Nearly 50 arts lovers stopped by the Youth in Arts’ gallery recently to celebrate our current show and meet new Executive Director Kristen Jacobson.
Imagine Our World: In My Neighborhood runs until Dec. 6. The show features second grade art from Laurel Dell and Short elementary schools, including two large collages in which students envisioned their ideal neighborhood. Students connected to the idea that working together builds a stronger community. The show includes work made by young artists in response to the recent power outages and fires.
The show also features collaborative artwork from Youth in Arts’ booth at the West End Village Celebration on November 4. Over 100 artists of all ages contributed to two large-scale murals, and a community collage. Participants were encouraged to express their feelings about the Power Safety Shutoff through art making.
Jacobson thanked everyone for their support and said she was looking forward to getting down to work.
“I’m so moved and inspired by the work of the incredible artists and the legacy that is here in Marin,” Jacobson said. “I’m excited to focus on access to arts education, and equity for all” she said.
With the continued support of the California Arts Council, Laurel Dell’s PTA, UC Berkeley’s Y-Plan and RileyStreet Art Supply, Youth in Arts has designed a sequential arts program for students to build their skills over time. Every student receives 12 weeks of visual arts in the Fall and 12 weeks of dance in the Spring.
Youth in Arts has provided Mentor Artists to Laurel Dell Elementary School for almost 20 years. For the past four, however, Laurel Dell has been home to our demonstration project: a sequential, scaffolded arts program focused on the core competencies of Youth in Arts: Creativity, Compassion, and Confidence through arts learning. The program was designed by our Director of Visual Arts Suzanne Joyal. During their 12 weeks of visual arts in the Fall and 12 weeks of dance in the Spring, students learn to express themselves verbally, visually and physically in multiple art forms.
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.
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More than 70 teachers, students, parents, and community members came out to celebrate the opening of the INSPIRE teaching artists exhibition at the YIA gallery on Friday, December 14th. The event, held as part of Downtown San Rafael’s Second Fridays Art Walk, celebrated artwork from 25 teaching artists throughout Marin County. The reception offered a rare opportunity for the featured artists to catch-up and share tricks of the trade. Their lively conversation, and vibrant artwork certainly brightened up the rainy evening. Thank you teaching artists for all you do!
Youth in Arts is delighted to have Morgan Schauffler as our new Program Manager. Morgan, who grew up in Marin, has a family tradition of love for the arts. Her grandmother studied art history, and she grew up appreciating and making art at school and at home.
“I actually wrote and illustrated my own book in second grade,” Morgan recalls. She remembers her grandmother being so proud of her work that she sent laminated copies to all her friends.
Morgan carried her interest through her school years and went on to receive degrees in Art History and Human Communications at University of Denver, working in fine arts galleries while in school and after graduation. She spent a decade at the prestigious Paul Thiebaud Gallery in San Francisco, representing artists and working with collectors. When her son was born two years ago, she decided to take her arts interests in a new direction.
“I could see our local schools weren’t offering the arts classes I had as a child,” she explains. “I wanted to change that, to make a difference.”
Searching for how to make that difference brought Morgan to Youth in Arts, where she will now be putting her marketing and project management skills to work helping schools identify their arts needs and fill gaps in programming. With her extensive gallery experience, she will also support YIA Gallery at Youth in Arts, one of just a few in the U.S. dedicated to youth work. “I would love for more children and teen’s work to be seen and valued in the community,” she says.
In her free time, in addition to raising a bustling toddler, Morgan loves to visit museums, and she has her own collection of photographs acquired from her travels and paintings by artists she has represented. Although she does not consider herself an artist, she credits her arts experiences with building her creative and critical thinking skills. She believes all children need and deserve the arts in their lives.
“I want my son, and his peers–and all kids in Marin and the Bay Area–to have the opportunities I had,” says Morgan. “So working at a nonprofit dedicated to doing just that is a great fit for me.”
Come say hello to Morgan MWF 11-4 at Youth in Arts or contact her at 415-457-4878 ext. 160 or email@example.com.