Youth In Arts San Rafael logo

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

Join Us Friday for Sip & Bid!

Looking for a fun adventure this Friday? Relax at home and “raise your paddle” at Youth in Arts’s Sip & Bid.

The virtual wine auction at 6 p.m. (Pacific Time) on July 24. The one-hour live event features rare wines, exclusive tasting experiences and Northern California getaways. Attendance is free!

 We’re grateful for the generous support of several wineries, including Gundlach Bundschu, Three Sticks Wines and Bar None’s Canyon.

Bar None’s Canyon Old Vine Zinfandel grapes are grown in Nuns Canyon Vineyard, overlooking the beautiful Valley of the Moon.  

“We think it’s the best place to grow Zinfandel — bar none!” said owner Kimberly Hughes, who calls herself “a grape grower and art enthusiast.”

In Nuns Canyon Vineyard, Bar None’s Canyon grows Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes. For the Sip & Bid, Bar None’s Canyon is offering a Visit-the-Vineyard wine tasting for four during this year’s fall harvest. Guests even get a bottle of their award-winning Zinfandel to take home!

“Since we live in Marin, we thought the Youth in Arts’ Sip & Bid would be a fun way to help academic arts, locally,” Kimberly said. “Art is such a creative outlet for kids. Art brings joy and fun to learning, and helps keep kids engaged in school as they grow up. Art instruction has also been shown to improve kids’ grades and ability to learn other subjects. Likely, no child ever said they didn’t want to go to art class.”

Another winery with a rich history is Gundlach Bundschu – affectionately called GunBun by the locals.

Gundlach Bundschu is the oldest family run winery in California. Started in 1858, it covers 320 acres and produces 11 varietals of wine. The winery has donated four bottles of their Vintage Reserve, a high-end Bordeaux blend from 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015. Each year, the winery works with a different artist to create a special label.

The winery also donated two tickets to its well known Huichica Music Festival. Usually held in June, the popular event has been rescheduled this year for Oct. 16-17 (tickets are transferable should they have to postpone).

 “Gundlach Bundschu finds it extremely important to foster the arts in our community and our youth,” said Hospitality Manager Jessica Thornton.  “We have showcased music on our family vineyard for generations and have repeatedly stood witness to the powerful interplay of music, the arts and wine.  By supporting Youth in Arts, we can play a part in young and local artists to continue their passion and education.”

 The Sip & Bid will also feature a three-bottle vertical of Durell Chardonnay and private tasting from Three Sticks, a boutique winery designated one of the top 50 producers in Sonoma by Wine Spectator. The four person tasting experience can be redeemed either in person at the historic Vallejo-Casteñada Adobe just off the Sonoma square, or as a virtual tasting in the comfort of your home. Three Sticks is known for producing excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, said Public Relations Manager Maral Papakhian.

 “We are participating in Youth in Arts’ Sip & Bid because we believe in supporting our California community, particularly local nonprofits like Youth in Arts that work towards inclusion and empowerment of young artists of all backgrounds,” Maral said. “Art, like wine, spreads joy to the community and builds connection. We all need that more than ever today and especially our youth.”

Other participating businesses include Blue Farm Wines, Chateau St. Jean, Hamel Family Wines, Paul Hobbs Winery, SFMOMA, Sophie James Wine Co., Williams Selyem, Wise Sons Delicatessen and more. Ed Gold of Stellar Fundraising Auctions is the live auctioneer.

If reading about fine wine is making you dream about fine wine, you won’t want to miss Friday’s Re-Stock Your Wine Cellar raffle, which features 20 bottles of wine valued at more than $500. Tickets are $25 each or five for $100 (to purchase raffle tickets, email Development Associate Morgan Schauffler).

View more exciting auction items in the catalog here.

Thank you to our Sip & Bid sponsors, Troutman Sanders and Bank of Marin, for supporting this event, which will help us continue reaching students through distance learning. Our mission at Youth in Arts is to support creativity, confidence and compassion with innovative programs in visual art, theater, dance and music that are designed to reach all learners of all abilities.

Marty Meade Moves On

Mentor Artist Marty Meade

After more than 35 years of teaching, beloved Youth in Arts mentor artist Marty Meade is retiring.

The 81-year-old West Marin artist is looking forward to spending more time at home with her husband and doing her own art. Although she learned how to make videos for Youth in Arts when the coronavirus pandemic hit, online teaching is not for her.

“I need the connection with people,” she said.

For more than 35 years, Marty has worked with young people who have experienced trauma, from violent home situations to substance abuse. 

“Most of these kids are unlikeable, and others so depressed that you just try to get a smile,” she said affectionately. “They are angry and hurt. I love trying to soften them and get their trust.”

Marty became a certified art therapist in 1988. She worked in various programs and schools in Marin throughout the years, usually with the same group of young people. For the past several years she has worked at Compass Academy in Novato. The Marin County Office of Education program is an alternative K-12 school for young people experiencing mental health or emotional challenges.

Years ago, Marty learned that giving a typical art lesson wouldn’t work. Instead, she brought three projects to choose from to hold their attention. Typically she worked with eight students at a time. The tools varied, from marbling paper to painting, but always offered young artists a chance to experiment and explore.

While making art, discussions revealed deep truths about her students that they otherwise might not share. In turn, she shared stories from her own life, including how she and other family members faced prejudice for their Native American and Mexican ancestry.

“It’s not the stuff you hang on the walls,’’ she said. “It’s the connections with the kids.”

One thing she won’t miss is dealing with the discomfort of administrators and clinical staff when students used strong language in their art. That potency was powerful and authentic, Marty said, often containing clues about what students were experiencing in their lives.

“You have to be watching all the time,” she said. “I see all sorts of magical things come up.”

Marty will keep painting and making glass art. As covid restrictions allow, she will continue teaching watercolor at the San Geronimo Community Center through the College of Marin. She also teaches glass art to a small group at her home.

Marty will also continue her work as a member of the Board of Directors with In SPIRIT. She helped the late Aniece Taylor found the nonprofit 35 years ago to help people who are quadriplegic remain at home.


RileyStreet Art Supply Supports Youth in Arts

Mike Roche and Miko Lee

Mike Roche accepts the 2017 Pamela Levine award from former Executive Director Miko Lee



Youth in Arts is honored to have the support of many community partners, and we’re especially grateful to RileyStreet Art Supply.

Owners Mike and Sevastjana Roche are longtime arts supporters and have been working with Youth in Arts since their San Rafael store opened in 2007. Their main store is in Santa Rosa, which they bought more than 20 years ago. Mike also serves on the board of the National Art Materials Trade Association, which has an arts advocacy program.

RileyStreet gives Youth in Arts a generous discount for supplies we purchase for our school programs and donated art materials. We’re thankful to our individual donors, but sometimes there are materials we need to buy because of the number of students we serve.

Mike said he likes to support Youth in Arts because of the depth and scope of our work.

“Youth in Arts is genuinely there to support the arts in their own community, and even regionally,” he said. “It was the most complete organization I felt was out there that was supporting the arts.”

In 2017, Mike won Youth in Arts’ Pamela Levine Arts Education Leadership Award for helping families displaced by the North Bay fires. Through his suppliers and from his own donations, Mike gathered nearly $100,000 worth of art materials that was used to make kits for children in Sonoma County.

Mike generously gave half of the $1,000 Pamela Levine award back to Youth in Arts and spent the other half to thank his employees.

Those employees are part of what makes RileyStreet Art Supply so special. Nearly all of them are practicing artists or have art degrees, and their expertise is invaluable.

“I just don’t want to be a vending machine,” Mike said. “The store always wants to be involved in the community.”

What are some of the most popular sellers? Tubes of acrylic Titanium White, 2B and 4B pencils and black hardcover sketchbooks. The most unusual item he sells? Something called a popper, a toy that shoots a little ball out of its mouth. 

Mike chuckles about the toy. Sure, it’s not really an art material, but RileyStreet likes to offer unique gift items that you might not find elsewhere.

“They make people happy,” he said.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought a few challenges. Both stores closed temporarily, but then reopened to curbside pickup. They were reorganized and streamlined before opening to walk-in traffic  in June. Online business boomed during the closure.

Mike said it has been crucial to get supplies into the hands of customers. Professional artists needed supplies, and college students still needed materials to finish projects while distance learning. 

“Art education is an extremely important part of our business,” he said. “We’re really in the business of people.” 

Thanks, Mike and Sevastjana, for all you do!




Oak Hill Explores Self Portraits

Danya makes a silly face

How can you draw your friend on a Zoom call? How can you explore identity with a can opener and a spoon? Despite the challenges brought forth from necessary distance learning approaches, Oak Hill School students found ways to do just that through our Arts Unite Us program.

Youth in Arts Mentor Artist Cathy Bowman had just started her 10-week residency with educator Danya Lebell’s class when the pandemic forced the school to close abruptly. Using what students had on hand at home, Cathy changed the curriculum to focus on self portraits and identity, working with both students and paraprofessionals.  

For the first online class, we took turns making different faces and posing for each other. We quickly found out that it was a challenge to work on Zoom, as staring at the tiny green dot of the camera isn’t the same as looking into someone’s eyes. For artists experiencing disabilities, eye contact is especially crucial for interpersonal engagement. Despite these challenges, the activity was a perfect fit for students as they begin exploring job opportunities. Learning to read facial expressions is key!


Monica makes a sad face

The following week we explored drawing profiles while making different expressions. A week later we practiced blind contour drawing. We hid our paper and drawing hand in a grocery bag and drew each other without lifting our pencils or peeking inside our bags. The faces didn’t look like we expected, but we made some interesting line drawings.

For our final class, we used kitchen utensils and other objects. Students and paraprofessionals made four different portraits, each time rearranging the items in a different way. It was amazing to see how many expressions a can opener could make.

“I  wanted students to use art to explore thinking outside the box,” Cathy said. “Given the complex challenges of our world, staying flexible and confident in our choices is more important than ever.”


Blind Contour Drawing

Cathy’s blind contour drawing