Read about Ritmolandia in El Tecolote!

Ritmolandia—the free traditional Afro-Latino percussion preservation workshop series geared toward the Mission community and hosted by some of the top Bay Area musicians and dancers—will beat once again.

The sessions, which start again on March 3 at In Chan Kaajal Park at 17th and Folsom streets, are open to the public with the hope of engaging the Mission community and celebrating its Latino heritage and connection to the African diaspora by providing access to teachers of traditional percussion styles.  The sessions are also designed to aid the underserved within the Mission community in the fight against gentrification, by providing access to creative musical outlets, especially for local youth.

Organizer Alfie Macias—a professional percussionist  and San Francisco resident of nearly 30 years—engineered a partnership with Youth Art Exchange funding and San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department to host the workshops.

“The goal is to help artists do what they do, to give these masters the opportunity to keep their drums alive, while also empowering the community with their own cultural heritage during this ‘Great Displacement,’” Macias said, referring to the aggressive wave of gentrification that has hit the traditionally working-class Mission neighborhood especially hard, displacing many Latino residents.

Read more on El Tecolote!


This Saturday, March 3, Ritmolandia returns to In Chan Kaajal Park for the first workshop of the spring season. Join Alfie Macias and Raffaella Falchi for a dance and percussion workshop of Brazilian Samba Reggae!

In Chan Kaajal Park • 17th and Folsom St

Clases GRATUITAS y abiertas a todos • ¡Traigan a toda su familia!
FREE and open to all • family picnics encouraged!

With support from the California Arts Council, Youth Art Exchange has partnered with musician Alfie Macias to provide free percussion and dance classes to the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, activating park space in the heart of the Mission, and inviting community members to fight gentrification through learning the historic, cultural arts of the neighborhood.

Ritmolandia takes place on the first and third Saturdays each month. Learn more at

YAX’s newest parklet featured on Contemporist

San Francisco’s newest parklet – designed by Youth Art Exchange’s young architects – is featured on!

In 2017, led by faculty architect Kali Gordon and John O’Connell High School Construction Instructor Chris Wood, our architecture firm students developed an innovative parklet design utilizing reclaimed cedar and conduit pipes for an open and green design.

This project was supported by SF Planning, Umpqua Bank, California Arts Council, and Grants for the Arts SF Neighborhood Arts Collaborative.

Check it out here!

Welcome Spring 2018 students!

Last week we welcomed new and returning students at the orientation for our Spring 2018 Session. This session, we enrolled over 120 students across 8 classes! We’re ecstatic to see what these young artists will create over the next five months.

There’s still space in our Design + Build and Printmaking programs. For more info go to

Check out some photos from orientation day:

Applications for Spring are due! Have you enrolled?

Applications for YAX’s Spring session are due in one week! Although several of our classes are full, we still have space in the following:

  • MUSIC PRODUCTION: work with professional software and equipment to record, make your own beats, sample music, score films, and perform DJ sets.
  • DANCE TEAM: choreograph original dances to your favorite songs, learn different styles, and perform with professional dancers.
  • DESIGN + BUILD: learn how to design and construct projects in San Francisco. You will come up with concepts individually and as a class, have experts review your designs, and build prototypes. Design + Build is the foundation class for our Architecture program.
  • PRINTMAKING: create your own graphics to print on t-shirts, material, and paper. Replicate your ideas, designs, and drawings in a professional printshop.

The Spring session starts with an orientation on January 31 – classes begin February 5.

Enroll online here or pick up/drop off a paper application at our office: 29 Howth St. (between Ocean and Geneva St., near Balboa Park BART).