BAX Education Philosophy and Core Values

BAX Youth Education Core Values for Teaching and Learning

For nearly 30 years, BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange has served as a year-round performing arts and arts education venue for artists-in-progress at all ages and stages. In keeping with BAX’s core commitment to social justice and mission to “encourage artistic risk-taking and stimulate dialogue among diverse constituencies,” we intentionally and purposefully support the voices of under-represented individuals and groups of all origins, ages, abilities, races, sexual orientations, and genders. All our constituents join an organization whose staff and Board is actively engaged in challenging the manifestations of whiteness, able-bodiedness and privilege as part of our ongoing anti-racist efforts and our other anti-oppression, pro-inclusion work. 

Our Youth Education programs encompass five core teaching and learning goals and values that inform our program choices, class curriculum, faculty teaching practices, and professional development.


BAX students, families, and faculty play a vital role in establishing the culture and values of BAX. We celebrate diversity of identity, awareness of different roles and experiences, and strive to create opportunities for exchange among students/families, professional artists, the greater BAX community, and beyond. We believe that by creating class communities built on genuine exchange and empathy, children will be inspired to continue making meaningful connections in their communities at home, in their neighborhood, school, and the world.

Creative Choice

BAX cultivates authentic voice and artistic expression by supporting each individual student and meeting them where they are. By creating a healthy platform to explore creative risk-taking, improvisation, and artistry, BAX classes generate and present original material by young artists.


BAX classes create a brave space for students to work independently, in partners, and as an ensemble. BAX classes work to build trust, community, and perspective, exploring many entry points into working collaboratively. To do this, BAX faculty question the historically hierarchical dynamics between teachers and students and reimagine the studio as a space for decentralized exchanges. Collaboration among families is also central at BAX. We partner with parents as part of our philosophy of collective caretaking.

Skill Building

BAX classes teach skills in technique, improvisation, art making and performance while understanding cultural influences and attending to the social and emotional well-being of each student and the class as a whole. History, technique, and vocabulary are introduced while using adaptive teaching practices to meet students “where they are,” in the disciplines of dance, drama, and tumbling.


BAX celebrates dance, drama, and tumbling as performing arts and values the opportunity for students to present work in front of an audience. Students have the chance to “practice” performance and are encouraged as authors to share their voice publicly. As BAX students develop and hone performance skills, they also learn how to observe, reflect, and comment on work. In this way, performance becomes understood as a critical part of the generative process rather than its end.

Click here to access Anti-Racist Resources for Youth & Families.

2017-2018 BAX Professional Development material has been created by the BAX Youth Education Department in collaboration with Donna Costello, BAX Education Programs Consultant and Lead Facilitator.