917 "C" Street
San Rafael, California 94901
Created by Youth in Arts and Walker Rezaian’s family to celebrate Walker’s life and love for the arts, the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Arts Program combines a visual arts residency for all Kindergarten classes in selected sites with teacher and parent trainings, a gallery exhibit of student work, and a community-wide celebration of friendship and young artists.
Schools are selected for the program through an application process each Spring, open to all Title I schools in Marin County. Selected sites receive a comprehensive program valued at $12,000, including:
See our blog for stories and photos from past recipient schools!
Loma Verde Elementary (2013-14)
Bahia Vista Elementary (2014-15)
Laurel Dell Elementary (2015-16)
Support Kindergarten Arts through the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Program: DONATE NOW and mark your gift is In Honor of Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts.
This week Youth in Arts celebrated art and friendship with Kindergarten students and their families at Bahia Vista Elementary School. Optimism and friendship are two important themes in Kindergarten and YIA Mentor Artist and Program Director Suzanne Joyal lead families in an evening creating art around these topics.
We started out talking about how we can be good friends and singing a song in Spanish and American Sign Language about friendship with YIA Mentor Artist Nydia Gonzalez. Sharing, supporting, listening, respecting and playing were definitely important and students made it clear that they feel great when with a good friend!
Teacher Suzanne then lead everyone in creating a beautiful Tree of Hopes, adorned with drawings depicting everyone’s hopes and dreams for the future.
For the past few months YIA Mentor Artist and Program Director Suzanne Joyal has been teaching all 7 Kindergarten classes a visual arts curriculum geared around the themes of friendship in honor of the life of Walker Rezaian.
Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Pauley reflected on the past few months, “This program has helped each of my students learn a new way to express themselves, build self-confidence and discover the amazing artist within them. We feel so thankful to have gotten this experience and are happy for the next bunch of kids that get to work with you.”
Youth in Arts Executive Director Miko Lee has announced that applications are open for the 2015-16 Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Arts Program. “We are thrilled to continue this program next year.” said Lee. “We look forward to sharing the experience with another low income school in memory of Walker. We have had a wonderful partnership with Walker’s family in creating this program and providing life long learning tools for so many children in our area.”
Interested Title I schools in Marin County should apply by May 18. Apply here.
The Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Fund is a project of the Walker Rezaian Memorial Fund. Youth in Arts is a nonprofit established in 1970. The leading arts education nonprofit in the North Bay, Youth in Arts offers students experiences and instruction in the visual and performing arts, and enriches the community with cultural events.
We are so grateful to TOAST Restaurant in Novato for exhibiting the beautiful portraits of past participants in the Walker Rezaian Creative Hearts Fund Kindergarten Art Project.
Every year Children work so hard to create their portraits as they study line, color, form, and emotion to create these wonderful works of art.
Portraits will be on display until May 30: stop in and take a look!
TOAST for breakfast lunch or dinner, 5800 Nave Drive, Unit G, Novato, CA 94949
self portrait from Bahia Vista School
so many emotions on one wall!
stop in to see
Children practice story telling as they describe their family and favorite activities
TThe Walker Rezaian Creative Hearts Fund offers Kindergarteners from a title one school in Marin a wonderful opportunity to learn to use art to explore the ideas of friendship. This year we worked with every kindergartener at Bahia Vista School for 12 weeks!
We start with an easy assessment: SHOW us your family: Who are they? What do you like to do together? Where do you like to go? Students use colored pencils to draw as many details as possible. Teachers can see a student’s knowledge of:
Children work in small groups and practice sharing and respect: of each other and their materials.
Assessment: Children will soon learn about horizon lines: Look out the window, and tell me what happens where the sky meets the land?
Assessment: We will practice details soon: What color shirt is your mom wearing? Can you draw that too? Can you shoes and hands with fingers?
Creative young artists from Bahia Vista Elementary School in San Rafael, their families, teachers and friends filled Youth in Art’s gallery opening night, April 10th in celebration of the second annual “Imagining Friendship” Art Exhibit.
Some 145 people experienced the kid-friendly art world that showcased work created by students in the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Arts program at Bahia Vista Elementary.
Inspired young artists, their siblings and friends explored a castle art structure, crawled through a dinosaur tunnel, played interactive tic-tac-toe, created personalized books. These cardboard creations incorporating drawings, paintings and sculptures were inspired by the kids’ creativity and imagination.
The kindergartners shared their lively watercolor self-portraits and welcomed their families into their world of creativity and wonder.
Mentor Artist Suzanne Joyal said, “The weekly art classes leading up to tonight’s art opening are magical. I love seeing these young artists blossom and grow. Seeing smiles on the faces of these kids and their proud parents is the perfect culmination of three months of creativity, sharing and learning.”
Bahia Vista kindergarten teacher Tara Pauley said, “Wednesday’s have been my student’s favorite day of the week. They looked forward to exploring ideas about their feelings and friendships through their artwork and were always excited to see what fun and creative art projects Ms. Suzanne would bring into the classroom.”
The Rezaian family, surrounded by the young Bahia Vista artists and their creations, experienced first hand the magical results their generosity. The memory of their son Walker lives in the artistry and imagination these students created.
This celebration of the brilliance of the Bahia Vista children’s art could not happen without the generous support of Walker’s family. Their gift brings families together and symbolizes the importance of art within a community. Bahia Vista School is the second recipient of the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Fund, following last year’s Loma Verde Elementary School in San Rafael.
The Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Arts Program was created through a partnership between Youth in Arts and the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Fund, celebrating 5-year-old Walker Rezaian’s life and love for art. Youth in Arts worked with his family to create a kindergarten visual arts program focused on the theme of friendship. The Fund has provided all Bahia Vista kindergartners this year with professional instruction in the visual arts, along with workshops for parents and teachers.
Bahia Vista was selected for this program through a competitive application process. Click here for information about applying for the 2015-16 academic year.
Art inspires: Help young artists learn to share their vision and voices through the arts. Give today.
Special thanks to Peter Rodgers for capturing the photographs and joy of the evening
Visit YIA Gallery this Spring to explore a world inspired by kids’ creativity! Walk through a cardboard jungle or crawl through a dinosaur maze, all incorporating drawings, paintings and sculptures from the 2014-15 Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Arts Program at Bahia Vista school in San Rafael. Find out how these young artists explored ideas about friendship and emotion through the visual arts.
Creative HeArts Gallery Exhibit
April 10-May 29, 2015
YIA Gallery at Youth in Arts
917 C Street, San Rafael
Regular hours 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday. Open the weekend of May 2-3, noon-4 pm, for Marin Open Studios.
Free tours are available weekday for school and youth groups by appointment only. Email email@example.com or call 415-457-4878 ext. 15 to reserve.
The Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Arts Program was created through a partnership between Youth in Arts and the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Fund, celebrating 5-year-old Walker Rezaian’s life and love for art. The Fund has provided all Bahia Vista kindergartners this year with professional instruction in the visual arts, along with workshops for parents and teachers.
Come explore “Imagining Friendship”
YIA Gallery will be open the weekend of May 2-3 for Marin Open Studios, a free, self-guided art tour around the Marin County area. Come explore “Imagining Friendship” our kid-friendly art world featuring giant cardboard art sculptures, a “crawl-through” Dinosaur Tunnel and lots of paintings and drawings work from the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Arts program at Bahia Vista Elementary.
Open Studios: “Imagining Friendship”
917 C Street, San Rafael
Sat-Sun, May 2-3, noon-4 pm
The “Imagining Friendship” exhibit is also open Monday-Friday, 10 am-4 pm through May 29
“Industrial Revolution” by Ben Lyons
Marin Open Studios will also feature work form the “Rising Stars” Marin County High School Art Show at MSA Gallery at the Marin Art & Garden Center on both MOS weekends. “Rising Stars” was originally produced at YIA Gallery by Youth in Arts and winning works from the show are now moving on to the MOS exhibit.
Open Studios: “Rising Stars” Selected Entries
MSA Gallery (on the grounds of the Marin Art & Garden Center)
30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Ross
Sat-Sun, May 2-3 & May 9-10, 11 am-6 pm
Marina Middle Schoolers ready for summer!
Spring is bouncing into summer and hundreds of young artists around the North Bay are finishing class projects and creating exhibits, performances and other artful events for family and friends with Youth in Arts.
Recent posts have highlighted Spring projects by K-Dub Williams’ students at Marina Middle School and Angela Baker’s students at Harding Elementary, in addition to the amazing work created by Suzanne Joyal’s kindergarteners at Loma Verde as part of the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts program. Youth in Arts also produced a special “Passport Art Event” at Harding, and Nydia Gonzalez and Shawna Alapa’i concluding performing arts residencies at Ocean View Elementary in Albany and Sonoma Mountain Elementary.
Students of all abilities perform together at Tam High
In late May, Arts Unite Us “collaborative residency” projects at Harding and at Tam High School in Mill Valley wrapped up with terrific performances by all the students. Collaborative residencies bring together special education and general education students for shared arts experiences. At Harding, students wrote, directed and performed an original play “Lydia and the Land of Gee-Jo” around themes of Pollution, Bullying, Self Acceptance, New Beauty Standards and Taking Care of Each Other. At Tam High , the original pilot site for the collaborative residency program, students from the Special Day Class and advanced Conservatory Theatre Ensemble worked with Mentor Artists Suraya Keating and Melissa Briggs to write and perform their original play, “By my Side,” which opened the school’s popular One Acts Festival.
Hip Hop at Bahia Vista with Kaitlin
Tommy Shepherd’s students at Wade Thomas put an exclamation mark on their rap and beatboxing residency with a performance of their original rap for their peers at school, and Kaitlin McGaw’s kindergarteners at Bahia Vista will soon perform a vocal music and hip hop show for their fourth grade buddies.
At Laurel Dell in San Rafael, Djenane Saint-Juste has been teaching students Caribbean dance around the theme of Kanaval (Carnivale), using costume pieces the students created this Fall with visual artist Gabby Gamboa. The students will perform in a grand parade with family and friends at the school’s big Fiesta del Sol event this weekend. And at Mary Silveira, Mentor Artist Julia James finished a successful year with a big art show featuring work by all her K-4 students in the program.
Youth in Arts award-winning `Til Dawn a cappella ensemble performed their annual Spring Concert at San
`Til Dawn 2014 Graduating Seniors
Domenico Hall of the Arts this past weekend–a big congratulations to all the performers for a wonderful show and a special shout out to our graduating seniors. We will miss you!
Also at San Domenico, Youth in Arts workshopped a new performance of “Goodnight Gorilla” on May 23 with music by Dee Spencer performed by a terrific band of Bay Area music educators and musicians who are working with us to develop the work into an educational performance piece for youth jazz bands.
Workshopping Goodnight Gorilla at San Domenico
You can see it’s been a very busy Spring, full of fabulous art and fabulous young artists. Watch this blog for more detailed reports on many of these projects in the weeks ahead and get ready to celebrate summer with Youth in Arts! Come see `Til Dawn at Youth in Arts night with the Pacifics, visit our Everything Under the Sun YIA Gallery exhibit, sign up for a unique summer camp program, check out the Mountain Play and benefit Youth in Arts with your ticket purchase, or join us for our gala Summer Solstice celebration at Studio 333 on June 21. We’d love to see you in person and share our work with you. Happy summer!