Bronxville performing arts organization unites kids through love of arts

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BRONXVILLE, N.Y.— Music, dancing and friendship. That's what you’ll find, both on stage and off, at Young At Arts in Bronxville.

The program was started in 2005 by Sharyn Pirtle, who felt there was a lack of art in the schools in her area.

"It helps them to understand each other, through music and through art and through self-expression. And I think that's one of the most important things we can give our children today," Pirtle said.

So she started the organization, which teaches kids everything from singing and dancing to playing an instrument.

All these years later, Young At Arts now teaches 800 children from Mount Vernon, the Bronx, Scarsdale and Eastchester, just to name a few.

"I like this program because everyone's welcome here and it’s a great comfort zone, basically family, and I just love music, so it’s a great program," one student said.

What makes this program unique is that 33 percent of the students are on scholarship.

In April, many of them got to perform alongside Broadway performers at a benefit that raises money to provide more scholarships, raising over $40,000 this year.

"I don’t think people realize that many of these children may live in the Bronx, but may never get to Lincoln Center, to Broadway. It’s a world away, for many children. So to bring it here, I think is incredibly, incredibly important," Pirtle said.

It's building character and friendships — a yodel and a "two step" at a time.

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