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

Capoeira Capoeira Capoeira!

Capoeira Mentor Artist Daniel Mattar and his International Capoeira Angola Foundation (ICAF) troupe have been very busy putting on assemblies for us!

MCDS Kids Try CapoeiraTheir first back-to-back performances were last week at Marin Country Day School in Corte Madera.  Daniel brought five Capoeira artists to perform with him.  They played music on their Berimbaus (similar to guitars, made of a gourd and one string) and Pandeiros (tambourines) while demonstrating the beautiful art of Capoeira Angola for two large groups of K-4th grade students.  After their demonstration, they brought several kids up on stage to practice Capoeira while doing call and response songs with the audience in Portuguese.  They were lively and fun performances.

MCDS Kids Try Capoeira 2



Educator Alina said, “The performers were wonderful!  I loved how they went into the audience as kids were coming in to show them the instruments etc. – nice touch.  I received positive feedback from teachers too!”

Capoeira 1

Yesterday, they put on two more assemblies at Dance Palace in Point Reyes for a huge group of students from several elementary schools in West Marin.  Daniel brought six Capoeira artists from ICAF and the reviews were outstanding!

Capoeira 2




Dance Palace Executive Director Margarita raved, “Daniel and his ICAF troupe were absolutely wonderful! The music was great and the kids just LOVED them! Everyone was singing and dancing. They even got a reluctant teacher up and dancing. What a great recommendation from Youth in Arts!”

Book your assembly today!  Visit our website at to see all the available options, or call Morgan Schauffler to book (415) 457-4878 x160

Meet YIA’s new board member, Maura!

Youth in Arts is thrilled to introduce our newest board member, Maura Tokarski. Maura brings innumerable skills to Youth in Arts, from her background in industrial design, to her experience teaching students in Oakland, San Francisco and Los Angeles, to her extensive volunteer work with the Special Olympics, AMFAR and The American Cancer Society.

Maura Tokarski

Maura has long been promoting better arts education not only for her own children in Marin County, but throughout California. She has actively sought out legislators and district leaders to enact real change. “We have had a privately funded arts program in my community since 1982,” Maura notes, “but little has changed in the state and District’s commitment to ensure consistent quality…I’m convinced that parental involvement is an essential component in keeping [arts programs] strong.”

Working with the Getty Museum and Los Angeles Unified School District, Maura has developed lesson plans integrating academics with art. By digitizing the entire permanent collection, the Getty made it possible for all students to experience the artwork, and Maura designed programs that incorporated art into math and science classes.

Creativity is a way of life for Maura. “I need creativity like a fish needs water,” she explains. “I’d like to think I express my creativity in everything I do, from raising my children, teaching, baking, painting, drawing and dance.” Halloween is a particularly creative time for her. Maura’s family chooses a theme every year, usually related to a play they saw or a vacation they took, and she hand-makes all of their elaborate costumes! This year, they took at surf trip to Mexico, so the theme was Dia de los Muertos. [Check out the photo of her incredible creation!]Maura Dia de los Muertos

“The idea that all children, not just artistically gifted ones, can develop and increase attention and memory skills with exposure to the arts is what motivates me to advocate for arts education in our public schools and work with a beneficial force like Youth in Arts in my community,” says Maura.

We’re very thankful to have her on board!