Advance Marketing Design

Design With A Human Touch




The vision

What started as founder/artist Donna Berg’s dream in 1998 – to introduce the joy of art to local youth – is a flourishing reality in 2023 at Paso Robles Youth Arts Center.

Now celebrating our 25th anniversary, we have lifted the lives of more than 10,000 youth aged 5-18 through after-school visual and performing arts classes. Offered at no charge, this is the first eye-opening exposure to the arts for many children.

In our safe, creative environment, local kids find their voices, build confidence, and strive for a hopeful future that doesn’t include gangs or other negative influences.


What we do

Bridging the gap, Youth Arts provides a positive and creative outlet for kids to deal with modern pressures. Confidence, teamwork, empathy, imagination, assertiveness, connections with others, self-discipline: Through artistic expression, these are life skills that help students thrive in an everchanging world.

  • Youth Arts conducts five sessions featuring 40+ types of classes each year. Sessions run throughout the year; see the current class schedule here.
  • Courses include drawing and painting, hip-hop, ballet, urban dance, guitar and piano, theatre, voice and movement, culinary arts, video production, and many more.
  • Instructors are professional artists, passionate about sparking creativity in young minds. They bring knowledge, experience, dedication, and yes, joy to our precious youth.
  • Local children aged 5 – 18, at all skill levels and socioeconomic backgrounds, are welcome.
A bright future

Where the world will take our children is unknowable. But we do know how to prepare them, and Youth Arts is committed to expanding programs and facilities far into the future.

Our best-in-class teachers put their hearts and souls into creating life-changing experiences for kids – with imaginative ideas for so much more in our next 25 years. They are limited only by the resources needed to bring it all to fruition.

We need you

As a small nonprofit with a big impact, we’ve achieved this milestone thanks to generous community partners and donors. Now we must push even harder together to go from good to great, able to serve the growing needs of children in an expanding county.

Please give now to keep our arts classes free of charge, inclusive of all socioeconomic backgrounds, and led by paid teaching and arts professionals committed to helping our children flourish

Why it matters

There were few studies in 1998 to prove the positive link between the arts and childhood  development. Today, studies often backed by brain imaging technology link the arts to crucial cognitive skills.
To name a few:

  • The effect of music on early brain development is now widely accepted thanks to studies at the University of Washington Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, among others.
  • In a 2019 study, the Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC) followed 10,000 youth participating in arts programs. The conclusion: Students performed better on state writing tests, were better behaved, had more compassion for fellow students, and were more engaged in school.
  • Fieldwork across Chicago Public Schools found that arts play a vital role in kids’ development by enhancing skills and knowledge that positively affect social and emotional learning and artistic ability and creativity – highly valued traits in today’s economy.
  • The American Institute for Research cites positive effects on mathematics achievement by prekindergarten and kindergarten students after artists helped teachers integrate performing arts in their classrooms.
  • HERC also found that the narrowing of educational offerings and objectives to align with test-based reforms has had adverse effects on thearts in K-12 education, thus depriving many children of critical developmental benefits.

Donna’s Vision

Donna Berg’s passion and desire has been to give children of the Paso Robles area the opportunity to participate in a variety of art programs at no cost. Donna has been the force behind designing, building, programming and expanding the project for the past fourteen years. Donna has retired from her work at the Youth Arts, but her inspiration lives on in the minds and hearts of its dedicated supporters.

“If you can give your child only one gift, let it be the arts. After working in Los Angeles for thirty plus years, I was looking for retirement on a ranch outside of Paso Robles. I was looking forward to a peaceful time with our animals away from the city. Then Mother Theresa died. I was so upset and cried for the children she left behind. My husband suggested I look into helping Paso Robles children, and so Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation was started. What I enjoy most about PRYAF is seeing the children’s faces after a performance or playing the piano/guitar or painting a beautiful picture. I am proud of our building, our teachers and staff and what they have accomplished.”

– Donna Berg, Founder