Visions of Equality

YSA’s Visions of Equality Mural Project will take place in the parking lot controlled by our organization at 1740 Alcatraz Ave. in Summer/Fall 2015. The mural will be designed by artist Victor Mavedzenge, along with the input of over 50 neighborhood residents and youth starting July 6, executed in August and September, and graffiti protection coated and professionally mounted in October. A mural unveiling is scheduled for as early as Saturday, November 7, 2015.

The theme for the mural, “Visions of Equality” was developed by Mavedzenge and the YSA community through the engagement of youth and neighborhood residents involved in YSA’s monthly poetry workshops/performances and in our studio art- making which has focused over the last year on freedom and imprisonment, Black Lives Matter, and issues related to gentrification and “black flight” in the face of huge Bay Area cost of living increases. South Berkeley has long been a predominantly African American neighborhood, yet that population has decreased in this neighborhood over the last five years to 25 percent.

As we enter into the “design/build” phase of the ArtLot in fall/spring 2015/16 it is our hope to develop the ArtLot to contain well over 150 seating spaces for an outdoor performance space and a stage, as well as enterprise links between the new nearby Farmers Market, the developing Tuesday Monthly Arts Walk, & the Berkeley Flea Market.

A total of sixty-four vintage local doors will be mounted along the four-sided parking lot fence being converted to this South Berkeley alternative open space ArtLot. The mural is intended to cover the 75 ft long east wall of the ArtLot.

YSA Collaborates with Urban Adamah

Youth Spirit Artworks S. Berkeley Art and Gardening Lot Project engages youth leaders in a collaborative community design, creating open space in South Berkeley’s densely-populated Lorin District. They will be converting a large, underused parking lot into a relaxing space for gardening & art enterprises benefiting youth and neighborhood residents. This project is linked to creation of a parklet on Alcatraz Avenue and Ellis Street.

The Art and Gardening Lot Project is linked to the YSA mission “to use art jobs and job training as a vehicle to empower and transform the lives of youth, giving youth the skills, experience and self-confidence they need to meet their full potential.” YSA young Leaders initiated the project by making use of the parking lot we inherited when we moved into our new, larger space on Alcatraz Ave. in South Berkeley. Youth want to use the space to better their community using art and gardening. The parking lot is intended as a neighborhood art making and community building space, as well as a space that groups can rent to hold events generating an income for YSA. Here our youth will sell their art on Saturdays and Tuesdays. The youth’s goal is to link the art space and gardening lot to the weekly South Berkeley Tuesday Farmers Market as an Annex. Youth are also excited to link the parking lot to a First Tuesday Arts Walk for South Berkeley’s Lorin neighborhood, a project being developed by the Lorin Merchants Association.

The collaboration with Urban Adamah will support critically needed youth stipends so that homeless and low-income young people can be paid to participate in Urban Adamah’s Spring Training toward later being engaged at YSA supporting our garden and creation of our Art and Gardening Lot.

Malcolm X Mosaic Signs Unveiling

Join Youth Spirit Artworks young Leaders at Ashby & Ellis St. on Sat. Nov. 15th 2:30pm to 4pm as we unveil our glorious new MX Mosaic Signs! This project was cosponsored by S. Berkeley Neighbors, MX PTA & School, S. Berkeley Sr. Center, Lifelong Medical Center & Adeline Street Merchants Association!
Rain or drizzle location: Youth Spirit Artworks, 1740 Alcatraz Ave, Berkeley, 94703.
For more info, please text: 282-0396.

Sat. June 29th 1pm to 3pm Youth Spirit Art Cart Unveiling

O906500_10151398320878297_774393888_on Sat. June 29th 1pm to 3pm at Fourth Street Plaza, 4th & Delaware, Berkeley join Youth Spirit young artists for the unveiling of our new Art Cart, the adult trike youth will be riding to sell their art in retail areas around the Bay Area. Unveiling speakers include: Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, Council Member Max Anderson and Council Member Linda Maio! Enjoy youth poetry, food and drinks, art making, and art for sale. For info. call: 510-282-0396.

Whole Foods Berkeley Celebrates YSA with “Nickels for Non-Profits” Spring 2013

Nickels for Non-Profits

Nickels for Nonprofits at Whole Foods Market Berkeley will benefit Youth Spirit Artworks, this quarter April 15 through July 1st! We are thrilled!!!

Bring recyclable bags when you shop at Whole Foods Market Berkeley, and you’ll earn 5 cents per bag that can be donated to support Youth Spirit’s art jobs training program–and the expansion of our art sales through our new art sales venture, the Art Cart. Nickels for Nonprofits is a wonderful program sponsored by Whole Foods that benefits both the environment and the local community. Two charities are selected to receive the proceeds of nickels donated over a two and a half month period.

Youth Spirit young artists are looking forward to carrying out a variety of different activities during the quarter we are designated for Nickels for Non-Profits, including creating clay tiles for Safe and Sound, our 2013/14 Malcolm X School & Park Mosaic Signs Project! So look for our young artists at Whole Foods leading art making activities on some Saturdays this quarter!!

Youth Spirit Artworks Organizes Clergy Opposition to Measure S

As one of Berkeley’s two key agencies serving homeless youth, and in our role as an interfaith organization, Youth Spirit has been deeply engaged in the battle to oppose Measure S, the reactionary ballot measure being considered by voters in November, which would make it illegal to sit on commercial area sidewalks. Measure S would greatly impact homeless youth, who have no place to go during the day in Berkeley until Youth Spirit opens at 3:30pm. Fifty two local clergy & religious leaders have thus far signed on to the letter YSA initiated to make voices of the religious community heard on this issue. On October 16th Youth Spirit young artists and local clergy held a rally at Berkeley City Hall unveiling the letter and the list of signers. A procession of giant puppets of saints and prophets delivered the letter to youth artists and others gathered at City Hall where the letter was read. Following this YSA young leaders processed with the giant puppets into Berkeley City Council chambers to make their voices heard asking for $50,000 to be able to open our program during daytime hours so that youth would have a place to go indoors–rather than face rain, ticketing, and arrests. Stay tuned for more on our campaign to gain funds to be open all day to serve homeless youth in downtown Berkeley through ART JOBS and jobs training!