Sharyn’s “Aha!” moment began in a fantastic public performing arts school in her native Houston, Texas where children from different socioeconomic backgrounds came to share their passion for the arts. Many years later, the influence of that special school, inspired Sharyn to create Young at Arts. In 2005, with the help of The Reverend Michael A. Bird, Rector of Christ Church Bronxville, childhood pal and Co-Founder of Sing for Hope, Camille Zamora and her husband, lighting designer Shawn Kaufman, Sharyn founded Young at Arts as a response to the gaps in arts education. Today, Young at Arts serves hundreds of children each year.
Young at Arts gives thousands of dollars in scholarships each year to provide year round music and theater training, educational travel and sleep away camp experiences. Sharyn firmly believes in the power of the arts to create compassionate citizens of the world. The Young at Arts Youth Arts Corps realizes this philosophy that through both service and the arts, the next generation will understand the power of their voice and the importance of giving to others. Sharyn has spoken on the importance of arts education and how it enriches communities at the Eastman School of Music and has been honored by the Mount Vernon Public Library Foundation and the Junior League of Bronxville for her dedication to the youth of Mount Vernon.
Sharyn received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in vocal performance from the Eastman School of Music and started training as a director by working as an assistant at the Houston Grand Opera. Directing credits include: Le Nozze di Figaro, Brundibar (Houston Grand Opera) Don Giovanni, Don Pasquale (Opera in the Heights), The Abduction from the Seraglio (Portland Opera, Opera Pacific, Lyric Opera of Kansas City) , Little Women, Cinderella, La Traviata (Ashlawn-Highland Opera) . Directing credits at Young at Arts include: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Honk!, Guys and Dolls, The Little Sweep, The Wizard of Oz, Martin’s Lie, One False Move, Oliver!, Beauty and the Beast, In the Heights, Violet and Urinetown.
Alongside Young at Arts Sharyn runs a successful vocal studio, teaching Broadway, classical and commercial contemporary music (CCM) styles and maintains a vocal studio scholarship program that aligns with her school’s mission. Sharyn and her husband Shawn Kaufman are proud to be the parents of daughter Amélie, dogs, Artemis, Rosy and Tuesday.