Youth In Arts San Rafael logo

917 "C" Street
San Rafael, California 94901
(415) 457-4878

Mission, Vision & History

Youth in Arts Italian Street Painting Festival, 2007. Photo by Susan Fan-Brown.

Photo by Susan Fan-Brown

Mission & Vision

Youth in Arts’ mission is to provide students with high quality experiences and instruction in the visual and performing arts, and to enrich the community with cultural events.

Through artist residencies, professional performances, school and community events, and intensive out-of-school programs for teens, we help young people develop skills and confidence to share their unique creative voices. We maintain a roster of Mentor Artists that is both artistically and culturally diverse, enabling us to share a wide range of world cultures with students through the arts. We are dedicated to the principle of “reaching all learners,” tailoring programs as needed for students of all abilities. Art is ultimately a form of communication, and we help our students share their artistic voices through culminating events (exhibits and performances) at school, as well as in our own YIA Gallery, the only art gallery in the North Bay dedicated to showcasing student work.

Youth in Arts directly serves over 20,000 preK-12 students annually and provides additional arts opportunities for families via YIA Gallery exhibits, `Til Dawn performances and community events.


Youth in Arts was founded in 1970 by local arts advocates dismayed by diminishing resources available for arts education in California schools. In the decades since, our arts residency programs have served over 980,000 students in their classrooms throughout the North San Francisco Bay Area. We have reached hundreds of thousands more through our performance series and school assembly programs. Youth in Arts became an affiliate of VSA arts (formerly Very Special Arts) in 1981 and we remain the only consistent provider of arts for special education students in Marin. Youth in Arts founded the Italian Street Painting Festival in San Rafael in 1994 and was the sole producer of the Festival for 16 years. The Festival was suspended in 2011 for financial reasons and has since evolved into Italian Street Painting Marin, a separate organization.

More Information

Youth in Arts 501(c)3 tax id is: 94-2178597
Youth in Arts on Guidestar