When was BAYFEST founded?

BAYFEST was founded in New York City in 1990 by actor, director and teacher Robert Shampain.  We operated programs in New York for seven years, Los Angeles for 12 years, and Seattle, where we are currently based, for 10 years.

Why was BAYFEST founded?

BAYFEST’s mission since our founding has been to “Develop the Extraordinary Potential of Youth through Dramatic and Active Arts.” Our K-12 Student programs have been offered through in- and after-school, and summer programs all over the US and UK, though we are currently based in Seattle, WA. Our programs provide powerful opportunities for young people from extremely diverse backrounds to experience meaningful self-exploration and social/emotional development through the ‘active arts’ — drama, dance, movement, rhythm, performance poetry and prose, and kinesthetic learning. All out teaching artists are theatre professionals and educators with years of experience working with young people of all ages. Our K-12 Educator professional development programs  give teachers the skills to bring the active arts into their classrooms to extend lessons, reduce stress and increase student engagement.

The over-arching goal of all our programs is to help young people build empathy and stay alive to all that is inside them, exploring and sharing their own unique “I Am!” as well as the ensemble “We Are!” — through creativity and imagination-building drama, dance and movement-based exercises, collaborative games, storytelling, active practices including breathing, mindfulness and sensory awareness training, and meditative movement (like yoga, Tai Chi, breath-and-body, creative movement). Our programs help students stay engaged and feel personally supported, while having a great deal of fun in a connected ensemble setting learning vital life skills like communications, collaboration and confidence. Since 2014, when we moved our base of operations to Seattle after 12 years each in NYC and LA, we have run over 16 school-year and 5 summer programs, with 15 free youth theatre performances offered in various public venues. Most young people participate in BAYFEST programs at no cost or with significant scholarship assistance.  Our focus has always been on increasing access to active arts training in underserved schools and communities.

Is BAYFEST a non-profit?

Yes, BAYFEST is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. Our EIN number is #13-3570285. All contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

What is the best way to make a donation to BAYFEST?

All donations, in any amount, are both very much appreciated and vital in helping us continue to nurture talented young performers. You may send a tax-deductible contribution either by postal mail (preferred method) or by PayPal. Our mailing address is:

                             BAYFEST, 4050 20th Avenue SW, Ste. B, Seattle, WA 98106 USA

To make a donation via PayPal, please visit our Support page. Either way, you will receive a thank-you letter from BAYFEST that can be used as a tax receipt.

Information on the BAYFEST Summer Program

To get information about our Summer Program, please visit our Summer Intensive section.