Eight-day art festival highlights creations of SF school students

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Visual and Performing Arts Office of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) will present Young at Art, an eight-day celebration of student creativity in visual, literary, media and performing arts, hosted by the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in Golden Gate Park, from May 8 - 16. 

The festival celebrates the creativity of San Francisco students with exhibits and performances at the de Young and Music Concourse Bandshell in Golden Gate Park. A Friday evening celebration on May 14 honors student achievements in art, film and media. "Dreamcatcher awards" are presented to educators and community partners who have contributed significantly to arts education in San Francisco.

For 24 years, this unique San Francisco event (formerly known as The San Francisco Youth Arts Festival) has attracted San Francisco artists, families and teachers, as well as the extended Bay Area community. More than 9,000 children from 250 San Francisco schools and community groups actively participate or present their work in Young at Art.

There are some 2,000 student works showcased in the visual art exhibition, live stage performance and through literary and media arts. Three years ago, 25 student groups performed on the Young at Art festival stage. This year, more than 60 student and community groups are scheduled to perform, including choral groups, orchestras, dance ensembles, theatre groups and jazz bands.

Approximately 10,000 people are expected to attend Young at Art events over the eight-day festival. More than 150 students and adult volunteers will contribute to the festival's production. Every student in San Francisco's public, private, independent and parochial schools is eligible to be part of the festival.

Young at Art is at the heart of SFUSD's groundbreaking Arts Education Master Plan (AEMP), which was launched in 2006.

Festival highlights include:
• Saturday, May 8 - Community Day features students and local community groups performing from 12 - 5 p.m. in the Koret Auditorium at the de Young and hands-on art activities are offered;
• Tuesday, May 11, film and video screenings of student works curated by the education department of the San Francisco Film Society are featured in the de Young's Koret Auditorium;
• Friday, May 14, Stagewrite performs in its annual showcase at 6 p.m. in the Koret Auditorium. Professional actors perform six insightful plays written by fifth graders from Starr King Elementary School;
• Saturday, May 15, award-winning young writers read works of prose and poetry in the Koret Auditorium at 2 p.m.;
• From May 11 through 14, from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., community artists offer hands-on art activities in the Music Concourse in front of the de Young.

Young at Art is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, go to the website at www.youngatartsf.com.