Youth First Artist-In-Residence educational workshops teach new skills to young participants and involve them in positive hands-on creative experiences in theater, creative writing, visual arts, storytelling, music, and dance. Each residency is comprised of 13-15 sessions that are 2 hours in duration and are sequentially scheduled once or twice weekly during in-school or after-school hours. Workshop curricula align with the California Common Core State Standards and Visual and Performing Arts Framework.

TOHYF supports the growth of our student participants and celebrates their achievements throughout each workshop series with a culminating Work-In-Progress (WIP) Presentation that provides an opportunity for students to showcase their final work series to their peers, parents, school faculty and administration, and fellow community members.

In the past, WIP events have included music concerts, staged theatrical performances, dance demonstrations, and visual art exhibits.



Our Youth First AIR programs in visual arts are custom-designed for each site, and can vary in terms of amount of workshops, types of techniques and concepts covered, and the art skills acquired. Each workshop is project-driven and can encompass a variety of art techniques such as illustration, collage, painting, and three-dimensional sculpture. In the past, Youth First Artist Mentors have worked with students to create works using different media, such as oil and acrylic paintings, ceramic sculptures, mixed media pieces, artbooks, shadowboxes, and block prints. For our students, the art-making process allows them to imagine the world in creative ways and teaches them how to communicate their ideas more effectively. Students in our visual arts workshops present their final artworks as an art exhibit for their peers, parents, and teachers, and other site personnel at a culminating Work-In-Progress Presentation, where students also have an opportunity to discuss and reflect on their art and what they’ve learned.


The Youth First AIR programs in creative writing are custom-designed for each site, and every workshop of the residency is project-based. Each residency can vary in terms of amount of workshops, and the types of writing techniques and concepts covered. Students learn how to compose literary pieces and narratives through the written form and spoken word. TOHYF workshops follow the California State Standards for the Language Arts, encouraging students’ mastery of reading, writing, and oral conventions, as well as positive self-expression. For their final presentations, students in our creative writing workshops exhibit their poetry in chapbooks and participate in live readings of their works, or collaborate with students in other disciplines to create and present an inter-disciplinary project or performance.




Youth First AIR programs in dance are custom-designed to match the needs of each site, and can be adjusted in terms of amount of workshops, types of techniques, concepts, and genres covered, and the anticipated dance skills to be acquired. Every workshop in a residency is project-based. In the past, Youth First Artist Mentors have taught students diverse genres of dance such as Flamenco, West African, and Hip-Hop. Our dance workshops focus on movement, the history and context of each style or genre, and peer collaboration amongst student participants. All students in our dance workshops generally present dynamic group performances in front of an audience for their culminating Work-In-Progress Presentations.


The Youth First AIR programs in theatre are custom-designed for each site. All workshops are project-based and can vary in terms of amount of workshops, types of techniques and concepts covered, and the performance skills acquired. In the past, students have worked with our Artist Mentors to deconstruct plays, tell stories and tales, learn improvisation methods, and produce musical productions. Our students become more self-confident, social, and proactive as a result of being involved in our theatre workshops, which generally culminate with a Work-In-Progress Presentation where students are given the opportunity to perform complete, collaborative works.




The Youth First AIR programs in music are custom-designed to meet the needs of each site, and can vary in terms of amount of workshops, types of techniques and concepts covered, and the musical skills acquired. Our music programs explore the histories and contexts of a variety of different genres and styles, while providing hands-on experience with instruments. In the past, our Artist Mentors have instructed students in ensemble jazz performance, vocal/choral singing, and percussion. Student participants learn compositional devices and techniques, and how to deliver solo or group performances as a method of expression. For their final Work-In-Progress Presentations, our students perform for audiences during in-school and community events.