Youth Art Exchange

Cause Area

  • Arts & Culture
  • Children & Youth
  • Education & Literacy


1950 Mission StreetSan Francisco, CA 94103 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

Youth Art Exchange (YAX) was founded in 2000 with the fundamental belief that youth need art. The San Francisco public high school students we serve, primarily low income youth and youth of color, often face significant barriers to accessing arts experiences. Our mission is to spark a shared creative practice between professional artists and these students, furthering youth as leaders, thinkers, and artists in San Francisco. We work to disrupt who has traditional access to the arts and creative opportunities, starting with youth and artists of color, and extending to their communities through free visual and performing arts programming.


Our youth and community programming is free to increase accessibility to the arts. High school programs in disciplines like architecture, fashion design, film photography, music production, and printmaking include after school studio classes, in-school residencies, summer ArtBUILD, stipended summer creative workforce internships, and more in the Mission and Excelsior. Our programs provide a safe space for youth and artists to build positive relationships, develop a foundation in the arts, connect to cultural traditions, and make San Francisco thrive.

Through exhibits and installations, our annual participatory (415) Public Gallery, events, and community cultural workshops, we also open creative exchanges for our youth’s neighbors, families, and friends. We serve 450 youth, 30 artists, and 7000+ audience members per year through events, exhibitions, and public projects.

Youth Art Exchange is a project of The Tides Center.


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