BUILDING CONFIDENCE AND RESILIENCE THROUGH THE ARTS
25 YEARS HELPING YOUTH THRIVE, AND WE’RE JUST BEGINNING.
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.
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.
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.