Northwest Folkife

Youth Rising Partners & Mentors

Youth Rising is made successful through the help of our committee partners and mentors.


206 Zulu is a non-profit organization that utilizes Hip Hop culture and arts as an outlet for community empowerment, education and social change. 206 Zulu works with youth, low-income communities of color through creative and innovative means.

Artist Coalition for Equitable Development is a vast autonomous assembly of over 300 individual creatives and cultural workers- which includes members and organizers of crews, collectives, grassroots nonprofit orgs, small businesses, as well as stewards of critical cultural spaces that span across the city. Their mission is to advance creative solutions to reclaiming land, space, and agency in the physical and economic processes action on cultural communities.

Arts Corps is a nationally recognized youth arts education organization that works to address the race and income-based opportunity gap in access to arts education. Through participation in Arts Corps' arts integration, out-of-school arts and teen leadership programs, youth experience the transformative power of creativity and gain a deepened belief in their own capacity to learn, take risks, persist and achieve.

The Creative Advantage utilizes the resources of the district, the city and arts organizations to provide a K-12 continuum of arts learning in schools. Comprehensive research conducted throughout the district showed that arts access gaps were greatest for students of color, low-income and English Language Learners (ELL) students. The Creative Advantage is dedicated to eliminating access gaps.

Creative Justice is an arts-based alternative to incarceration for young people in King County, Washington. Through collaboration with mentor artists, participants consider the root causes of incarceration, as they intersect with racism, classism and other oppressions, and focus on the positive role youth voice can have in building a more just and equitable society.

Gage strives to educate, enrich and engage artists and the community in the visual arts. Gage offers instruction in the principles of drawing, painting and sculpting, and is dedicated to helping students of all ages and skill levels realize themselves as artists in contemporary society.

KEXP's vision is a growing community of music lovers worldwide who depend on KEXP to identify, showcase, and champion music that entertains and inspires them. By creating meaningful music experiences on air, online, and in person, KEXP harnesses the emotional power of art to strengthen our communities and serve the greater social good.

RadioActive Youth Media is where young people discover public radio journalism and gain access to the skills, community and institutional resources that spur their growth as media makers. Through their stories, listeners of all ages gain a deeper understanding of young people whose voices are rarely heard by the greater public.

The Museum of Pop Culture’s mission is to make creative expression a life-changing force by offering experiences that inspire and connect our communities.

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) manages the city's public art program, cultural partnerships grant programs, the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, and The Creative Advantageinitiative in the effort to foster a city driven by creativity that provides the opportunity for everyone to engage in diverse arts and cultural experiences.

Reel Grrls empowers young women and gender non-conforming youth from diverse communities to realize their power, talent, and influence through media production. Our mission is to support young people to explore, critique, and author media through a feminist lens.

Respect My Region dedicates itself to elevating urban culture from across the Pacific Northwest. What started off as a clothing line back at Central Washington University, has grown into a full-blown lifestyle and music platform that supports companies, artists, and creatives who believe in the value of local culture.

Seattle Arts and Lectures champions the literary arts by engaging and inspiring readers and writers of all generations in the greater Puget Sound region. Its vision is to ensure a future in which imaginative acts such as reading, writing, and creative thinking are indispensable to a curious, engaged, democratic society.

SIFF's mission is to create experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world. It is through the art of cinema that we foster a community that is more informed, aware, and alive.

Seattle Theatre Group is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create enriching experiences in the arts, engage diverse communities, and steward historic theatres. STG presents an average of 600 events annually at The Paramount, The Moore, and The Neptune Theatres as well as at venues throughout the region.

Taste International was designed to help build stronger familiar relationships, emphasizing the traditions and celebratory customs associated with food. By educating youth on sustainable gardening, healthy eating habits, and food culture, we can foster healing and communication between communities and generations.

Totem Star
supports a diverse community of young recording artists learning music and life skills through mentorship and meaningful relationships. Their work in the studio and on the stage fosters growth in collaboration, leadership, and self-identity.

Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington connects classroom teachers and school communities with artists to inspire young people and expand their learning through the arts.

Youth in Focus provides underserved youth with the instruction, resources, and equipment they need to share their unique and personal stories through photography. Their students discover their creativity, identity, authentic voice, and sense of self-worth. Our supportive and inclusive community provides a sense of belonging and safety for youth from a variety of backgrounds, fostering positive connections between youth and adult teaching artists and mentors. All the while providing individualized attention and support.

Youth Speaks Seattle is a brave space where young people pick up the pen, take the mic, and take the lead. Founded in 2003 by young poets, Youth Speaks Seattle holds an ongoing legacy of cultivating youth leadership through spoken word poetry. Envisioning art as a tool for social change, youth participants build community and hone their arts and activism skills through writing circles, poetry slams, open mics and leadership opportunities.


Aaron Counts Essam Muhammad Nancy Chang
Alicia Craven Jake Prendez Nikkita Oliver
Andrea Goodman James Miles Poesia
Ashley Moudon Jason Clackley Rex Kinney
Ashraf Hasham Joe Seamons Robert Rutherford
Azura Tyabji Kim Schwarzkopf Ruth Kazmerzak
Ben Hunter King Khazm Sarah Loritz Strasbaugh
Cary Clarke Kitty Wu Sharlese Metcalf
Danielle Griffin Lara Davis Silas Blak
Daniel Pak Lauren Holloway Taira Shimbashi
Dustin Kaspar Lila Kitaeff Tina LaPadula
Ebo Barton Mitch Pfeifer Jason Clackley
Eduardo Mendoca Mujale Chisebuka Jerrell Davis


If you are interested in getting involved with Youth Rising, please email