02 Jul YAYA Unveils A New Arts Center
On June 30, after breaking ground last September, YAYA got its first, official, custom-built home on Lasalle Street in Central City. Harmony Neighborhood Development, Bild Design and Landis Construction Company all helped build the two-story arts center, which is complete with classrooms and glass and ceramics studios. We were honored to be invited to the grand opening event!
YAYA stands for Young Aspirations, Young Artists. It was named 26 years ago, back in 1988, when the organization was founded to serve students from Rabouin High School. In its 26 years as an arts education program, YAYA (Young Aspirations/Young Artists) has grown from a single-school operation to one that serves New Orleans youth across the city. They now work with elementary schools as well as high schools. They work in schools as well as after school, and they partner with other organizations to provide a range of professional services for emerging artists. Which fits perfectly with their mission: to empower creative young people to become successful adults.
A total of 40 students can now practice art inside the $1.3 million arts center, which is modern and airy and feels like a treehouse. An eco-arts sculpture garden will reinforce that feeling. The balcony where the garden will be installed overlooks the glass studio with a viewing window. In addition to the glass studio the first floor also has a gallery for displaying finished pieces and the newly minted AOS Interior Environments Think Tank.
AOS has long-standing association with the group. Shelby E. Russ, AOS President and CEO, has proudly served on the YAYA Board of Directors since 2006 and his leadership has encouraged the entire AOS team to proudly contribute their time, energy and patronage to the YAYA mission.