From the Founders

posted on November 25, 2014 by
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YACster, early band of yacsters This is YAC circa 2001. Marcia and I look at this early photo of YACsters with such a sense of history, joy, and deep, deep gratitude. Many of you have been with us since the beginning. You may remember a few of these characters, or you may be one of them. Some of you are new to YAC. This a great time to be a YACster and part of this Collective in some way - either as volunteers, parents, alumni, partners, friends, collectors, visiting artists, staff, or board members. And so many of you are also donors. Please take a moment and go here to see the fine company you keep as investors in many young lives and in the cultural health of our community. This year we began YAC’s enormous ‘archive project’ – to transfer roughly 20,000 photos from my iPhoto plus scans of old prints to its very own hard drive, tagging them profusely. Thank you Chloe Wilson for your initial help! It is quite impressive, moving, and sometimes hilarious to revisit 15 years of YACsters, their art, and all those who have been there for us along the way. This photo is of one of our earliest bands of YACsters in front of Sue Hilliard’s truck that she so bravely let us paint for First Night. Those YACsters are adults now, making the best of their lives. Many have returned with stories of their share of successes and struggles, and with a sense of deep connection and appreciation for their time at YAC during those formative years. They also carry tremendous gratitude in their hearts for the community at large who supported YAC and them as young artists. It is a place that changed, sometimes saved, their lives. We will always be there for one another. It is a lifetime relationship. Thanks to our past and present board members and this generous community, YAC has ‘been there’ for over 600 young artists, mentoring them in art and life skills for anywhere from 2-8 years each. And we continue to grow in both program and support. In this year alone we added several new workshops to our core program, a new mentor, and have continued our successful Saturday morning workshops (TAG) for younger kids. We started a blog and newsletter, and expanded our social media reach to keep you all informed and entertained. We launched two online communities, 30days/30drawings and Discuss as an outreach and way to weave YACsters and artists from the community together. In addition to our usual shows, YACsters exhibited at Carmel Art Association, Monterey Museum of Art, and at two places at Westend Celebration. Add to this several YAC alumni (Chloe and Diandre, Angela, and Bryce) who are currently in solo shows of their own. To benefit YAC, Jim Dultz, our board president, produced a terrific evening of Ethan Russell Presents, Lilify hosted a fantastic Edible Art dinner, and Monterey Rotary produced a most remarkable Chris Botti Concert. Our own 24hr Artathon was once again a tremendous success, and LiveArt returned by popular demand, bringing enormous talent from the community to YAC Studios to make live art and music. At this moment we are participating in this year’s MCWeekly’s MCGives campaign, and the most awesome Robert and Florence Slinger Fund has just offered a $4,000 Challenge Grant for in our honor at https://www.montereycountygives.com/education-youth/youth-arts-collective/! Please join us again this year, if you haven’t already, and support our work to inspire creativity, kindness, and confidence in our youth through artistic expression and mutual respect.  YAC exists because of you and we will never be able to thank you enough. Happy Holidays!   With deep gratitude, Meg and Marcia   Do art. Be kind.

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