Young Artists Program

Arts and creative experiences help youth develop their unique voices and creativity. Art programs led by professional artists at local schools, youth shelters, recovery programs, and correctional facilities allow young artists to engage with art for personal exploration. With support from educators, and artists, youth learn artistic skills for expressing their identity and communicating experiences through the arts. Creativity can remove stigma and break down social isolation so that youth can practice healing and rebuild stability.

The Arts Center’s Young Artist Program works with hundreds of youth every year who would otherwise not have access to art opportunities. Some come from families with low income, where English is not the first language, and/or more challenging situations like housing insecurity or incarceration.

Young Artists programs include classes, workshops, residencies and events, created in collaboration with local artists, educators, schools, and youth-serving organizations. Arts experiences are developed with special attention to the particular needs of youth, and include a variety of subject matter, including ceramics, sculpture, drawing, dance, music, poetry, theater, painting, and fiber arts. If you are interested in teaching for our Young Artists programs, or would like more information, email Jen Hernadnez, Arts Integration Director.

Examples of engaging youth with creative experiences:

College Hill Tile quilt 3-1Weekly art at College Hill Alternative High School

The class surveys a variety of media.  The Art Center’s teaching artists work with a certified teacher so students receive credit.

Diana Ryan teaching drawing to Lincoln 4th & 5th gradersIn Public Schools

Professional teaching artists provide a variety of specialized artist residencies for students of all ages.

oak-creek-2Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility

Young women (ages 12-21) in the transitional parole program at Oak Creek Correctional Facility participate in intensive visual arts and writing workshops with local artists.

Pinata made at Garfield ElementarySupport

Families can receive scholarship assistance so children can attend ceramics, painting, drawing, dance classes and arts camps at The Arts Center.


Every child deserves opportunities for creative expression that gives them a voice. Too many students in Linn and Benton County schools to not have opportunities for visual or performance art classes in their schools. Arts education outreach delivered by The Arts Center receives funding with year-to-year variability.

From 2008-2016, funding for the Young Artist Program was provided by Maureen Ovregaard and her family. She gave an annual gift of $45,000 through a living trust that ended with her passing in Spring 2016. Generous donors pledge multi-year support that allows us to continue some programming, but we receive many more requests than we are able to fulfill.

Make a difference. Donate to support Youth Arts Programs.

To make a lasting gift of support:  Please see: Endowment Fund Giving.

Thanks to support for more arts experiences for youth from:

  • Oregon Arts Commission
  • Reser Family Foundation
  • Soroptimist International (Corvallis)
  • Kiwanis Club of Corvallis
  • Mullins Foundation
  • William D. Metz, Austin, Texas
  • And Donors like YOU to the Young Artist Program.