About Youth in Arts

Our History

Youth in Arts was founded in 1970 by local arts advocates dismayed by diminishing resources available for arts education in California schools. In the decades since, our arts programs have served over a million students in their classrooms throughout the North San Francisco Bay Area. Our students have ranged in age from preschool to College of Marin. Youth in Arts became an affiliate of VSA arts (formerly Very Special Arts) in 1981 and we remain the only consistent provider of arts for special education students in Marin. Youth in Arts founded the Italian Street Painting Festival in San Rafael in 1994 and was the sole producer of the Festival for 16 years. The Festival was suspended in 2011 for financial reasons and has since evolved into Italian Street Painting Marin, a separate organization. Since 2011, we have featured an art gallery in downtown San Rafael’s Cultural Arts District dedicated to celebrating youth artists. Click here for our board history.

Youth in Arts is an Arts Equity Champion and proud member of CreateCA, Teaching Artist Guild, and the Downtown San Rafael Arts District.

Our Mission

Youth in Arts builds visual and performing arts skills through innovative 
and in-depth programs that foster confidence, compassion and resilience in students of all abilities. We develop capacity among educators and teaching artists, advocate for equitable access to arts education and offer opportunities for youth to share their creative voices.

Meet our world-class team of instructors

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