Welcome new staff, faculty, and students!

The beginning of the school year is always an exciting time at Youth Art Exchange– this time around is especially exhilarating, as we’re growing in all directions! A couple weeks ago, we hosted an orientation for our Fall session and welcomed over 100 San Francisco public high school students, two new faculty members, one new adjunct faculty, and new YAX staff.

We also introduced a few new classes in partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District! For the fall, we’re offering a Percussion + Performance class at Leadership High School, a Graphic Arts + Apparel/Collaborative Printmaking + Fashion Design class at John O’Connell High School, and tandem Architecture + Construction classes in collaboration with John O’Connell High School’s Building, Construction & Trades Lab. We’re also excited to launch a youth-led Architecture Firm, which gives our advanced architecture students opportunities to design for, build, and work with real clients – they also earn stipends and school credit!

Join us to celebrate our growth, our students, our extended community of parents, educators, and supporters, as well as our contributions to the cultural landscape of San Francisco at these upcoming events:


Wednesday, October 28 | 6–8PM YAX young fashion designers will showcase and sell their bags and apparel at Dema, alongisde other eclectic and vintage-inspired fashions. 20% of all Dema’s sales this evening will benefit Youth Art Exchange! Dema is located at 1038 Valencia St (at 21st St) in San Francisco.

Tuesday, November 17 | 5–8PM Join Youth Art Exchange for a happy hour and parent night, featuring an evening of youth arts, libations, a faculty art auction, and music and dance performances. The event is free and all ages, a portion of the sales will benefit Youth Art Exchange’s free arts programs for San Francisco public high school students. We’re excited to partner with The Hall SF for this evening! The Hall SF is located at 1028 Market St, between 6th and 7th Street in San Francisco. Your RSVP [here] enters you into a raffle for prizes, gift certificates from local businesses, art supplies, and more!

Saturday, December 5 | 1–5PM Save the date! Youth Art Exchange presents WE ARE HERE: The 5th Annual San Francisco Youth Arts Summit, a celebration of young artists and their vibrant contributions to the creative and cultural fabric of our city. At the Summit, young artists lead and participate in workshops, interactive installations, exhibits, and performances. The Summit culminates with a performing arts competition open to all high school youth. In bringing together young artists from across the Bay Area, the Youth Arts Summit represents the next generation’s most innovative artists, architects, musicians, performers, and writers.

Youth Art Exchange is excited to grow with a new staff and faculty! Our work is bolstered by our amazing faculty and staff, and we’re thrilled to be building our capacity with new additions to the YAX family. We’ve recently added these accomplished artists and inspired thinkers to our team:Nicole Rodriguez | Outreach Coordinator: Nicole earned their Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies and a minor in Dance at the University of California San Diego. Their creative thinking stems from movement, such as dance and rugby, and ideas around healing, resistance, and empowerment. Having recently moved to the bay area, Nicole hopes to build community through the arts.

Chloe Hanna KorpiArchitecture Faculty: This is Chloe’s first time teaching the Introduction to Architecture course for Youth Art Exchange. Chloe studied urban design with a focus on public housing theory and design at New York University. After college, she joined the Peace Corps and worked as a rural health volunteer in a remote mountain village of El Salvador where her work focused on youth development, maternal health and improving community organization. Chloe’s Peace Corps experience ignited a passion for engaging timid community members through creative expression. She brought this passion into her studies at the University of Cincinnati where her Master of Architecture thesis focused on prototyping a simple how-to-guide and interactive model that walk community groups through the design process. A native of the Bay Area, Chloe recently returned home from Santa Fe, NM where she worked closely with tribal communities to provide culturally appropriate design within historic and traditional villages throughout New Mexico. Chloe currently works for Jackson Liles Architecture in San Francisco and is a member of the Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative, a group of designers that focus on a deeply participatory process of sustainable, resilient and beautiful design.

Mario Casillas | Photography Faculty: Mario is a photographer who lives in Oakland: He has extensive knowledge of all things camera related from digital to analog but his main passions are film and his dog Frida. Outside of alternative film processes like caffenol, Mario also likes to examine and emphasize the importance of photography as an accessible expressive tool, especially in the age of digital information and social media. Mario received his BA in Philosophy from San Francisco State University and continues to examine the role of photography in society through a critical philosophical lens. He has taught and lectured at Looking Glass Photo, Youth Art Exchange and Rayko Photo Center.  Selected exhibitions include Smith Andersen North, San Anselmo, CA, Black Spring Coffee in Oakland, CA, Looking Glass Photo in Berkeley, CA, and Blow Salon, Berkeley, CA.

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