Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) announces the pilot session of YBCA: YOU, a free “aesthetic fitness” program designed to empower individuals to make arts learning an ongoing part of their lives. From March 3 through November 30, up to 100 participants will embark on a highly personalized, dynamic arts education curriculum organized around aesthetic themes and YBCA’s Big Ideas. The YBCA: YOU cohort will be given free admission to all YBCA performances, films, exhibitions and community engagement events, and encouraged to use this all-access pass as they would a gym membership. Participants will also be offered opportunities to take part in exclusive behind-the-scenes socials, artist talks and field trips.
YBCA: YOU’s education and engagement specialist, Laurel Butler, will act as an arts-focused personal trainer, assisting with individual goal development, ongoing self-assessment and final evaluation. In addition, she will organize exclusive behind-the-scenes socials, artist talks, and field trips aimed at strengthening the YBCA: YOU community and fostering the exchange of ideas among participants.
“Ultimately, we want more people having better and deeper experiences with art,” says Joël Tan, YBCA’s director of community engagement. “This pilot is about an actual live human guide connecting with individuals and small groups to experience arts and cultural events that are custom-tailored to their aspirations, desires, and educational goals. We invite anyone looking to build their aesthetic muscles to register, whether they want to learn a few pointers for their next cocktail party or attend all the openings in town and just need the motivation to do it.”
YBCA: YOU’s approach is based in Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS), a research-based teaching method that improves critical thinking and language skills through discussions of visual images rather than through academic instruction. VTS is the technique currently used in YBCA’s successful Art Savvy programs. This progressive arts education method provides a supportive, dynamic setting for participants to deepen their connections to contemporary art, starting with refining their observational skills. No prior knowledge of contemporary art is necessary.
To register for the March 3 orientation, applicants must e-mail email@example.com by 5 p.m. on February 28 with their name, age, telephone number, and one sentence on why they would like to register for the program. Participants must be at least 18 and will be selected based on their interest in collaborative arts enrichment and the ability to make a nine-month commitment to the YBCA: YOU program. Due to the pilot nature of the program, participants will be expected to provide feedback on their experience to help shape future sessions.
About the Big Ideas:
Each year, YBCA selects four Big Ideas around which to organize its wide-ranging programs. This year’s Big Ideas include ENCOUNTER: Engaging the social context; SOAR: The search for meaning; REFLECT: Considering the personal; and DARE: Innovations in art, action, audience. These ideas, which encompass art from all disciplines, are designed to focus an investigation of contemporary art and its relationship to the larger world. Using the Big Ideas as portals, YBCA has established a framework of thought that invites exploration and risk-taking, quiet reflection and active engagement.