Our Goals

9:19 PM

YouthCake's goals.

Let the youth of the South Bay say their own stories.

So often, the narratives of minority and/ or low-income communities and high schools are written for us by the media. YouthCake aims to be a place where we can tell our own stories. By telling our own stories, we not only reclaim our narratives, but we also provide a space for representation and validation by showcasing and highlighting what characterizes the youth of the South Bay. Truthful representation in the media is something that has deep effects on underprivileged youth-- if they do not see some image of similarly identifying individuals succeeding, they come to believe they also cannot do so. We also aim beyond representation, with validation. Highlighting the accomplishments of youth in our area provides a space for them to be appreciated and revered, something often elusive to young people of color pursuing the arts. Remember the pride and joy you felt when your parent would hang your work on the refrigerator? We seek that for young POC, women, etc.

Provide a space for discussions about topics in social justice, art, and youth culture within both the YouthCake board, and the community.

Here is a little anecdote about my experience working at the Museum of Contemporary Art in DTLA. On the last day of the program, we were reflecting about our experience in it. When my turn came, I spoke of the many amazing discussions we would have on intersectionality and art, and about the warm and inspiring community I found of POC. While saying that, I nearly cried when thinking about how badly needed a space like MOCA Teens was needed in my own community. Talking about intersectionality and art to people who mostly knew the ins and out was a great learning experience, but I feel like we need to open those spaces as much as possible to people who know nothing about it-- and those people are often poor kids of color who aren't provided the resources to do so. Poor kids of color, if anything, are the ones who need the most civic education, the most knowledge of social justice, in order to demand the investment and education and equal opportunity they deserve. YouthCake aims to be a place where education can occur on topics necessary for social change, and where movements can breed. I could talk about this point for pages and pages, but I'll leave it to that. 

Function as a cool place for art and ideas for youth in the South Bay. 

I am always seeing people at the local high schools doing the coolest things: wearing cool clothes, having productive and meaningful conversations, getting full rides to universities, running the most curated social media pages, making music, taking photos, writing...and so much more. These are all pretty general activities, but I cannot find the words to emphasize how distinctly the South Bay does it. Being one of the most ethnically diverse areas of the nation, we have so much exploding culture on every block, and it is a shame to me that no one showcases how the youth weave in and out of it. Emblems of the South Bay, like the motel-lined street of Pacific Coast Highway, filled with neon lit restaurants at night, or the cosmopolitan teen hang out of Del Amo mall, are all fascinating and beautiful. YouthCake aims to be the first art and politics collective portraying the highly unique and fantastic youth culture of the South Bay. Bottom line: it should just be a cool place to find a local community of cool individuals, cool art, cool ideas. Cool!

Do any of these appeal to you? Consider joining our team to help make them possible! 

-- Stephanie Castaneda, Editor in Chief & Founder

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