside.  Her service at Young Audiences extended beyond the service population—she also served the staff and teaching artists.”  

Naomi Pabon-Figueroa,  
Young Audiences of Western New York