In its Community Arts Program Youth Spirit Leaders partner with Senior Artists and local businesses and schools, and are engaged in public artmaking for community revitalization. In its first ten years YSA has completed over a dozen community improvement projects including murals, mosaic signs, and tiled street barricades. Over 400 East Bay young people have engaged in Youth Spirit’s Community Arts program to date.
Alcatraz Alley Mural Park
In 2017/18 Youth Spirit is working with leadership of youth and local artists to create the Alcatraz Alley Mural Park, over twenty S. Berkeley-Lorin neighborhood murals covering a full block of storefronts along Alcatraz Avenue between Adeline and Ellis Street, as well as the surrounding ten block area. Eight murals have been completed to date with more in the works. Youth Spirit Leaders have modeled the Mural Park on the San Francisco Mission District’s Balmy and Clarion Alleys and envision a “destination” mural district, with youth-led mural tours taking place for tourists to the area on weekends.
Support from Berkeley’s Soda Tax Grant Program has allowed for the completion in 2017 of our “Water Is Life” mural, led by Sr Artists Priya Handa and James Shields, with Sr Artist Patti Goldstein (ceramics) and YSA Leaders engaging over 300 local children in painting tiles pledging to reduce their use of sugar sweetened beverages. The 50 ft long by 2 story mural is a collaboration with Kiwi Pediatrics and is located at 1744 Alcatraz Avenue.
In 2017 YSA also completed its signature 13 ft tall by 25 ft wide painted “Frances Townes: Visions of Mother Nature” painted mural led by Sr Artist, Angel Jesus Perez, with YSA Leaders including He Yulin and Oni Vanderson, funded by the East Bay Fund for Artists and the Townes Family.
Sr Artist Wesley Wright worked with over twenty YSA Leaders and Sr Artist Patti Goldstein on completion of the “Frances Townes Visions of Mother Nature” tile wall and bench,” funded by the Townes Family and funds from the California Arts Council as part of the Bay Area Mural Festival, in 2016/17. The mosaic mural and bench at 1740 Alcatraz depict long-time local homeless activist Frances Townes, co-founder of Berkeley’s Ecumenical Chaplaincy to the Homeless, as a gender- transcendent Mother Nature.
The 50 ft by 2 story YSA “Heal Thy City” mural, also at 1740 Alcatraz Avenue, was created in 2016 by Sr Artists, Eli Lippert and Keneda Gibson, with five youth Leaders, also as part of the Bay Area Mural Festival, with support from the California Arts Council and David Trachtenberg Architects.
Angel Jesus Perez, Sr Artist, led the execution of YSA’s 30 ft. x 13 ft., “The Displacement of Beauty, the Migration of Gentrification” mural at 3300 Adeline Street, now the Braid Bar building, with Jr Artist Deven Amarah, and six youth Leaders, in 2016, with support from the California Arts Council, as part of the Bay Area Mural Festival.
In Summer 2016, Sr. Artist, Victor Mavedzenge led creation of the 40 ft. x 8 ft. “Soulful Space” mural with over fifteen YSA Leaders, and Jr Artist Malina King, at 1740 Alcatraz Avenue.
The YSA “Music on Our Minds” mural was created in 2009 by Sr. Artist, Edythe Boone with Sr. Artists David Stern Gottfried and Jose Gonzalez at 1741 Alcatraz Avenue, with 23 YSA youth leaders with support from Dan Sawislak, Allan Cadgene and other donors.
Funds from the UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Community Partnership Grant Program and the Berkeley Rotary made possible creation of Youth Spirit’s ArtLot in 2015/16, a quarter acre urban micro-open space for youth-led community events and activities, including youth art sales, behind YSA’s hub space at 1740 Alcatraz Avenue, in South Berkeley.
Youth Spirit Leaders are actively engaged in carrying out Commissions for designing and executing murals and other public art around the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2017 YSA youth artists worked with Sr Artists Eli Lippert and Pancho Pescador in completing a mural to eliminate graffiti on the Berkeley U Haul Building at Carleton St. and San Pablo Avenue.
To commission a mural email us.