Since 2004 Young Artists Initiative (YAI) has offered its signature, high quality arts programming for the young people on Saint Paul’s East Side. YAI grew out of two Saint Paul arts educators’ desire to provide this opportunity to those whose economic situation typically prevents them from accessing such creative endeavors.
As our families and actors will attest, three qualities distinguish YAI from other youth performing groups: our commitment to kids – not just the production; our commitment to excellence – not just quality; and our undying passion for what we do. This is why we’re still around for our ninth season. YAI brings a strong connection to the greater community of professionals and volunteers who work in youth development, as their efforts intersect or mirror our own. In 2009, YAI’s founders were awarded the Ordway Center Education Award for Community Commitment.
Since its inception, YAI has grown from offering two day-long Saturday workshops and a summer theater production into an organization that offers year-round programming and two fully realized theatrical productions. YAI brings a strong connection to the greater community of professionals who work in youth development, as their efforts intersect with or mirror our own.
YAI administrative staff donates their time to ensure that as many financial resources are directed to young people as possible, and YAI staff members assist with the duties necessary to ensure the highest quality experiences for the young artists in its charge.