The Right Brain Initiative



Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington, Managing Partner

Young Audiences of Oregon was founded in 1958 as a local chapter of the nation’s largest arts-in-education organization. In 1989, the Portland-based organization merged with a smaller chapter in Vancouver to become Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington. They have steadily grown in scope and programming, evolving from presenting only classical music performances in our early years to currently offering a full range of educational arts programming in multiple disciplines and cultures—the only arts organization in the region to do so. Their mission is to inspire young people and expand their learning through the arts.

An inaugural partner of Right Brain since 2008, Young Audiences manages the daily work of our teaching artists and arts integration coaches.

Deborah Brzoska, Professional Development Partner

Deb is a national leader in arts education who presents professional development for teachers and teaching artists across the country on behalf of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. A former dancer and teacher, Deb was also the founding principal of the award winning arts-based public school in Vancouver, Washington. Deb has developed state and national arts standards and assessments and has been a school change coach for the Small Schools Project of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Traveling from her home in Central Oregon, she has presented arts education workshops, seminars and institutes in nearly all fifty states and from Cairo to Samoa, including a statewide teaching artist-training project in Hawaii. Deb is on the editorial board of Teaching Artist Journal and has written about arts education for The Kennedy Center, Chicago’s Project AIM, the Arts Education Partnership and The College Board.

Deb has also been with Right Brain since its inception, designing and leading professional development workshops for school staff and teaching artists.

Portland State University Center for Student Success, Evaluation Partner

The Center for Student Success, part of the PSU Graduate School of Education, was established in 2003. It provides quality program evaluation, consultation, professional development and research services to K-12 schools, districts, and nonprofit organizations dedicated to success for all students. Their staff and consultants have extensive experience in all aspects of K-12 schooling from the classroom, school, and district perspective. Graduate School of Education faculty and partnerships with other PSU departments provide additional expertise and research skills to meet the needs of our partners and clients.

The Center for Student Success leads program evaluation for The Right Brain Initiative.

The John F. Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts, National Partner

The Kennedy Center, based in Washington, DC, has provided quality arts educational experiences through performances, residencies, workshops, conferences, career development programs, symposia, and on-line and print resources for more than 35 years. In the past year, the Center’s education programs have directly impacted more than 16 million people across the nation. The educational mission of the Kennedy Center is to foster understanding of and participation in the arts through exemplary programs and performances for diverse populations of all ages that represent the unique cultural life and heritage of the United States.

The Kennedy Center has a formal relationship with The Right Brain Initiative through the Partners in Education program.

Partner School Districts

Right Brain’s partner school districts invest $15 per child to cover teaching artists fees and materials for Right Brain classroom artist residencies. Professional development workshops for school staff and on-site arts integration coaching are covered through other funding streams, at no cost to the district. Representatives from partner districts also serve on Right Brain’s Governing and Operating Committees, helping to shape the direction of the program to best meet district and school needs.

  • Corbett School District
  • Gresham-Barlow School District
  • Hillsboro School District
  • North Clackamas Schools
  • Oregon Trail School District
  • Oregon Department of Education
  • Portland Public Schools
  • Reynolds School District

See a full map of Right Brain partner schools.
Contact us to inquire about getting your school or district involved.