KQED music editor Nastia Voynovskaya visited YAX to write about our creation and transformation of [x]space. The article, Sealed for 10 Years, an Excelsior Butcher Shop Becomes a Vibrant Teen Art Space, showcases how we created a “vital space for diverse student artists”. The piece shares the importance of this type of space in San Francisco and its importance to youth. It was also picked up as a feature in the New York Times California Today newsletter. We want to emphasize that we couldn’t do this work without support from the YAX philanthropic community. Donate to keep our work going and come see it in person at ArtMart.
On an overcast August afternoon, [x]space is bustling with dozens of teenagers, parents and neighbors eager to see summertime work by Youth Art Exchange students. A group of girls hawk screen-printed, hand-dyed patches and tote bags with slogans like "Melt I.C.E.!" Succulents in handmade planters hang from wooden "living walls" built by students themselves. At one point, kids beeline to the music studio in the back, where videos they recorded and edited screen in surround sound and high definition.
The neon pink meat hooks hanging above the music studio are the only evidence that just a year ago, this vibrant Excelsior art space was a derelict butcher shop that had been abruptly sealed shut and left as-is for 10 years.
"They actually get to make the San Francisco they want to have." –Reed Davaz McGowan, Executive Director
"We want to make the arts really accessible across economic boundaries." –Raffaella Falchi Macias, Deputy Director
"This is a safe space for people growing up in a city that's changing by the day." –Jorge Courtade, Program Associate