This is where it all began. The idea for Performing Arts Abroad grew out of collaboration with a Theatre for Development (TfD) group in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya using acrobatics, music, dance, and theatre to address pressing social issues like HIV/AIDS, drug abuse, prostitution, and xenophobia. The first program was launched, and it remains an option today.

On our Arts for Social Change programs, you’ll directly contribute to many forms of development by focusing on empowerment, self-expression, and self-confidence through music, dance, theatre, or film. But don’t make the mistake of thinking you are going somewhere to “help people.” You will be joining existing movements, mostly of young people, who are well aware of the incredible power of performing arts to change their communities. You will come back from this experience profoundly changed, and we hope that in the end, you are inspired to change your own community for the better.

Experience the power of international service learning and appreciate the impact that performing arts can make on communities around the world.  Be part of a truly grassroots social movement and see firsthand how the arts can transform a difficult situation into a tool for inspiration and growth.

There’s no better time than now to take this next step in your artistic journey.

Our Arts for Social Change Programs

Dance Therapy and Education in Ecuador

The language of dance and movement transcend cultural borders. Find out for yourself as you collaborate with locals in Ecuador, using the power of dance for social change.

Dance Volunteering in Costa Rica

Use the universal language of movement to inspire and be inspired. Let the beauty of Costa Rica and its people wash over you and infuse your dance practice.

Music Education in South Africa

Join an academy empowering youth through music, ride an elephant, jam with local musicians, and discover a new part of yourself in White River, South Africa.

Music for Social Change in Uganda

Impact lives through music in Mbarara, Uganda. Witness the transformative power of music firsthand as you collaborate with local musicians to bring the joy of music to vulnerable communities.

Music Therapy and Education in Ecuador

Experience the awesome power of music to create social change as you volunteer abroad with a foundation offering music therapy and education to people with disabilities.

Music Volunteering in Costa Rica

In a country with no military, many government funds support music education. Join a powerful movement to bring music to every young person in Costa Rica, and live with a homestay family in the bustling capital of San Jose.

Music Volunteering in the Philippines

In an area where most musical instruments were completely destroyed by a devastating typhoon, your contribution as a guest music teacher will make all the difference.

“As an Arts Educator, the Circus Arts program in Costa Rica provided me with a great professional development opportunity. I was given the once-in-a-lifetime chance to infuse my art with teaching and learning experiences in a beautiful new setting, at once exciting and challenging. My understanding of arts Education has been broadened by my amazing experiences in Costa Rica, and will undoubtedly inform my future arts projects and teaching practice in many ways.”

From the blog


Costa Rica: My First Solo Trip!

Misha Studenkov spent part of his summer volunteering at a music school with PAA’s Costa Rica Volunteering for High School Students. My music volunteering trip to Costa Rica with PAA was my first time traveling by myself. Going into the…


Above and Beyond

Agnes CHAN-NG-YOK is a piano player from France who participated in our Music Volunteering in Costa Rica program. Currently on a sabbatical year, I wanted to share my passion for music with others, though I’m not a professional musician. PAA…


The Language of Caring

Tamia Beckles was a participant on PAA’s Music Volunteering in Costa Rica program. To be put in touch with Tamia to learn more about her experience and see if this program is a good fit for you, please contact us…


Never Wake A Sleeping Sea Lion

Kayla Mernoff stops by to let us in on her summer music volunteering in the Galapagos! Within minutes of arriving on the island of San Cristobal for my music volunteering program in the Galápagos, I had already seen a beach,…

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