Our mission is to inspire creativity, kindness, and confidence in our youth through artistic expression and mutual respect. “Do art. Be kind.” is our motto.
Imagine you are a teenager in Monterey County interested in the arts. You take a high school art class, but you want more. You want to join a community of other young people who share your passion for art. You want a place that feels safe yet pushes you to new possibilities of self-exploration. You crave relationships built around mutual respect, creativity, and compassion. You need adults who care about and support you for exactly who you are. YAC provides all of these things.
An after-school art studio for youth artists ages 14-22, YAC is an artist collective built to support and engage Monterey County's young artists. YAC meets each young artist exactly where they are, valuing their unique journey. Professional artists working in the studio mentor each YACster in technical and life skills, fostering confidence, gratitude, and respect.
I have learned how to come into my own during my time at YAC. I was fourteen when I joined YAC and I am now 18 and feel like I’ve grown into a whole, healthy, and happy person. I have made some of my closest friends at YAC. There were times that I would stumble into YAC- on a day that I really should have stayed home- and they would look after me like family. Another thing about YAC is their acceptance of others. I have gone to YAC after some of my worst days, cried on everyone’s shoulders, and felt loved and cared for. YAC has opened a world of opportunity for young artists; I would never have been able to afford a kiln, clay, all of those paints, lovely canvases and more- yet they had all of those things, and offered them to me with care.
- Sam Boothe