Advancing the aspirations and art of New Orleans’ youth.

The Young Aspirations/Young Artists premiered a new fundraiser, “Just Say YA/YA,” on Thursday, July 23 at the IP Building. YA/YA began the fundraiser with a patron party on Tuesday, July 21 held at the YA/YA studio, located at 338 Baronne St.

Kay Kerrigan and Amanda Morel, the co-chairs for “Just Say YA/YA,” worked together to bring this important event to life. YA/YA started 20 years ago to impact the young artists of New Orleans. Kerrigan said, “We were sitting in the studio and there was a big sign that said ‘just say YA/YA’ and from that we came up with RA/RA for the 500 category and YEA/YEA for the 250 category. We decided that there was no better name than that.”

At the Patron Party guests enjoyed a charcuterie assortment by Cochon Butcher. During the party, guests were able to examine and purchase art pieces, and even have one of the YA/YAs design a new piece of furniture for one’s home. At the main event, guests enjoyed shrimp pasta by Bacco, baked brie by Chez Nous, hummus and pita by Byblos, deli sandwiches by W.I.N.O., onsite cooking demonstrations and hors d’oeuvres by Liberty’s Kitchen and chips and salsa by Dorignacs. At both events Martin Wine Cellar, Abita Brewing Company and Whole Foods Market catered beverages.

There will be an auction for an original painting by Jana Napolia, the founder of YA/YA, called “Egret.” You still have a chance to win: each chance is $20, call 529-3306 to purchase. Over both nights, YA/YA did raised $60,000 for art education and art entrepreneurship training.

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