Youth In Arts San Rafael logo

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

Holiday Bookfair Fun

Youth in Arts artists and staff have been at Barnes & Noble Corte Madera this week, celebrating the holiday season with storytelling and song.

This is Youth in Arts “Bookfair” week through December 8 at Barnes & Noble. Support our programs for kids with your purchases at the Corte Madera store (click here (PDF) for coupons to take to the store, or just mention “Youth in Arts” at the Corte Madera store register).


You can also order Cheesecake Factory cakes in the Corte Madera Barnes & Noble Café–as long as you order and pay now, you can pick up any time for your holiday party! Click to download cheesecake order form (PDF)

OR shop online at from ANYWHERE through December 8 and use our Bookfair ID 11187911

Yesterday, Wednesday, Miko Lee and Nydia Gonzalez read Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm’s book “Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life”  for tots and their parents in the children’s section of the store and sang songs from Youth in Arts 2012 original musical based on the book. On Saturday, Nydia was back in the shop with original cast members from the show for more singing and storytelling.

Thank you!

World’s Biggest Pop Up Book

Youth in Arts unveiled the World’s Largest Pop-Up Book at the Marin County Fair on July 7, at the Marin County Fair. The book measures 48 feet long by 6 feet high when fully opened, giving it a larger area than the current official record-holding book, created in Belgium in June 2010. Youth in Arts worked with hundreds of visitors during the run of the Fair, especially children and their families, to create the book. Entitled “Travel the World,” it celebrates the Fair’s 2013 educational theme and Youth in Arts work bringing art from around the world to North Bay students.   We will be compiling the entire video story soon. These are some highlight photos from this engaging endeavor.

Great Storytelling and Music and Support Youth in Arts

Nydia Gonzalez tells the story of the Paper Princess and the Pinata

UPDATE 11/29/2012: Our storytelling event has concluded (thanks so much to all who came!) But you can still support Youth in Arts with your Barnes & Noble purchases through Friday, November 30.

Download and print a coupon to take to the store, or tell your cashier you want to support Youth in Arts. And don’t forget you can shop online and enter the “Book Fair ID” 10921872 at check out!

Youth in Arts will be holding a special Storytime with Music at Barnes & Noble Corte Madera on Wednesday, November 28 at 11am. The free storytime will include interactive storytelling and songs from past Youth in Arts musicals including Paper Princess & the Pinata and Photosynthesis In Living Sunlight and will be led by Nydia Gonzalez and Miko Lee from Youth in Arts. The storytime is appropriate for children up to age 6.

Support Youth in Arts by shopping at Barnes & Noble in Corte Madera, CA. In an effort to raise funds for arts education and opportunities for children in the Bay Area, Youth in Arts is working together with Barnes & Noble Booksellers by hosting a Bookfair at the Barnes & Noble Corte Madera store.

From Monday, November 26 to Friday, November 30, Barnes & Noble will donate a percentage of every sale made with a special Bookfair voucher to Youth in Arts! Vouchers are downloadable here and in hard copy at the Youth in Arts Gallery.  If you can’t make it to the store from November 26-30 you can also shop online and enter the following Bookfair ID at checkout: 10921872

Please help support Youth in Arts by shopping at Barnes & Noble, 313 Corte Madera Town Center, Corte Madera, CA 94925, November 26-30, with a Bookfair voucher. Please download here:

YIA Bookfair 11.2012 – 6 Vouchers

Hats Off to Young Artists!

Students work on their cap designs

designing a favorite symbol

Youth in Arts and Arts Education International are teaming up for an innovative new take on pen-palling.  The 27 eighth-graders at Willow Creek Academy in Sausalito are participating in a “hat exchange” with 27 students of Arts Education International in Sierra Leone, West Africa. With the help of artist Keith “K-Dub” Williams, the students are designing and painting their own trucker hats to send to Sierra Leone, in exchange for a hat designed and painted by their pen-pal abroad.  The hats are accompanied by digital story-telling projects that feature the voice and picture of each student displaying their design and describing what it means to them.

“The purpose of the exchange is to connect the kids YIA serves in Marin County with the children we serve in Africa through the arts,” says Sarah Geller, Executive Director of Arts Education International.  “We hope that this project will help the kids on both sides to articulate their own identity in a way that is fun and creative, and to consider that identity in a larger context of global awareness.”
“We want youth to have a broader sense of the world around them and what better way to do that then through an art exchange.” says Miko Lee, Executive Director of Youth in Arts.  “We view this as just the beginning of a strong partnership with Arts Education International.”

Frankie, a 13-year-old from San Rafael wrote “Latino” on the brim of his hat.  Frankie suggested that, perhaps, a student in Africa might not know what it means to be Latino in America.  “Latino means that I speak Spanish,” he explains to his pen-pal in his voice recording, “I’m Hispanic, and I’m from Guatemala.”

Jennifer wants her pen-pal to know about her life as a 14-year old from Marin City.  “Living in America is not easy,” she explains in her spoken letter, “You have to earn your way through life.  If you want something, or have to buy something, you have to earn your way to get it.”  Painting stars on her hat she explains, “I designed it this way because no matter where you are or if people can see you, you’re always shining.”

The eighth-graders at Willow Creek will receive the hats and stories from the children in Sierra Leone in January 2012.  For now, it seems that the experience is already a powerful one for the students involved.  As Adreaizana, age 12, records her letter to her pen-pal in Sierra Leone, she squints and focuses hard while looking out into the bay, as if imagining the distance her words and work will travel. “No matter where we are or how far apart, no matter how rich or poor,” she says, “we are all equal.”

Hats drying in the afternoon sun

Creating Peace

KDub leads students in designing trucker caps

Do you doodle, tap your fingers, hum a tune? How do you learn?

Representing the Judge!

This past weekend Youth in Arts Executive Director Miko Lee joined Sabrina Klein ED of Teaching Artist Organized and Lilia Aguero from Young Audiences Northern CA to lead a workshop for artists on “Teaching to the Ways People Learn: Multiple Intelligences as a Strategy for Arts Integration in Culturally Diverse Classrooms.”

Sixteen artists joined for a day of exploration, creativity and fun.  Artist went to 9 different origami stations to experiment with different learning styles based upon Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory.

Want to try and fold an origami whale by listening to a song created by Nydia Gonzalez.  Try out your musical paper folding skills with the OrigamiSong.

Check out the photo gallery for more activities including an adaptation of the Lakota Medicine Wheel.

Look like fun?  More Teaching Artist Organized workshops coming up soon!

The Warrior!

Where's the Deer?

Warm Up

Photosynthesis For Elementary Students

Celebrate at Northgate!

Join us in celebrating “back-to-school” season with a taste of our visual and performing arts offerings!  See, hear, feel and explore the dance, music, theater and visual arts activities that Youth in Arts can provide for your school.  August 27th and 28th from 12-2pm at the Northgate Mall.

Assembly program feature performances include Native American Hoop Dancing by Eddie Madril, Mexican Ballet Folklorico Netzahualcoyotl, Andean Music with Chaskinakuy, Mask Theater and Commedia dell’arte with Eliot Fintushel, Hawaiian dance with Halau Na Pua O Ka La’akea and Youth in Arts’ award-winning teen a cappella group ‘Til Dawn.

Visual Arts Workshops with Youth in Arts Mentor Artists Suzanne Joyal and Brooke Toczylowski. Everyone is invited to Northgate! Families, teachers, parents and students will discover how these amazing performing and visual artists can come to their schools. Our staff will be on hand to answer questions and explain how you can book events for the new school year.

Many thanks to our event partner, Northgate Mall!

Celebrate at Northgate!
FREE arts performances & workshops
12 noon – 2pm, both days • 415.457.4878

Paper Princess Premiere

Paper Princess Cast With Elisa Kleven

Cast members from the show with Elisa Kleven

Youth in Arts’ The Paper Princess and the Piñata premiered to enthusiastic school audiences Friday at the Marin Center Showcase Theatre in San Rafael.

Nearly 700 students, teachers and parents attended the sold out matinee performances of the new musical theatre production, which is based on the book series by Bay Area author/illustrator Elisa Kleven. YIA Director Miko Lee adapted the books for the stage and directed the production.

Original bilingual songs composed by Youth in Arts Mentor Artist Miguel Martinez had the children clapping and singing along in both Spanish and English. The story followed the Paper Princess through a series of gentle adventures, with Elisa’s artwork featured in onstage projections. Beautiful props and scenery also appeared onstage, recreated from Elisa’s illustrations by Miko and YIA Artists in Schools director Suzanne Joyal.

The performance featured Nydia Algazzali Gonzalez as narrator and lead vocalist, with Jalena Keane Lee starring as the Paper Princess. Youth in Arts Mentor Artist Zenon Barron performed several featured dances, including a traditional “bird dance” and a Ballet Folklorico-inspired turn as an animated marionette puppet. Ollin Martinez and Ayame Keane Lee appeared as children who help to create the Princess out of shapes, colors and imagination.

Two additional performances of the piece will be presented to the public Saturday, February 5 at 2 and 4 p.m.

Tickets are available an hour before each show at the Showcase Theatre.

The Paper Princess and the Piñata has been made possible in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the San Francisco Foundation and Autodesk.

« Newer Entries