Youth in Arts’ Executive Director Miko Lee has won a nonprofit leadership award from the North Bay Business Journal.
Lee spoke passionately about her work at Youth in Arts, where she has served as executive director for 13 years. During that time, she helped pass the Marin Arts Education Plan Working with Youth in Arts’ Visual Arts Director Suzanne Joyal, she has created the ARTS Bank, a searchable free database to help teachers and parents find arts activities that will reach all learners.
Lee began her speech by teaching the audience how to say “imagination” in sign language and spoke proudly about the work that Youth in Arts does through providing innovative programs in visual arts, theatre, music and dance to reach all learners.
“We get young people to use their imagination to find out more ways that they can solve the incredible problems and challenges that we are facing in our world today,” Lee said.
Lee described how powerful the arts education can be in giving students the skills to share their voices. She recalled the tragic Parkland shooting in Florida and the students who credited their theater teacher with giving them the confidence to speak out. Because of their actions, she said, more than 130 laws were passed.
“Because I had theater as a child, I was able to get up and speak and show who I was in the world,” said Lee, who participated in Youth in Arts as a student. “We believe in the power of art to change lives.”
Lee has an extensive background in acting and the performing arts and serves as co-chair of the National Advisory Committee of the Teaching Artists Guild and is part of the leadership team of Asian Americans For Civil Rights and Equality. She attended the event with Youth in Arts’ Development Associate Morgan Schauffler.
Lee was one of 18 leaders honored at the event, which was held at the Hyatt Regency in Sonoma’s wine country.The event was underwritten by the Bank of Marin. The corporate sponsor was InterWest Insurance Services, LLC.
est Insurance Services, LLC.
Here are some lovely photos of our Pamela Levine Arts Education Leadership Award at the closing day of Youth in Arts Italian Street Painting Festival in June. San Rafael Mayor Al Boro declared Sunday June 13 as “Joan Capurro Day” in honor of the award. Joan Capurro graciously donated back the $1000 award to Youth in Arts. For more information on Joan’s contributions go here
Vice President & Director of Community Relations of the Bank of Marin, Joan Capurro been selected to receive the third annual Pamela Levine Arts Education Leadership Award. This award recognizes exceptional accomplishments in arts education in Marin County, in memory of the dedication and commitment of Youth in Arts’ former Executive Director Pamela Levine. The $1000 award, will be presented during a main-stage ceremony on Sunday, June 13, at Youth in Arts’ annual Italian Street Painting Festival in San Rafael.
In her capacity as Vice President of Bank of Marin, Joan Capurro was part of the original group that provided seed money for Youth in Arts to get off the ground and helped to support the beginning of the Italian Street Painting Festival. Joan has been a longtime supporter of the arts in Marin, in addition to Youth in Arts she has supported The San Anselmo Art Festival, California Film Institute, Art Works Downtown, to name a few.
Joan Capurro’s 40+ years of banking experience and community dedication, combined with her vivacious nature make her a valuable asset to the entire community. She began her career as a bookkeeper and outgoing bank teller and ultimately advanced to branch manager. Joan joined Bank of Marin as one of their first employees in 1990 as manager of the newly opened San Rafael office. Currently, she is Vice President and Director of Community Relations at Bank of Marin.
As Director of Community Relations, Joan supports the Bank’s mission to “positively impact the communities in which we operate through a combination of human and financial contributions.” Joan manages Bank of Marin’s community contributions, reviewing hundreds of requests a year, and ultimately donating to approximately 250 non-profit organizations each year.
Joan actively recruits and coordinates the volunteer efforts of close to 200 Bank of Marin employees, who collectively volunteer over 6,000 hours each year. (Joan herself volunteers hundreds of hours a year!) She also serves as a community resource to countless individuals and non-profit groups, offering advice on fundraising, volunteer recruitment, and grant sources, and provides numerous networking opportunities for her many contacts. Joan’s countless hours of volunteering with local nonprofits include not only Youth in Arts, but also the Salvation Army, Marin County School Volunteers, Center for Volunteer and Non-profit Leadership, Work Force Investment Board, and College of Marin. Joining a prestigious group of women in our community, Joan was inducted into the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame in 2010.