A Step BeyondWhat's Happening and Other Info

Featuring ASB Supporters, The Lawrence Welk Family Foundation

The Lawrence Welk Family Foundation

Bandleader and television personality Lawrence Welk was one of eight children born to German/Russian immigrant parents in North Dakota. While winters were grim and money was tight, the family found joy in singing and dancing together. Lawrence left his family farm in North Dakota on his 21st birthday with an accordion, the clothes on his back, a fourth grade education and command only of the German language. He took his musical talent and joyful spirit with him as he traveled the Midwest playing at barn dances, on local radio and, eventually, in dance halls around the country.  In 1951 KTLA television broadcast his show and the effervescent sound of his “Champagne Music” was heard across the nation, every Saturday night for the next 30 years.

Welk never forgot his humble beginnings, speaking fondly about his family and birthplace, where he said he was taught to work, share and live “according to God’s laws.” In 1960, the family-oriented bandleader with a penchant for “treating people right” founded the Lawrence Welk Family Foundation. He believed deeply in the importance of a nurturing family and the opportunity for all to live with dignity. In keeping with this, the Lawrence Welk Family Foundation supports grass-roots organizations that demonstrate a long-term commitment to the under served children and families participating in their programs.

Executive Director, Lisa Parker says, “A Step Beyond is the perfect nonprofit partner for us. ASB takes the same love of music and dance that kept our Granddad’s feet tapping to ignite the creative spark in its students while, at the same time, demonstrating a long term commitment to supporting them and their families on and off the dance floor. My grandfather really believed in investing in youth so they could prosper as individuals and as future leaders. ASB’s programs, administration and leadership are among the most thoughtful and effective we have encountered in our decades of doing this work. I wish my Granddad could see it for himself. I can see the ear to ear smile and twinkle in his eye he would surely have.”

The leadership role passed from mother to daughter in 1997 when Welk’s granddaughter Lisa Parker took over as President and Executive Director. Today, second and third generations of the Welk family serve on the Board of Directors and the 20 members of the 4th generation are now the Junior Board.  This “G4” Junior Board participates in an annual “philanthropy camp” that includes volunteering and service projects, fundraising, site visits to area nonprofits and grantmaking.

Examples of G4 Projects:

  1. One year the Board offered to match any funds the younger family members aged four to 14 could raise for an air conditioner needed at a therapeutic pre-school for abused and neglected children. The family was together at a family meeting at a San Diego resort at the time, and the members of the fourth generation set out in teams selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts to golfers. The younger family members exceeded their goal of $1,200 which was doubled with the help of the Foundation’s matching funds, and were jubilant in their capacity to make a difference. Having a fun but meaningful way of being engaged at such an early age has the capacity to impact many aspects of future philanthropic leadership. In addition to helping to continue the spirit of joyful generosity of the Welk family, a project like this also helps to develop team-building skills and build deeper relationships among cousins who may someday serve as board members.
  2. When one of Welk’s grandsons adopted two girls from China, the family members asked the adoption agency what might be done for other children in China. When they learned about a young boy with a cleft palate. Each of the Welk households got mason jars with a picture of the young man on them so they could collect pocket change at the end of each day for the cause. The effort was infectious. Teenage friends of the family were inspired to donate their allowances to the jar. Board members also personally chipped in.

“We came together with much fanfare at the annual meeting and counted all this change,” says Lisa.

Ultimately, the family raised more than $7,000–enough to help six additional children.

We have also done beach cleanups, planted organic gardens and built bikes for homeless youth.

Today, three generations of the extended Welk family, ages eleven to eighty-five, give and volunteer together in order to nurture community engagement and the philanthropic spirit across generations and over the course of a lifetime.

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Artistic Director, Jennifer Oliver – North County Feature

Read more about the feature on our Artistic Director, Jennifer Oliver, in the North County Union Tribune!

 

Q: What are your goals as artistic director?

A: Ultimately I seek to create a safe, desirable and enriching space for our youth to come to after school; a place where they feel confident as individuals while feeling connected to a community, a place where their basic needs are met while being challenged artistically and academically, and a place where they feel accepted and loved. I want every child to feel the love of our staff lift them up and push them toward a better future. Read More.

 

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ASB Featured in the Union Tribune!

What a great way to end 2017. Artistic Director, Jennifer Oliver was invited to share her thoughts on “Why the arts matter” in a year-end feature in Sunday’s paper. If you didn’t get the chance to read the hard copy, you can read the online version here.

By dancing, we will come together as a community, we will build strength and flexibility, and we will face challenges and overcome them. Even more importantly, we will take up space unapologetically, feel powerful in our bodies, and celebrate our diverse, creative choices.   – Oliver


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obrARCHITECTURE Arts Auction Benefits A Step Beyond

If you haven’t done so already, let us know that you are joining us by contacting info@obrarchitecture.com.

We have over 15 artworks for Auction this year! Below is a sneak peak of Bid Items #01-17. If you are persuaded to Bid early or are not able to make the event but want to Bid, please see below and let us know before 1:00pm Wednesday! We look forward to seeing you!

 

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NBC “Give” Features A Step Beyond

 

“Give” Executive Producer Blair Underwood visits two Southern California non-profits including A Step Beyond in this episode. Watch as we are awarded a significant monetary gift from the Lawrence Welk Family Foundation.

Here it is on the NBC website.

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A Step Beyond Dance Auditions

Download: 2017 A Step Beyond Auditions Flyer (English y Español)

Saturday, October 14, 2017

It is time for our Annual Auditions!

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Voices of San Diego Feature!

Voices of San Diego Chooses A Step Beyond to Feature!

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Third Annual Concert Success!

For those who couldn’t make it, here is a trailer for our Third Annual Concert with choreography first by Karla Navarro and the second piece by Jennifer Oliver.

 

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Third Annual Concert

Thursday, June 1st 

5:30 p.m. Reception
7:30 p.m. Concert
Center Theater, California Center for the Arts, Escondido,
340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido CA


This year’s concert features seventy of A Step Beyond’s second and third year students between the ages of 9 – 12 years. Enjoy a contemporary dance experience that will fill your hearts and connect you to the young performers who have given so much to the making of the work. Join us in the audience and witness our students give the performance of their life!

Reserve your seat today!

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Inspiring Future Scholars

Read our latest piece entitled, Inspiring Future Scholars, published by Americans for the Arts on the collaboration between A Step Beyond and California State San Marcos’s Dance Studies program with Karen Schaffman.

 

 

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