Clackamas County Arts Alliance’s Youth Arts for Change program uses the arts as a catalyst to open doors for vulnerable and underserved youth by promoting positive and constructive change through their creative expression. 

Youth Arts for Change gives youth an opportunity to creatively engage with a variety of artistic media that encourage youth to positively reflect on and share who they are, what they care about, and what challenges and hopes they have. Through a series of workshops, the youth work with teaching artists to create original artwork while responding to themes. This allows each youth to focus on the importance of their unique and valuable ideas and viewpoints. A hallmark of the Program is our ability to evolve to meet the changing needs and interests of youth, creating programs that are fun while valuing individual students’ creative process and work. During the past year with COVID, YAC provided five ZOOM art programs for the Juvenile Department, Todos Juntos Canby and Todos Juntos Sandy; and seven pre-packaged art projects with video tutorials for Parrot Creek. 

Despite not being able to this past year, the YAC programs usually culminate in a public exhibition, which provides an opportunity for youth to share their amazing artwork and connect with the community. 

Youth Arts for Change is the Arts Alliance’s signature project to address the needs of underserved youth. Since 2011, the program has engaged more than 200 Clackamas County youth and countless numbers of the public have attended performances and exhibits.

The Youth Arts for Change Program works collaboratively with our partners to develop programs that match the interests and needs of the youth we serve to maximize student engagement and success. Over the years we have been fortunate to collaborate with many partners, including: Clackamas County Juvenile Department, Parrott Creek Child and Family Services, Baker Prairie Middle School, Estacada Middle School, and Todos Juntos (in Canby, Estacada and Sandy). 

Currently, Youth Arts for Change partners with 4 main organizations:

Todos Juntos Canby

Todos Juntos Sandy

Click below, if your organization would like to partner with Youth Arts for Change in Clackamas County. 

Youth Arts for Change has 7 goals for participating teens:

  • Build positive relationships & teamwork
  • Boost confidence, communication & creative thinking
  • Connect with the community
  • Discover hidden strengths & talents
  • Experience a safe setting to learn new skills & grow
  • Explore creative outlets & career opportunities
  • Share what matters with an appreciative audience

We’re grateful for the support of our fantastic funders:

The Autzen Foundation
Barbara Emily Knudson Charitable Foundation
Clackamas County
Juan Young Trust
The Reser Family Foundation
The Claire and Theodore Morse Foundation
The Norris Family Charitable Fund, a Donor Advised Fund of The U.S. Charitable Gift Trust

And Numerous Contributions from Individuals Just Like You!


Youth Arts for Change is always growing! If you’re curious about getting involved in a current project–or you’d like to propose a new opportunity or partnership–please contact:

Lisa Smith
Youth Arts for Change Program Coordinator
[email protected]