Young Aspirations/Young Artists, Inc., or YA/YA as it’s affectionately called, celebrates 20 years of making art and celebrating New Orleans culture with promising artists. YA/YA trains Orleans Parish students, ages 14-24, in craft and entrepreneurship. The Founder’s Party and Benefit on November 12 took place at 617 Piety St. in the Bywater. There were seven exhibitions on display including four by alumni and “Floodwall” by YA/YA founder Jana Napoli.
The Founder’s Party preceded events at the new studio on Baronne Street including “Paint the World: International Outreach” and a friends-and-family day. At YA/YA studios, 50-80 percent of purchased artwork goes toward the cost of programming and savings for post-secondary education. The group’s original creation is the YA/YA chair. A colorful group of these intricate pieces were shown at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art Annex during November.
YA/YA’s first 20 years of service have proved successful in nurturing New Orleans kids and getting world-wide exposure in the process through the group’s impressive results. Many of the protégés attest to the life lessons they learned from the valuable resource. The Founder’s Party was a grand time to celebrate past accomplishments while looking forward to what lies ahead. YA/YA plans to renew their mission and continue teaching throughout many decades of beauty and good. Oprah’s Angel Network “Use Your Life Award” is a benefactor along with many other national and local sponsors.