We need your help to build out our new space

Youth Speaks and First Exposures have come together in an innovative partnership to create a safe space for youth, storytelling, and community building in San Francisco’s Mission District.

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A space for creativity

We are building a welcoming, inclusive, and creative space to grow a community by and for young people and their families, with a focus on engaging youth most at risk of being, isolated, silenced, or displaced.

Our new home will be an intergenerational incubator for creative expression and storytelling—a community gathering and cultural space that facilitates connection, intersection, and a sense of belonging in a city where these spaces are disappearing.

The space, located on the ground floor of a 127-unit, affordable housing community, will provide programming for residents along with two other service providers using a holistic approach to sustaining our community.


A space for collective impact

During the early stages of our 2020 campaign, COVID-19 shut down our global economy. However, construction on our new home continues. Collectively, for over 50 years, First Exposures and Youth Speaks have provided young people with free access to arts programming through direct mentorship, arts education, and opportunities to amplify their stories for positive change. 

We will serve over 2,000 young people combined in our new facility, nearly doubling our local impact. Adjacent to In Chaan Kajal Park, our new space—featuring an outdoor amphitheater—will provide safe and accessible programs critical to rebuilding confidence in public places.


Support a space for voice

Your donations will go directly to building out education, performance, and activity space. The 4,600 square foot arts center will house a darkroom, classrooms, and activity and gathering space for presentation and just about any event our youth community can imagine.

Our goal is $2M, with an estimated $1.5M going toward direct construction, permits, and equipment costs. The remainder will fund a facility reserve, operating costs for the first few months, and working capital. 

As of October 2020, we’ve raised over 40% of our goal. We will start construction in January and expect to move in April 2021.

You choose which organization to support, and in turn, we’ll apply those funds to joint development costs.


Youth Speaks

Through the intersection of arts education and youth development practices, civic engagement strategies, and high quality artistic presentation, Youth Speaks creates safe spaces that challenge young people to find, develop, publicly present, and apply their voices as creators of societal change.

First Exposures

First Exposures leverages the power of mentoring relationships and photography to empower young people to thrive, express themselves creatively, and become leaders in their communities. We envision a world where creative expression and supportive relationships for young people are celebrated as catalysts for change.


Choose your gift

Many of you already have a relationship with Youth Speaks or First Exposures. Select an organization below to contribute to either organization as we collectively raise funds towards our long term home for arts education, expression, and growth.