Testimonials and Statistics

Since 1988, YAYA has provided visual arts and entrepreneurship training for New Orleans young people and empowers them to become successful adults. Some indicators of YAYA’s success include:

  • YAYA participants that graduate high school on time 98%
  • YAYA participants that plan to attend college 93%
  • YAYA participants that have a positive self-image 83%
  • YAYA participants that are able to express themselves 75%
  • YAYA Alumni that are currently professionally employed in the creative and cultural industries 40%

Since its founding, 835 YAYA Artists have received training in personal financial management, portfolio development, college preparedness, career readiness, and professionally transferable creative skills. YAYA Artists have installed over 50 major public artworks in the Greater New Orleans Area and surrounding region, New York, Poland, Ireland, and other locations nationally and internationally.

In 2015, YAYA’s Guild, Urban Heroes, Community Arts, and Family Arts programs, YAYA served 4168 young people across the city of New Orleans.



Rondell Crier – YAYA Alumnus, Professional Artist

“The challenges I encountered as a YAYA artist have shaped the person I’ve become. YAYA’s success is rooted in the challenges we put to our young artists.”

Quinton “Que” Gilmore – YAYA Alumnus, Urban Heroes & Mixed Media Teaching Artist

“People don’t realize how important YAYA is to someone like me. If I didn’t have YAYA, I wouldn’t be making art. I wouldn’t be in school. The truth is, I’d probably be out on the street.”

Madania Graves – YAYA Alumnus, Urban Heroes Teaching Artist

“YAYA opens us to understanding culture. If you only look at your own culture, you can’t be a well-rounded artist. If you only look at your own surroundings, you can’t be a well-rounded person.”

Kawayne Powell – YAYA Alumnus

“YAYA gives me a voice in my community. YAYA has also given me a chance to express myself as an artist. It has also exposed me and my artwork to the public and community numerous times.”

Sexton Wright – YAYA Alumnus

“YAYA gave me artistic confidence, a social community, and opened doors to professional opportunities I never would have found on my own.”