Youth In Arts San Rafael logo

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

FREE Sing-Along and Story Hour at Barnes & Noble

Youth in Arts "The Paper Princess and the Piñata"

Join Youth in Arts at Barnes & Noble, Corte Madera Town Center, on Saturday, March 23 & Wednesday, March 27, at 11AM for a FREE story & music hour for young children!

Hear stories from Elisa Kleven’s Paper Princess series and Hooray, a Piñata! and Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm’s Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth To Life. Sing-along to songs in Spanish and English from Youth in Arts’ shows inspired by these wonderful children’s books! Perfect for children ages 3-6 and their families.

Plus, from March 22-31, a portion of all your purchases at Barnes & Noble Corte Madera will benefit children’s art programs through Youth in Arts.

Click here to download and print our Bookfair Voucher–give it to the cashier to make sure your Barnes & Noble purchase supports art for kids!

You can also shop online and use our Bookfair ID 11060756 at checkout.

Youth in Arts "Photosynthesis--Living Sunlight"


Samba Reggae at Terra Linda High

Stephanie dancing with Brian and Neil.

If you happen to be walking down the halls of Terra Linda High School on a Thursday morning, you may hear loud squeals of excitement, the beat of a cajón and a melodic song of “Eu Sou Samba Reggae!”.  These are the sounds emitting from Rachel Hughes’ MCOE Special Day Class at Terra Linda High School, where YIA Mentor Artists Stephanie Bastos and I, Nydia Gonzalez are teaching a Latin Dance class.

Graham moving to the beat!

Graham moving to the beat!

Students have been working on gross motor skills and collaboration through moving in unison, learning choreography, improvising, leading and many other exercises.  During a typical class students go through a series of warm-up activities including the Brain Dance (Anne Green Gilbert, 2000); each individual creates a name pose for themselves; we review learned steps and choreography; learn new material; and then improvise in a Samba Reggae carnival type procession!

Demelza, Maria, Dustin and Graham dancing Samba Reggae.

The focus of our dancing has been on Brazilian Folk dances including Samba and Samba Reggae, and students are very eager to show off their knowledge of the geography, language and dances of Brazil!  YIA Mentor Artist Stephanie Bastos has extensive dance training,

Stephanie Bastos doing a flip

YIA Mentor Artist Stephanie Bastos

studying with Masters of Brazilian Dance and Folklore in The Bay Area and in Brazil, and holds her BFA in Dance from University of Florida. She teaches youth a variety of dance forms including Afro-Brazilian, Hip-Hop and Contemporary dance.

Stephanie speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese, and despite having lost a limb in a car accident, she has performed with highly recognized dance companies in Florida and the Bay Area, inspiring people of all abilities.

Angel dancing and Nydia playing Cajón.

I have trained in various forms of  Dance and Music, and have been providing live percussive music (cajón) during sessions.  I am so excited and feel privileged to continue to work with this fun, energetic and loving class; a continuation of teaching them Latin Dance in 2011, co-teaching with William Rossell to teach Middle Eastern Music and Dance in 2012, and now co-teaching with Stephanie in 2013.

“I particularly love watching my students creativity flow and develop. When the music comes on, I see a whole different side to my students. They are able to break out of their shells and just dance! Stephanie and Nydia bring a positive and energetic energy into the classroom. Learning a new dance and language expands my students knowledge of themselves and the world!”

MCOE Special Day Class Teacher, Rachel Hughes

This year, our neighboring classroom will not only bounce to the beats that they hear through the walls, but, they are joining our Arts Unite Us program, which means that after a few more weeks of working in the Special Day Class, we will be inviting the whole class of mainstream peers from Peggy Koorhan’s Spanish class next door to join us.  We are all very excited to learn together!  Stay tuned for an update in a few months!

YIA Program Director, and Mentor Artist, Nydia Algazzali Gonzalez

Gideon Bendile and Kalahari Experience

Gideon Bendile and Kalahari Experience at Dixie School

Students at Dixie Elementary School “traveled” to South Africa last Friday with Gideon Bendile & the Kalahari Experience in a live performance brought to the school via Youth in Arts Assemblies program.

The show included traditional and contemporary songs in a range of South African languages, including Xhosa, the Bantu or “bushman” language known for its “clicking” syllable sounds. Children also enjoyed call-and-response with traditional South African drumming and a demonstration of “gumboot dance,” which began in the mines of South Africa as a means of communication and has evolved into a popular dance form.

Gumboot Dance at Dixie Video Clip


Concluding with a moving performance of South Africa’s national anthem, the show was a great way to celebrate themes of freedom and unity as the children left for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend.

Led by Gideon Bendile, Kalahari Experience is comprised of members of Zulu Spear, the pioneering world music group co-founded by Bendile. Famous for helping to spur the anti-apartheid “divestment” effort in the U.S., Zulu Spear has toured extensively, recorded an album on Capitol Records, and performed for Nelson Mandela in person alongside The Grateful Dead, John Lee Hooker, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Bonnie Raitt, Sarafina and Joan Baez, and is well known for their featured song in Disney’s animated feature “The Lion King”. The group won a “Bammy” (Bay Area Music Award) for Best Blues/Ethnic Band in 1987.

Read Paul Liberatore’s article on Zulu Spear (Marin IJ, April 2012)

For information on bringing Gideon and Kalahari Experience to your school, contact Nydia at or visit the Assemblies page on our website.

Or find more ideas on how your students can “Travel the World” with Youth in Arts!