Out of Site Youth Arts Center is now Youth Art Exchange
Youth Art Exchange, formerly Out of Site Youth Arts Center, was founded in 2000 by architect Beth Rubenstein and visual artist Jennifer Stuart. As practicing artists and educators, these founders recognized the power of arts education to open doors for young people. The organization began with a shared vision to provide in-depth high quality arts education to public high school students in San Francisco by connecting them to professional artists and educators.
From an inaugural class of twenty students, to now serving over 300 youth and over 2000 audience members a year through free out of school arts programming, paid internships, and public events, we have seen incredible growth in our organization. With this growth, we have reflected on how to expand and strengthen programming while staying true to the values that have been at our foundation. This reflection has been particularly important in the last two years as we prepared for a period of marked transformation.
In 2012, our team embarked on a strategic planning processes and complimentary fund development plan to lay the groundwork for the road ahead. This plan came at a critical time as director and founder, Beth Rubenstein, prepared to transition leadership to a new executive director, Reed Davaz McGowan. Through this transition and guided by this plan, we have taken the past year to focus on strengthening our organizational structure and reinforcing our exemplary programming by increasing our visibility.
From designing and constructing San Francisco’s first youth-led parklet build, to founding and organizing the city’s annual Youth Arts Summit, to our numerous partnerships across the city strengthening the community of professional artists and young artists, we are already doing remarkable work. We plan to continue and to expand this work, but as we do so, we want to make sure our story is told, and told in the best way possible.
To this end, our team of youth leaders, faculty, staff and board members, with the invaluable support from Beyond Branding, spent the last year developing a new name and look for our organization. A very special thanks must go to our board member and accomplished designer, Raquel Johnson of Coupage Design, who working closely with our Executive Director, Reed Davaz McGowan, Bruce Burke at Beyond Branding, and our branding committee has graciously pushed us through the ups and downs of this extensive process.
Over many late meetings of brainstorming, persuading and voting, littered with sharpies, post-its and pizza, we have found a name of which we can all be proud. A name that captures the heart of what we do, that points to the power of the process of creating, that embraces the infinite possibilities and limitless potential when we create places where we can connect, share ideas, and generate energy from one another. We hope to see you here soon, at Youth Art Exchange.
NEED TO GET IN TOUCH WITH US?
Don’t worry, we’re still here! Our @outofsite-sf.org emails are still being forwarded, but please update your contact information with our new emails! First Name @youthartexchange.org, for example: firstname.lastname@example.org.