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our campaign

Our campaign is to raise $1.5M to open two new arts centers for YAX

Youth Art Exchange’s YAX to the Max Campaign is raising $1.5 million to establish two contemporary arts education spaces for public high school students in San Francisco and we need your help to make this project a reality! 

More than 15,,000 San Francisco high school youth, primarily youth of color and low income youth, don’t have the opportunity to regularly experience arts education. And these youth are at a critical age when they need the arts to express themselves and help them explore who they are and who they are becoming now more than ever. 

Our YAX to the Max Campaign will move Youth Art Exchange to the ground floor of two new 100% affordable Mission Neighborhood Development Corporation housing units and significantly increase our capacity to offer youth places to learn, gather, exhibit - and thrive. Not only will these new spaces better serve existing Youth Art Exchange youth, but they will also enable more youth to participate as young artists. By being on the ground floor of affordable housing units in areas that are rapidly gentrifying and changing, we will provide safe, relevant places for residents to send their children, serving them where they are and reducing significant barriers to accessing the arts. 


Located just steps from public transportation hubs, both 1950 Mission Street and the Balboa Upper Yard sites will have specialized classrooms for disciplines such as architecture, fashion design, film photography, music production, and printmaking, and places for youth to hang out and create connections. With galleries for exhibits and events, the new spaces will bring youth, their communities, and arts education supporters as well. Community spaces accessible to Youth Art Exchange will include a large common room, a catering kitchen, a courtyard for indoor-outdoor events, a rooftop garden, and more.


This project is based on 8+ years of exploration of our space needs, priority locations, collocation opportunities, and financial feasibility. Our work began with Community Vision’s assessment of needs and costs in 2014. With support from SFAC, we completed a space analysis to understand feasibility of our physical spaces and finances. Additionally, we analyzed nearly 20 years of our youth data to understand where they live, go to school, and how they travel between those spaces and YAX. 


Based on these assessments, YAX selected a satellite model of tenancy in rented sites. This model of multiple sites with long term leases will best accommodate our current and anticipated future scales.


In 2018, we developed an interim home at [x]space. This space proved essential to further root the organization in the Excelsior. However, with occupancy limited to 49, it limits the opportunity to meet community needs.


We need your support because Youth Art Exchange needs partners like you to build safe, welcoming, and creative spaces for San Francisco public high school students. Your gift will enhance YAX - to the max! Leave a lasting legacy and further Youth Art Exchange’s mission by pledging your support.

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1950 Mission


Balboa Upper Yard


Youth of color served


Qualify for free/reduced lunch


San Francisco Public High School Youth

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