The mission of the Yocum Institute for Arts Education is to connect and enrich our community through arts education, creative performance, and innovative programs. Established in 1934 by Dr. Chester Wittell, the Wyomissing Institute of Fine Arts as it was originally called opened its doors to ensure that people living in West Reading and Wyomissing would have the same opportunities to experience excellence in arts instruction as people in the city. More than 80 years later, the Yocum Institute for Arts Education is the home to the Yocum Gallery, Primary Stages Productions, Art Goes to School, the Berks Art Alliance, and Neighborhood Bridges©, a critical literacy program created by the Children’s Theatre Company.
The Institute, as it is still affectionately called, remains a strong resource for education in and through the arts as it continues to offer on-site private and class instruction in all art disciplines. In keeping with the mission and long-term strategic plan of delivering relevant arts programming beyond the physical walls of the building, “The Institute” has developed an extensive outreach program. Through partnerships with schools, colleges, universities, libraries, recreation centers, and other nonprofit organizations in Berks County, Institute programs impact over 20,000 people annually – truly helping to realize our vision of “making the arts make a difference.”
Please contact Beverly Houck at 610-376-1576 ext. 205 with any questions.