SFUSD Arts to Hold Expanded Citywide Youth Arts Festival

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San Francisco (April 5, 2023) - The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) Arts Department will host the Citywide Youth Arts Festival, an event that celebrates student voice and the creative process by showcasing student visual and performing arts throughout San Francisco. Live performing arts events will take place on April 15, with visual art exhibitions taking place throughout the city from April 6 to 24.

SFUSD Arts has held a Youth Arts Festival for decades, and this year marks the return of the Festival since the pandemic. This year also marks an expansion of the Citywide Youth Arts Festival with performances and exhibitions taking place in multiple neighborhood-based zones throughout the city.

“We’re excited for the return and expansion of the Citywide Youth Arts Festival, which will showcase the talents and creativity of our students in arts disciplines,” said SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Matt Wayne. “Arts education is an important part of preparing students for the 21st century and we are committed to deepening and diversifying these opportunities.”

In addition to visual art and performances by SFUSD students, students will be serving as emcees and technicians throughout the Festival. Various arts community-based organizations will also be in attendance with interactive tables and performances.

The April 15 showcase will feature live performances from SFUSD students in the music, theater, dance, and media arts disciplines. Performances and visual arts exhibitions begin at 10:00 a.m. and are free.

Some highlights of the Festival include:

  • Dom Nguyen’s SF International High School visual art students highlight the power of art as a voice and vehicle for unique, individual expression at SFArtsEd at Minnesota Street Project.
  • Ulloa Elementary will showcase taiko drumming at the Golden Gate Bandshell.
  • Burton High School’s choir, jazz band, and concert band will perform at the Bayview Opera House.
  • Schools throughout the city will screen media arts at SFMOMA in collaboration with the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC).
  • Students in the fifth-grade class at Cobb Elementary explore the art of improvisation with StageWrite and reflect on their experience in the drama residency.
  • Balboa High School student Natalie Wong designed the official poster for the event.

Venues for the Citywide Youth Arts Festival include:

  • Zone 1: Children's Creativity Museum (performing & visual) + Contemporary Jewish Museum (visual) + SF Public Library - Main Branch (visual) + SFMOMA in collaboration with the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) (media arts)
  • Zones 2 & 3: Golden Gate Park Bandshell (performing) + de Young Museum (visual) + La Promenade Cafe (visual)
  • Zone 4: Mission Cultural Center (performing & visual) + SFArtsEd at Minnesota Street Project (visual)
  • Zone 5: McKenna Theater at San Francisco State University (performing & visual)
  • Zone 6: Bayview Opera House (performing & visual)

“We are excited to bring the Youth Arts Festival back in this new iteration that will allow for students to display their artistic skills within the communities that they go to school,” said Ron Machado, SFUSD Arts Department Director. “We have so much talent amongst our students, and those who teach them, and we look forward to sharing their work in multiple areas throughout the city to help highlight the joy that arts education can bring to everyone.”

This year, SFUSD Arts partnered with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), San Francisco Beautiful, and 826 Valencia for the eighth year of MUNI Art, where five SFUSD students have their original artwork displayed on MUNI buses through April of this year.

In January 2022, the SF Board of Education formally adopted Arts and Creativity 2025, a plan for implementing equitable arts education in SFUSD, outlining steps the district will take to increase equity in the types and number of arts offerings at each school and improve the quality of curriculum centered on students’ interests and cultures.

Each of SFUSD’s 22,000 elementary students have access to a credentialed art teacher and 14,000 middle and high school students are enrolled in one or more of the five arts disciplines: dance, drama, music, media arts, and visual art.

Learn more about the Citywide Youth Arts Festival here.


Equity, access, and excellence in arts education for every student in every school is the vision and the goal of the SFUSD Arts Department. Bringing the arts into the classroom and students to the arts in our powerfully creative and artistically diverse community, we seek to build and enhance 21st Century skills and to encourage students, teachers, and parents to view themselves as lifelong learners who are inspired by the arts and act as creative participants in our school communities.